How To Make Your Garden Bee-friendly
Our head beekeeper, Nick Hoefly, was recently included in a run down of "Expert Advice on How to Raise Insects at Home" on Porch.com. Here is his advice on making your garden bee-friendly...
There are many things you can do to make your garden more bee-friendly. Attracting pollinators is essential and the best way to do this is to provide them with food. Bees love nectar-rich flowers, so plant some in your garden. A variety of colors and shapes will attract bees and many other pollinators as well. You will see the best results by focusing on native plants. Your local nursery or florist can help you in determining the best plants for your area.
In addition to food, a simple way is to provide a water source for the bees. This can be as easy as filling a birdbath or fountain with water. A tray or dish can also suffice. Be sure to add rocks, marbles, or wine corks to act as little islands for the bees to stand on so they don’t drown. Did you know that bees prefer puddle water as opposed to clean tap water? While it might sound wrong to give them dirty water, the bees get many of the minerals they need to survive from their water sources. Don’t fret if some moss or dirt ends up in or around your water source.
Finally, leave the leaves. In the fall, many species of bees need safe areas of dirt or undisturbed stems, shoots, or reeds to nest inside for winter. By leaving a layer of leaves and/or brush, you will set your garden up to house pollinators over winter, raising your chances of them sticking around next season.
The more you can bring bees and other pollinators into your garden, the healthier your plants will be and the more they will fruit. An active pollinator garden is also a wonderful thing to just sit and watch on a summer afternoon.