Bee friendly Gardens. Help the Honey Bees Awesome pictures of our busy Bumble and Worker Friends.
Beautiful Bees in All Varieties
Books about bees
Bees need Bee Friendly Gardens
The first thing to say about Bee gardens is not to attract bees if you are allergic to their sting. Some people, my mother included have a dangerous reaction to Bee stings and should keep an antidote available at all times. That said, however, a garden designed to encourage bees is doing nearly everyone a favor. Poor bees are having a hard time of it, Insecticides, poisonous herbicides and mulching are having very adverse effect on bees. Mulching covers up the bare earth and makes it very difficult for the great number of solitary ground dwelling bees to find a place to nest.
Colony collapse Disorder is a recent plague to hit bees and no one knows what causes it. Any thing one can do to encourage bees is good. We can help in our own back yards with a little bit of planning. This means banning all chemicals and mulches. Leaving deadwood around with worm holes in it will give homes to the many varieties of carpenter bee. Other solitary bees may be enticed with bee homes made of clusters of thin pipes that can be used as homes,These may be ordered commercially. There are pheromone sprays that can be used to entice bees if you have produce that needs pollinating.
In order to encourage bees naturally into the garden it may be necessary to leave weeds like dandelions in the ground till they have flowered. Clumps of bee friendly flowers should be planted close together. My Canadian Red Bud tree is alive with bees early in the season. Later honeysuckle and lantana take over. This year I grew Artichokes and I allowed some of them to flower quite by accident. Not only was I rewarded with wonderful, big, blue, thistle like blooms but to my amazement the bees love them. It was standing room only! Bees of all description, from the massive black bumble bees to tiny wild bees flocked to the blossoms. It was a sight to behold.
Here is a list of plants recommended for North American Gardens http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/gbt.html . Many plants recommended for bees attract butterflies and hummingbirds too. In Wales, my overgrown privet hedge groans with the sound of bees in midsummer. It is also covered with Red Admiral Butterflies and is a delight to see. Plan your garden so that you have as many native plants s possible as they will do best for your area. Visit local parks and nursery gardens to give you ideas for suitable plants for bees.
The ultimate bee garden would contain hive if this could be arranged with local bee keeper. This would not be wise if you have young children or horses. Bees are not aggressive unless disturbed but it is best not to tempt fate! Bees are very attracted to the scent of horses and my local bee keeper refused to put a hive in the garden because of horses in the next field.You must be the judge of what will work best for you.
Recently, the garden in summer has attracted so many bees that it has become hazardous to venture out! Yesterday I got stung but fortunately TCP saved the day and the pain went away quickly. So do be careful if you have young children, horses or are allergic to their sting. Otherwise enjoy!