Bee Garden Gone Wrong;
Where Are The Bees?
Spring has come and gone and bees are buzzing about, you have this beautiful and lush garden but no bees are indulging in all the flora. Why? It is noble to want to plant for the bees to help them and save them from their dwindling numbers, but sometimes good intentions don’t always work out. So, what could be wrong with your bee garden?
What’s In Your Garden?
First off, do you have peppermint, cinnamon, or garlic? All three and other similar plants may ward away bees due to the unappealing or overbearing smell. Some bees may make the trek over but there is a good chance you won’t get all the bees you want. Though every bit does help, perhaps leaving these plants out of your yard will aid in bringing in more bees.
Perhaps you are growing your own vegetables; we all know fresh produce is the best. But, certain foods can ward them away. Bees tend to have a distaste for cucumber which is believed to be from the acid that simply does not resonate with the busy little pollinators. So, if you have cucumbers, why not set them aside of set up a greenhouse? This will help attract bees to the greater selection you may have.
We all know bees LOVE flowers! I mean, how else do they make honey? Well, some flowers really are a no-go for our friends. A variety is good and nice to see, but what are the main colors? Maybe red? Well, there is the first issue. Bees see the world in an unique and amazing way that helps them find the best flowers. Red -however- doesn’t come up very clear to the bees and may be skipped all together. So, consider lots of yellow, blue, and purple -all these will still help you have a gorgeous garden still; but the bees can see them way better.
Smell is a huge one, the more fragrant the more the bees think, “Oh wow, it’s a buffet.” So; the opposite also has a similar effect. Weak scented flowers won’t really attract the bees; so, consider some rather fragrant flowers to attract more bees. So, if you have light fragrant flowers maybe plant them near your house where you don’t want bees but want lovely color -like those red flowers.
Next up, the shape. Those shaped like trumpets are a pain for bees to squeeze through for nectar. So, most will avoid them to conserve energy and time. Consider flowers that are more open and easy for a bee to maneuver about. Less bees will come if the garden is too challenging to get what they need.
Finally, did you know some flowers are lethal or -at least- harmful to bees and the honey? Rhododendrons are a rather nasty one that can make bees sick as well as make any honey that is created unsafe for human consumption. Also, azaleas and oleanders are also bad for bees and can be very harmful. So, it is best to just avoid these flowers and most of all; you should do your research to make sure you have a nice variety that works for the bees and you for a good and successful bee friendly garden.
Food For Thought
Another thing you can do to help bring more bees to your garden is bee water. We have mentioned this before but a reminder is always nice. These simple little water stations are life savers for the bees as they can travel long distances and may get dehydrated. Also, bees cannot swim and are very susceptible to drowning. These are super easy and you can be really creative with making them.
What you will need:
- A container to hold the water – a pet bowl, pie tin, bucket, a birdbath, or something of the likes that will hold water.
- Rocks, marbles, pieces of wood, moss, or others things for bees to land on. Bees cannot swim, so this is very important.
Yeah, it can really be as simple as that! The hardest is remembering to refill the water frequently, so that the bees don’t run out.
We hope all of this helps you make a much more flourishing bee friendly garden so you can help us in our mission to save the bees. If we missed anything please let us know in the comments below. The bee loving community should all know and share the best was to help bees so they can some day thrive as they did.