Bees are a garden’s best friends. When a bee buzzes from flower to flower to gather food for its family, pollen dust catches a ride on the bee from one flower to another. When a bit of pollen lands on a flower’s stigma and moves down its pollen tube the flower gets ‘pollinated’, which means fruit and seeds can grow inside it. Without pollination there would be no fruit or seeds. Bees are some of the world’s best pollinators of fruit and vegetable plants. And bees need our help to survive.
A single bee can visit up to 5000 flowers in one day but without suitable food sources, they can starve and become weak.
Bees need our help to survive. When something is wrong with our bees, something is wrong in the environment! Bees love all kinds of plants, but do have some particular favourites. Making a garden ‘bee-friendly’ means the bees will love to visit your place.
You can grow flowers from seed, or get flowering plants from the garden centre.
A few bee favourites to plant in your garden are:
Bee Balm, Cosmos, Calendula, Delphinium, Echinacea, Lavender, Poppies, Thyme, Rosemary, Roses, Apple blossom, Orange blossom, Manuka, Pohutukawa.
Bees eat their vegetables too. Tomatoes and capsicums have yellow flowers….The colour YELLOW seems to attract the most bees. That's why bees, especially honeybees, love dandelions. Other yellow flowers, such as yellow asters, lilies and daisies, are also loved by bees.
Ask Mum and Dad not to be so tidy in the garden and let some weeds flower, including in the lawn (grow a meadow!). Clovers, dandelions and plenty of other weeds are a great source of food for bees.
Honey bee on marigold
Honey bee on lavender
Honey bee on wild fennel
Honey bees soaking up water from the soil next to a stream