How to make your garden or balcony bee-friendly!
Want to do something good and become a bee saver? I asked myself this same question and there was only one simple answer to it. YES, YES and of course, YES. We all know that bees are dying all over the world, because of pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global warming and more. And the topic of saving this little heroes is getting bigger every day. And the good new is that there is a thing or two that any individual can do to help prevent the extinction of the bees.
Let me start with a few facts about bees that may open your mind to how precious these insects actually are.
Bees (there are not only wild and honey bees but many many more species) perform about 80 percent of all pollination worldwide. A single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers each day.
That makes almost two third of the human food crops that are pollinated by bees. So the supply of foods is more or less dependent on them and we if the bees are gone, we are going to starve sooner or later. Sounds overwhelming right?
Now what is threatening the bees viability? There is one simple answer, us humans! We are largely responsible for the two most prominent causes which are pesticides and habitat loss.
Now it is our turn to make a change and start protecting the bees. But what can we really do? We can start buying organically grown produce, where pesticides are strictly forbidden. Or we can also make our environment, our garden or balcony a welcoming place for bees.
Here's what changes you can make to your garden or balcony:
Plant flowers: Grow a range of plants that will provide a continuous flowering period ( mainly from March to September). Bees love the blooms of herbs like sage, lavender, mint, basil, common balm, chive, thyme and rosemary and also those of fruit trees (like apple, apricot, cherry etc.) In general plant flowers with pollen and not decorative flowers that just look pretty, but don't serve the bees at all.
A great bee attractor are lawn clovers and dandelions, they provide a great deal of pollen and nectar for bees. That means you can relax on your weeding, or just leave certain areas of the garden completely undisturbed and let those flowers bloom.
Provide shelter: A bees hotel is a great way to attract the wild bees (solitary species). Solitary bees lay their eggs in cavities and leave some food for the larvae to eat. They also need a space where they can hide which could also be an empty snail shell.
Provide water: Bees need to drink water too and you can help them by providing water stations. Just take a flat bowl or flower pot trivet and put some stones into it so the bees can land safely and won't be able to drown.
I got all the information that I provided here on this post from Greenpeace: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/sustainable-agriculture/save-the-bees/
Go ahead and immerse yourself in this important topic!
Together we can make a difference and help wherever and whenever we can. It brings me so much joy watching these busy bees doing their hard work while visiting our garden.
By Natascha, June 21st 2019