It’s no secret that bees are detrimental to the health of our global food source. It’s also no secret that the bee population is struggling. Becoming an amateur beekeeper has become a popular trend these days and we all have to be thankful for the people willing to take on that endeavor, but let’s face it… beekeeping isn’t for everybody. That doesn’t mean we can’t be a part of the solution though. In fact, it’s not just honey bees that help the environment. All bees are pollinators and attracting them to your yard is equally as beneficial to you as it is to them.
SO HOW DO YOU ATTRACT BEES? LET’S MAKE A LIST:
- Plant the right flowers. Flowers native to your area will attract the native bees. Pick shades of blue, purple, white, and yellow and plant in clusters. Plant in full sun areas. Choose combinations of Black-Eyed Susans, Daisies, Roses, Sunflowers, and Zinnias as these are all favored by bees.
- Let the weeds live. Dandelions, Clover, Goldenrod, and Milkweed are all important food sources for bees and butterflies. When you find spots in your yard that have large patches of clover and dandelions, consider the bees before you pull out the lawnmower.
- Bees like fruits and veggies too. Not to mention herbs. In Massachusetts bees like everything from blueberries to broccoli, oregano, and tomatoes, melons squash and pumpkins too. The full list is much longer. Flowering vegetable and fruit plants are what they are looking for. Plant your plants in larger groups together, and leave the post-harvest flowers. Leaving the flowering plants as long as you can leave food for the bees when other sources might be scarce.
- Do not use pesticides on your flowers. Make sure that you aren’t introducing anything that can be toxic to bees into their food sources. Read how we eliminate mosquitoes and ticks while still protecting bees.
- Create a fresh water source. Bird baths, dripping hoses, waterfalls… all of these are good water sources for bees. Even the open leaves of plants can work, but if it hasn’t rained in a while you will need to create it for them. Just remember to keep the water moving or clean them out every few days to avoid growing your mosquito population.
Creating a positive ecosystem for bees, of course, helps the environment. It is a needed contribution to our global food source. It will also do wonders for your garden and your yard. Your flowers will thrive, your vegetable and fruit plants will produce more. Win… win… win.