Plant a Bee Garden
By providing a reliable source of pollen, planting a bee garden is an important way that you can help bolster your local bee population.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you grow your bee-friendly garden.
Plant native flowers
Native flowers help feed your bees and are uniquely adapted to your region. Try to use flowers to which local bees are especially adapted. You can also visit the websites of regional botanic gardens and plant nurseries for more information on bee-friendly plants.
RETHINK YOUR LAWN
You can make great use of your lawn space if you replace part or all of your front lawn grass with flowering plants, which provides food and habitat for bees and other wildlife.
Select single flower tops
...such as daisies and marigolds, rather than double flower tops such as double impatiens. Double headed flowers look showy but produce much less nectar and make it much more difficult for bees to access pollen.
Plan for blooms season-round
To provide bees with a constant source of food, plant flowers whose blooming periods range from early spring until late fall. For example, crocus and borage are spring blooms, while hosta and cosmos can provide for bees in the summer, and sedum and goldenrod will help bees in late summer and fall.
Skip the highly hybridized plants
...which have been bred not to seed and thus produce very little pollen for bees.
Build homes for solitary bees
With wild bee habitat in decline, you can lend some of your garden for bees to nest in. For solitary bees, consider leaving a sunny part of your garden uncultivated with soil surface exposed. Wood and stem-nesting bees will benefit from untended hedgerows, or hollow reeds and nesting blocks made of untreated wood. Mason bees need a source of water and mud.
Only use natural pesticides and fertilizers
Avoid using herbicides or pesticides as they are toxic to bees. Ladybugs, spiders, and praying mantises will naturally keep pest populations in check.
Create a “bee bath”
Bees need a place to get fresh, clean water. Fill a shallow container of water with pebbles or twigs for the bees to land on while drinking. Make sure to maintain the container full of fresh water to ensure that they know they can return to the same spot every day.
Live in a home without a garden?
You need only a small plot of land - it can even be a window container or rooftop - to create an inviting oasis for bees. Every little bit can help to nurture bees and other pollinators.