If you are a gardener or farmer, you may know the importance of pollination. Without this process, plants cannot produce enough seeds, and many of the fruits and vegetables we eat will no longer exist. In fact, more than a thousand crops need pollination, so it's helpful to know how to attract bees to your garden. In short, you should avoid using pesticides, planting flowers of the right type and color, and installing beehives. In this article, Savana will show you more details as below.
1. Avoid pesticides
Many people use pesticides to kill species that eat or harm plants. Unfortunately, pesticides, especially insecticides, can kill bees.
In fact, products containing neonicotinoids (i.e. thiamethoxam, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid) and fipronil can harm bees in the garden.
Therefore, it is essential not to use these substances completely. If you must use pesticides, please carefully check the label before purchasing.
At the same time, follow these tips:
- Limit the use of pesticides to the night when bees are inactive.
- Do not use dust and wettable powder insecticides. These easily stick to bees and kill them.
- Choose chemicals that lose their potency in hours rather than days or weeks.
- Spray pesticides by hand as much as possible, and avoid the use of aircraft to distribute materials, especially in windy days. Otherwise, pesticides may accidentally touch bees.
2. Use the right plants
Choose native plants
The following is a short list of native plants in the United States, classified by region:
California - Lady phacelia, California poppy, Cleveland sage, common sunflower, California purple, Oregon grape, silver shrub lupine, California buckwheat.
- Florida - Spotted mint, buttercup, blue mist flower, seashore yellow flower, eastern redbud, shining berry, button flower, flat wood plum.
- Northern Plains (Wyoming, Nebraska, etc.) - purple cloudwort, purple grassland clover, wild bergamot, Maximilian sunflower, bitter cherry.
- Southeast region (Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, etc.) - smooth penstein in the east, rose in the east, hawthorn in chicken feet, herbage rose, maypop.
- Northeast China - wild geranium, blue verbena, thistle, printed aster, raspberry, nine leaf tree, New Jersey tea.
- Albuquerque and Santa Fe - Evening primrose, bee fragrance, gay feathers, Apache feathers, desert willow.
- The Great Lakes region - wild lupine, peppermint, chicken wing root, bottled gentian, lead plants.
- Northwest Maritime Area - Common Kamas, selfheal, Puget Sound gumweed, Nootka rose, Douglas spiraea, coyote brush.
- Central and western regions - wild pelargonium, smooth penstein, giant yellow achyranthes, winged stems, grassland willow.
- The southern plain area - Prairie penstein, lemon bee flower, dot hot star, aromatic aster, cockscomb plum.
- Mid Atlantic region - golden pheasant, mountain mint, New England aster, sneezing root grass, faded willow, basswood.
Choose the right flower colors
What attracts bees? The answer to this question is "blue flowers, purple flowers, yellow flowers, purple flowers and white flowers". Many of the plants we listed above will have flowers with these colors, so you can use this technique and the previous one at the same time.
It's better to have all kinds of flowers and put them together. This will save you garden space. In addition, a large number of flowers are more likely to attract bees.
Have different flower shapes
Different bee species will be conducive to pollination with different flower shapes.
For example, bumblebees like flowers with deep tubes like acorns, but they are not as small and flat as angelica flowers.
Another example is bees, which do not fertilize humming pollinators such as borage, but collect nectar from open bowl buttercups and shrub roses.
These are some reasons why it is recommended to plant various flowers in your yard. Generally speaking, single petal flora is the best.
3. Grow plants year-round
Because bees are active most of the year and stay in their hives in winter, your garden should be in full bloom from March to September.
As long as this is the case, honey, wood bees and bumblebees will come to your yard from spring to autumn.
If you want to attract specific types of pollinators, check them when they are active. For example, the southeast blueberry bee only appears when blueberries bloom.
4. Set up a bee house
Another way to attract bees to the garden is to provide them with shelter. You can do this by building a bee house.
- Choose products made of breathable materials and avoid bamboo. This ensures that the hive is easier to dry and less vulnerable to mites.
- Secure the house to prevent it from collapsing due to the wind. If the house is stable, the bees will land in it effortlessly.
- After bees leave, you should clean their nests. Think of the hive as your room. If it is never disinfected, it will eventually become livable.
- This house is reserved for bee pollinators in your garden. Therefore, it is important to prevent birds from taking over the structure. You can use metal mesh for this.
- Small cells are easier to maintain.
- Choose products with pendants so that rainwater does not enter them. Nesting holes should be 6 inches long and 4 to 10 mm in diameter.
- The hive should face the sun because these insects need to keep warm.
5. Place wood piles in your garden
For this method, you’ll need:
- Wood chips
Step 1: First, find some logs and put them in the yard.
Step 2: Then, drill holes of different sizes on the log and erect the wood block on the ground. These holes are where bees build their nests.
Step 3: For example, a hole with a diameter of ⅚ inch will attract the orchard mason bees.
Tips: In addition to using logs, you should also put a basin of water in the garden and leave an area without covers. These measures will make your lawn more attractive to bees.
Can I Attract Bees With Honey?
Bees are attracted to honey and can even smell it. If you put this substance outside, these creatures may find it and eat it.
Now, you may think that you can use bees' attraction to honey to introduce them into your garden. However, it is not wise to implement this method.
The honey in the supermarket will cause these pollinators to become infected. In addition, if you are not a beekeeper, you will not know how or what to feed bees, so it is better not to risk their health.
Can I Supply Bees With Sugar Water?
Suppose bees build their own hives in your garden, and you want to know whether they should be fed sugar water to promote their growth.
Generally speaking, bees should do this only in winter when they have little food of their own. However, remember the following:
- Feeding honey bees syrup means they may not pollinate your plants because these creatures no longer need to look for food.
- Sugar water may attract too many bees. Although you want them to appear in your garden, too many of these insects may be unpleasant.
- If you are not a beekeeper, you'd better not feed bees. You must consider which sugar to use (the answer is white sugar) and the ratio of sugar to water (1:1).
Last but not least, if the bees are dying, it is useless to feed them, and you are likely to be stung.
How to attract bees to your garden? If you try one or more of the methods we describe, you won't have to worry about your plants being unable to grow due to lack of fertilization.
In addition, there is no need to use self pollinating fruits or hire bees.