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Attracting Bees to Your Garden!

 Having bees buzzing around to act as pollinators brings life to your garden as they help to make flowers and other plants lush and abundant.  You can attract these bees by planting wildflowers, fruits, vegetables, sunflowers, letting your garden grow a little wild, and by providing them with water and shelter. Keep reading to learn more about how to attract bees.
 

Planting Bee-Friendly Flowers

1. Plant Flowers Native to Your Area

Bees
Bees evolved with wildflowers, and the bees in your area will respond best to the flowers that they “grew up with.” If you’re not sure what flowers are native to your area, go to the local gardening store and ask them for a native wildflower mix, or do some research online before ordering seeds.
• The more wildflowers you plant, the more bees you’ll attract, and the better your garden will grow.
• Aim to plant a wide diversity of flowers with a range of shapes and textures, not just one or two types. The more diverse your garden is, the better it will support different bee species as well as other highly beneficial insects and wildlife. 

Plant Flowers with Single Petals

Flowers with a single row of petals, rather than flowers with more than one row, are more attractive to bees. Single-petaled flowers contain more pollen than other flowers, so they provide a little more food for hungry honey bees. It’s also much easier for bees to reach the pollen when there is only one row of petals to crawl across. Here are a few flowers that bees really love:

• Asters
• Calliopsis
• Clover
• Cosmos
• Crocuses
• Dahlias
• Foxglove
• Geraniums
• Hollyhocks
• Hyacinth
• Marigolds
• Poppies
• Roses
• Snowdrops
• Sunflowers
• Zinnias

2. Plant Yellow, Blue, White, and Purple Flowers
Bees

These particular colors attract bees more than oranges, pinks, and reds do. Your garden doesn’t have to be all yellow, blue, and purple, but having a good amount of flowers with these hues will keep the bees in your yard.

3. Plant Flowers That Bloom in Sequence

If all your flowers bloom at once, the bees will have a nice feast, then run out of food before the summer is over. Therefore, you should plant a variety of flowers that will bloom throughout the spring, summer, and into the fall in order to keep the bees in your garden fed and happy.

 

4. Plant Flowering Fruit and Vegetable Plants

Berries, melons, cucumbers, squash, and fruit trees, especially cherry trees, all produce fragrant flowers and fruit that bees love. Bees absolutely adore the following fruit and vegetables:

• Blackberries
• Cantaloupe
• Cucumbers
• Gourds
• Cherry trees
• Peppers
• Pumpkins
• Squash
• Strawberries
• Watermelons

5. Plant Herbs That Attract Bees

Bees

If you have some space for a small herb garden, that’s another great way to attract some bees. Here’s a list of herbs that bees love:

• Bee balm
• Borage
• Catnip
• Coriander
• Fennel
• Lavender
• Mints
• Rosemary
• Sage 
• Thyme

Making Your Yard a Bee Haven

1. Let it get a Little Wild

If your grass is close-clipped, every stick has been picked up, and there’s not a muddy spot to be found, bees will have difficulty finding a home in your yard, no matter how many wildflowers you plant. Bees are wild creatures who need wild habitat to survive. If you want bees to take up residence in your garden, do the following:

• Leave some open, meadow-like spaces in your garden.
• Leave an area un-mowed and let wild clover grow. If you don’t have clover in your yard, scatter some white clover seed over the area in the fall.
• Leave a small brush pile and some leaves lying where they fell. Bees will use them to make a home. 
• Leave patches of exposed dirt that turn to mud when it rains. Some bees live underground and will thank you for access to mud they need.

2. Make a Bee Bath

Bees have difficult using birdbaths, because they aren’t able to land in deep water. They need an island to land on so they can walk to the edge and take a drink without drowning.

To make a bee bath, take a wide, shallow dish or tray and line the edges with flat rocks. Pour water over the rocks and into the bottom of the tray. Place it in your garden near the flowers that attract the most bees. They will be able to land on the rocks and access the water.

3. Provide a Bee Shelter
Bees
Rotting vegetation and stumps are great shelters for bees. More and more backyard gardeners are installing hives and other bee shelters to provide nesting spots for bees. If you’re serious about attracting and keeping bees in your yard, this is something you should also consider. You can build a small bee house by using the following method:
• Take a small wooden box and paint it with a bright color, preferably white, yellow, blue or purple. Use organic paint so the bees won’t get sick. 
• Layer the box with nesting tubes, standing them upright. You can buy these from a garden store or make your own by rolling brown craft paper around a pencil, pinching off the end, and holding it together with tape, leaving the other ends open. Fill the box with these tubes standing upright, so that the exposed holes are easy for the bees to climb into.
• Turn the box on its side. Hang from a tree or post at eye level in an area that is sheltered from bad weather. 
• Dig up an area of the ground nearby to expose dirt and clay that the bees can use to build their nest.

4. Stop Using Pesticides of Any Kind

Bees are susceptible to pesticides and other chemicals sprayed and used in the garden. You should aim to have a pesticide-free garden and use pest-ridden remedies that are natural and not reliant on chemicals. If you do spray your plants, only do so after dusk, when pollinators are least active. Avoid using chemicals that are known to harm bees.

5. Plant Flowering Trees to Attract Bees

Trees provide bees with large amounts of food when they’re in full bloom. They are also a fantastic addition to the landscape. If you’re in North America, some good trees include:

• American Basswood
• Southern Magnolia
• Sourwood
• Redbud
• Crabapple
• Locust
• Serviceberry
• Tulip Trees

 

Source: wikihow
Images: depositphotos

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