Recently bees were added to the endangered species list. For many of us who garden this is a scary thought. Half of the battle of a fruitful garden is pollination. Without our little pollinators our garden labors will be in vain. So what can we do about it? This is a helpful guide for making your home garden more bee friendly.
It seems simple, but for many of us this can be a challenge. Often times knowing what is native to your geographic area is not a priority. We just want to plant what we like to eat or what is visually appealing in a patio pot. Luckily, making the switch to native foliage can be easy with this tool. Input your postal code and the Native Plant Finder tells you a multitude of plant varieties an what species they tend to attract.
Go Natural With Pesticides
While many name brand pesticides claim to be biodegradable or nontoxic, there have been several studies that have shown this to be false. When it comes to bee safety the best option is natural pesticides. Things like Vinegar, Epsom Salts, Eucalyptus Oil, and Neem Oil can be used to fend off a number of unwanted visitors. Making this switch will help to make your garden a bee hot spot
Add A Bird Bath Or A Place For Bees To Drink.
Attracting bees to your garden is only half the battle. Installing a bird bath will help keep your bees hydrated and interested in staying longer. You can also try a shallow bowl with a large lip. Fill the bowl with colorful marbles and water. The marbles provide the bees easy access to water with no risk of drowning.
DIY A Bee Feeder
Bee feeders are simple to make and an amazing treat for local bees. All you need is a glass jar with a lid and a finishing nail. See the video below for more instructions. For filling the feeder, mix 5lbs of 100% pure cane sugar with two and a half quarts of water. Bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Store any excess mixture in a sealed container at room temperature or in the fridge.(Pro Tip: You can use this as an organic Humming Bird Feed as well.) Never give bees artificial sweeteners or honey, which can contain traces of viruses that may be passed on.
Research Your Local Resources
Many communities have bee keeper groups. These are not just for individuals who want to raise bees. These groups are about educating the community on bee safety. Often these groups offer classes on a number of bee related topics. The classes are full of helpful tips and hits you can use in the garden. You can contact your local extension agency for more info about bee keeping and bee preservation activity.