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According to research, there are more than 20,000 bee species around the world and more than 5,000 native bee species in the U.S alone. Bees play a significant role in the world's food supply as they are indispensable pollinators of most plants.
90% of flowering plant species in the world depend on insect pollinators like bees for them to survive. Without bees, most of these crops would fail. This would affect the food supply for humans and other species.
Why You Need a Bee Garden
One of every three bites of food you eat is made possible because of bees and other pollinators. Bees pollinate many crops like tomatoes, almonds, apples, and mangoes. Sadly, there has been a dramatic decline in the population of bees due to climate change, habitat fragmentation, and excessive use of pesticides.
Designing and planting a bee garden at home provides food and shelter for bees. This allows bees to nest and increase their population in a safe haven. In return, your garden and those around you will increase their productivity due to adequate pollination.
How to Prepare a Bee Garden At Home
When preparing and designing a bee garden, there are essential elements you should consider.
Choose Plants that Attract Bees
For bees to survive, they require both pollen and nectar plants. Adult bees feed on nectar plants and carry pollen from plants to feed their young ones. When selecting plants for your bee garden, it's advisable to…
Plant a Variety of Plants that Bloom at Different Seasons
Planting plants that bloom in the different seasons ensures that there is a steady supply of nectar and pollen throughout the year. Sunflower is a good bee plant that blooms throughout the season.
Choose Native Plants
It is good to plant plants that local bees are adapted to. Native plants will attract a variety of native bees that are foraging for nectar and pollen.
Select Single Flower Tops
Single flower tops are the best for bees. This is unlike the double-headed flowers that grow extra petals, which makes it more difficult for bees to access pollen. The double plants also produce less nectar, which makes them less attractive to bees.
Look for Flowers with Traits that Attract Bees
Pollination syndrome is a combination of traits in a flower that makes it more attractive to bees. Such characteristics include; the amount of nectar produced, flower shape and size, color, odor, and pollen presentation.
Plants like butterfly bush produce lots of nectar, a unique aspect for attracting bees. Yellow, blue, and purple flowers commonly attract bees.
Select Plants with Both Shallow and Deeper Flowers
Small bees have shorter tongues. They are attracted to small, shallow flowers, like the buttercup, marigold, daisy, and butterfly weed.
Large bees, on the other hand, have long tongues and can handle deeper flowers like snapdragon, larkspur, and delphinium. Combining shallow and deeper flowers in your bee garden will attract all types of bees.
Limit the Use of Pesticides
Limiting the use of insecticides in your bee garden ensures that bees are not poisoned and killed. If you have to use pesticides while gardening, only use the natural ones that are not harmful to bees.
Create a Fresh Water Spot
Gardening bees is incomplete without a water paddle where bees can drink fresh and clean water. You can fill a shallow container with water or have several paddles in muddy areas in your garden. Ensure that the water is always fresh and full.
Build a Home for Nesting
As the natural habitat for bees continues to decline, creating shelters and homes for nesting in your garden is very important and you can also harvest delicious honey. Bees can nest on old pieces of wood or hollow reeds.
For the solitary bees, they nest in the ground. Leave an area in your garden that is uncultivated with soil surface for the solitary bees to create their nest.
Preparing a bee garden and inviting an array of bees in your garden is simple. By planting their favorite flowers and considering all these tips, you will have a bee-friendly garden.