Bees help us, a lot! As much as 3/4 of the food we eat depends on bees for pollination. And now more than ever, our bee friends could use a hand in return. This can be as easy and fun as potting up a planter or two, or scattering a few wildflower seeds in an unused section of your yard. Whatever the scale of your garden, we gardeners can make a big difference for our little buzzing buddies!
What can I plant for bees?
Lucky for us, bees are mostly interested in flowers – bright, beautiful flowers! Their favourites are purple, white, and yellow blooms, though most flowers will look inviting to their eyes. Mass plantings are easiest for bees to find, especially any of those listed below, but variety is also good to feed a wider range of bees species as each one has a tongue suitable for a particular shape of flower.
Vegetable gardens are also great for pollinators, and attracting bees to your veggie garden can really increase your yields! Lastly, include a few native or heirloom varieties in your garden – newer hybrids that are bred for flower size or other characteristics can be short on the pollen and nectar bees are looking for.
But won’t they sting me??
I was terrified of bees as a child – like run-for-the-house-screaming-and-crying-for-Mom kind of terrified. But now my garden buzzes with bees all summer long, and every chance I get I’m out working right beside them. I’ve been stung quite a few times in the past, but never in my garden. Go slowly, watch where you’re grabbing when dead-heading or pruning, and everybody should get along just fine.