Not many of us are aware that bees play a very important role in maintaining overall balance in our ecosystem. Almost a third of all that we eat is thanks to the pollinating role of bees.
Almost 84 percent of crops that humans consume, including about 400 different types of plants, require bees to help them pollinate. Most vegetables and fruits that we eat, along with plants such as coffee, tea and some that turn into oil, also require bees for pollination, to help their quality and growth. And not just food, even crops such as cotton require bees to pollinate.
So is it any wonder that we really need these little visitors in our gardens to help our plants grow better? If you have a kitchen garden or even a few kitchen plants in your balcony or window, attracting the bees will help you get better quality of produce.
How Can I Attract Bees To My Plants?
It’s not very difficult to attract bees to your plants. Here are a few easy methods you can try, whether you have a regular garden or a balcony or window garden.
1. Include Flowering Plants – Make sure you have different types of flowering plants, including lots of variety so that you have blooms all year round. You can choose flowering plants of different heights, flowers as well as shapes. Planting wildflowers will attract lots of native bees.
2. Plant Single Flowers – Flowers that have a single ring of petal are the best type of bee attractor. They will provide more pollen and nectar to the bees and they will keep coming back for more. If you have flowers that have double layers of petals, it can make it difficult for the bee to reach the center.
3. Keep It A Little Messy – Do not worry about creating a mess in your garden area. In fact, the more mud and soil you have there, the more it will attract the bees by providing them nesting material.
4. No Pesticide – Using pesticides will keep the bees away; in fact, even using homemade natural and organic pesticides can keep the bees away. If you have a small garden, you can try and remove the bugs and weeds by hand. If you must use something, try and use homemade natural pesticides. Make sure you never use them while the bees or butterflies are around, and definitely not on any open blossom.
5. Plant Blue, Yellow And Purple – These are the favourite colours of the bees, so if you have these colours in your garden, be sure to see those little bees soon. Some varieties that are known to attract bees include mint, daisies, zinnias, oregano, lavender, sunflower, squash and such.
6. Keep A Bee Bath – Take a shallow dish and add a few stones in it, such that the bees can ‘land’ on them. Now fill the dish with water and keep it on the ground next to your plants. The bees need to drink a lot of water, but find it difficult to land and drink. The bee bath will help them find food and water in the same place, making them come back.
I still do not have a garden at home, even though my parents have created quite an interesting one in their home balconies. While I’ve earlier tried and failed, I’m sure some of you are experts at urban gardening, meaning creating your own garden in a balcony or window, or such small space that we get in cities. If you have, do share your tips with us about how you attract bees. I’m sure many of our readers will get to learn a lot from you, including moi 🙂
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