It’s no secret that bees are one of the most important insects that make up our ecosystem. Aside from the fact that they give us the well-loved organic sweetener, honey, these winged insects pollinate almost 80% of our plant life. Yes, their hard work is actually one of the reasons why we have food on our tables. Without bees, imagine how much less our food supply would be. Not only will we succumb to artificial food resources as an alternative to nutritious fruits and vegetables. It will also affect us in several other aspects of life on the daily.
According to studies, there had been 5 million colonies of honeybees in the world during the post – Word War II. These days, however, we only have half of that number. Sadly, we’ve been continuously seeing a decline in honeybees, which is brought by a number of factors. These include the following:
- Genetically modified crops
- Streamline production of honey (feeding bees corn syrup instead of wildflowers)
- Stronger pesticides
- Climate change
However, the decline in bees we are seeing right now can still be reversed if people take matters into their own hands and contribute to the solution. You can start by avoiding commercial honey and honey-based products in grocery stores. Go to your local farmer’s market and get wild, organic honey from reputable beekeepers who don’t subject their bees to cruel honey production conditions.
Another thing that you can do to help these hardworking winged insects is to make your own bee-friendly yard. The best part is: every homeowner with a yard can manage to pull this off. In the following section, we will be sharing with you what to plant to make your yard bee-friendly.
Creating a bee-friendly garden, which will serve as a sanctuary for honeybees, is not as hard as it looks. All it takes is knowing what to plant to make your yard bee-friendly. Of course, you’re going to need a patch of land large enough to grow plants and flowers that are rich in pollen and a few gardening tools for maintenance.
Fruit Trees and Shrubs
Most fruit trees are able to attract bees when they’re going through the process of flowering. Some of the most ideal fruit trees to plant in a bee-friendly garden or yard would be the Cherry, Peach, Nectarine, and Royal Gala Apple trees. Fruit trees each have their own requirements for pollination, and bees play a huge role in this department. Aside from fruit trees, you can also plant shrubs of berries. Blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, and blueberry are particularly known to attract pollinating bees.
Many of the vegetables we bring to our tables and salads also bear flowers, and in the flowering process, they are able to attract bees as well as ensure a good harvest. Hard working bees are particularly attracted to the flowers of onions and chives, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, melons, cauliflowers, radish, and broccoli. If you’re a vegan and you grow your own vegetables, this is a great opportunity for you to save the bees and recognize their unsolicited hard work.
Native Flowering Plants
What to plant to make your yard bee-friendly doesn’t totally consist of hard to find plant life like some fruit trees. You can grow even the most common flowering plants in your region. Since native flowering plants are those that have adapted specially to local environmental conditions, such as climate and coexisting plants and wildlife, you won’t have much problems in sustaining them in your garden or yard, which means your bee sanctuary can also stay for much longer. If you’re new to gardening, you can always ask your green-thumbed neighbors for the best native flowering plants that grow best in your part of the world.
Herbs are well-loved not only by casual gardeners but also by chefs, botanists, and well, bees. Aside from being an edible, and not to mention fragrant type of plant, they also serve as a natural repellent for pests. Bees, on the other hand, are avid pollinators. Just make sure you know how to grow these plants because they can spread like crazy.
For a more bee-friendly yard or garden, you can also make DIY bee houses, and cute little bee baths. Now that you know what to plant to make your yard bee-friendly, go forth and build bees a well-deserved sanctuary!