It's true, your happy little garden will be even happier if you can draw more bees in its direction. And you'll be happier, when you can sit back and watch the bees working, knowing you did your part to help them thrive. The truth is, we all sort of helped mess up a good thing. Between GMO plants and over-stressing bees by trafficking them to and from large crops in need of pollination, bees are now at risk of collapsing not just a single hive, but many hives across the planet. Think of the good you could be doing by giving local bees a safe place to find nectar, pollen, water and space - all of which are critical for bees in keeping their hives healthy. Together, we can all make small changes for a big results. Here is a list of ideas to help them out:
Build a hive. Nowadays, you don't need to be a crazy-obsessive bee expert to care for bees. There are all kinds of books and online sources to provide you with a step-by-step guide to beekeeping. Pinterest has tons of different hive plans, tips and tricks! Otherwise, look into the local chapter of beekeepers and see if any of them would be willing to care for a hive if you foot the bill, and provide the space. You can work out keeping a jar or two of liquid gold for the effort and the reward of knowing you did your part...Sweet!
Plant bee-friendly flowers. Planting flowers that bees love around your yard and garden (or even in that empty lot down the road), can provide more locations for bees to do their thing! Some especially bee-friendly flowers include: Clover, Chamomile, Thyme, Pennyroyal, Cosmos, Lavender, Chives, Crocus, and Primrose. Try to find and plant local, wild, and organic seeds since hybrid seeds are sterile and provide no real nutrition for bees.
Provide water. Bees drink like us, but they also get wet and turn into little AC units in the hives. A bird bath with a small branch or pine cone for getting in and outworks great, or fill a dish with a layer of marbles on the bottom, and fill with water halfway up the marbles. This also gives the bees a safe place to land while they have a drink. Whichever you choose, fill your hydration station with water days ahead to let the chemicals from the tap water fade out. The buzz is they will like it more.
Keep it light. Bees like places that are light in color (it is believed that they are programmed to stay away from things that are the same color as a bear or a honeybadger), so make sure the surroundings are calm and light in color where you are wanting to "bee" watching bees.
Have fun and take pictures of them in your garden, we would love to see them! Email your images to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Facebook or Instagram @RCherbals.