Eight Simple Ways to Attract Bees to Your Garden

Eight Simple Ways to Attract Bees to Your Garden

by guest writer Kevin Rodrigues

March 18, 2019

Attract Bees to Your Garden
Bees create magic. And that magic reaches us with the fruits, vegetables, and flowers we enjoy.

There are about 150 crop varieties in the US that depend on pollinators to grow. This includes apples, blueberries, melons, pears, plums, and pumpkins. Imagine your life without being able to enjoy them.

That's why it's important to encourage bees in our garden.

And I'm not just talking about honey bees. There are about 4000 species of native bees in the US itself. This includes bumblebees, carpenter bees, sweat bees, and mason bees.

But why should we encourage bees? Because parasite, diseases, pesticides, commercial agriculture, and loss of habitat are reducing their population.

So let's look at 8 simple ways to attract bees to your garden.

1. Give them protection
Bees need help to protect them from the sun, heat, rain, and predators. You can do your part by growing leafy plants. A plain lawn does not help. Instead, let part of your lawn grow wild for ground-nesting bees.

Bees love dead trees where they can nest in the nooks and corners. So if there are dead trees in your yard, let them be.

You can consider placing some artificial nesting boxes in your garden to encourage bees. Leave some muddy areas around the garden that are suitable for mason bees.

2. Give the bees a drink
Bees work hard and need to sip water as they work. You can keep sources of water in your garden to encourage their visit. This could be a shallow dish of water. Or it could be a fountain, water garden or birdbath.

3. Grow plants that have flowers
Bees need pollen and nectar. The best way to attract them is grow flowers that they want. You can even grow fruits and vegetables plants that have such flowers. You get the food to eat as well as the bees. Some plants in this category include tomatoes, zucchini, apples, and strawberries.

4. Give bees the flowers they want
Bees are attracted to flowers that are purple, blue, or yellow in color. So grow them in plenty in your garden. Some plants that have such flowers are cone flower, butterfly weed, poppies, lilies, daisies, zinnias, lavender, mint, and oregano.

5. Don't use pesticides
The worst thing to use in the garden is pesticide. Because they harm the beneficial insects including bees as well. It does not matter whether the pesticide is synthetic or organic. They can be toxic to the bees.

You should use ecological plant protection instead. This could be methods like crop rotation, trapping, hand-picking insects, and row covers. You can consider introducing beneficial insects like lady bugs to your garden. Or growing herbs that are known to repel pests.

6. Grow native plants and flowers in your garden
There are more native bees than honeybees that will visit your garden. And these native bees are attracted to native plants and flowers.Do your research on the types of plants native to your region and grow them.

You can grow them as annuals, perennials, and shrubs so the nectar and pollen is available throughout the growing season. It's good to grow flowers with single petals that have more pollen and nectar. And they're easy for the bees to access.

7. Stagger your plantings for the entire growing season
Different varieties of bees can be active in different periods of the growing season. Staggering the growth of your plants means they can bloom throughout the growing season. This helps the bees get their food throughout the growing season and prevent them from starving.

You can grow the plants from early spring to late fall. It's good to choose plants with different heights from small shrubs to large trees. This helps get a variety of flowers with different shapes and sizes.

8. Think about keeping bees in your backyard
Beekeeping used to be common in the past as they were encouraged in the gardens and farms. We need to start doing the same to encourage their population. All you need is a little space, water source, and native plants and flowers.

You may need to learn more about bees and beekeeping before you get started.

Conclusion
I hope this article helps you understand why we need to encourage bees in our garden. And the ways we can go about trying to do this.

Bees are friendly creatures for us and the planet. The first step you can take to encourage them is provide them with shelter.

Let a part of your lawn grow wild with native plants and flowers. If they're dead wood in your garden, let it be so bees can nest in it.

Let's encourage bees together. Because our lives depend on it.

Author Bio: Kevin Rodrigues is the founder of https://gardeningmentor.com. He's a software developer that wants to transition into a full-time gardener. He plans to grow an organic garden that can help sustain his family. His love for gardening drives him to share tips, guides, and resources on his website.