As one of the most important pollinators in nature, it’s vital that we provide green spaces for bees. Our gardens can be a great source of nectar, pollen, water and building materials with a bit of thought and planning. Here are our tips:
- Long Flowering Periods
Choose plants that have a long flowering time so that there is a regular source of food for bees. If you choose a selection of varieties with different long flowering times, these will overlap so that your year is covered with a good supply of nectar and pollen. And who doesn’t love year-round flowers!
- Group Your Plants
Mass planting of bee-favourite varieties will ensure that there are plenty of flowers for bees to feast from, and they are easier for them to find and fly amongst.
- Avoid Chemicals
Many chemicals can be nasty for bees and other wildlife. Do your research into natural alternatives and avoid spraying flowers of your plants with anything. To be safe, apply any garden treatments when bees are not active (at night or a cold day). Manually pull weeds when possible (We really like the Fiskars Xact Weed Puller for this.)
- Plant Hotel
Insect hotels provide ready-made shelter in your garden for native bees, ladybirds and other creatures. You can buy them at many nurseries, or you can make them yourself with bundles of sticks, bamboo, pinecones, and wood with holes drilled in them. Get the kids on board with this one!
- Provide Water
We’ve all heard of birdbaths, but how about water for your bees too? Find a shallow ceramic dish, pop a few pebbles in as “islands” and ensure it’s topped up with fresh water.
Native plants are a fantastic choice when it comes to flowers for bees. Here are a few Austraflora favourites of ours:
- Prostanthera Minty
- Dianella varieties
- Eucalyptus Summer Scentsation
- Westringia Edna Walling Rosemary
- Grevillea Mini Marvel
To maximise your flowering times and quality you need a good native fertiliser that is 100% organic and safe for wildlife. Our choice is Native Organic Kickalong from Searles. It’s easy to apply and has a low Phosphorus nutrient ratio specifically designed for Australian native and proteaceae plants. The result is strong and healthy plant growth, soil microbial health, and vibrant blooms for longer.
Main photo by: Sandy Winkle