I have been on a hiatus from the blog. Not from gardening, though. The hiatus has been forced to some extent, due to lack of time or other pressing concerns. However, now the blog is active again, and I hope to see you here!
Today, we will take a detour from regular gardening and talk about something related but important to every garden – Bees.
To be honest, bees are not important just to your garden; they’re important to the whole world. Bees pollinate, and because of pollination and the resultant fertilisation, a flower becomes a fruit and bears seeds. These seeds carry the next generation within themselves. If bees become extinct, we cannot even begin to comprehend how far reaching the consequences would be.
Sadly, poor hard working bees are facing a grave threat to their very existence. It’s our duty to help out these little beings that carry us all on their shoulders. Here are some ideas you can incorporate in your garden to help bees:
- Grow flowers that bees love – While bees like all flowers, there are some that are they prefer over the rest. Read a bit, ask around to find out which of the plants that you have access to, are favourable to bees. Plants such as Chrysanthemums, Calendula, Desi Rose, Plumbago, Hibiscus, Dahlias and Daisies are known to be favourites.
- Single/open flowers – Double headed flowers produce much less nectar, and the pollen is also difficult for bees to reach. Basically, it’s a lot of hard work in vain.
- Give the hybrids a miss – Most hybrids are designed such that they do not form fruit or seed. Hence, they don’t really need pollen. Again a waste of effort for the bees.
- Flowering plants instead of a lawn – Lawns are bare and of no use to the bees. You could utilise the space by planting a field full of yummy beautiful flowers. If you must have a lawn, you can try to create multiple borders full of flowering plants for the bees to feast on – every bit helps.
- Keep a steady supply of flowers throughout the year – Bees are highly intelligent creatures. They memorise routes. If your garden is a supply of food for them, they’ll keep coming back – meaning if it’s suddenly bare of flowers, they’ll come and then have to look around elsewhere. Make a plan involving perennials and seasonals, accounting for all seasons. This ensures a steady supply of food for bees at all times.
- Use only natural pesticides, or none if you can help it – Chemical pesticides cannot differentiate. They kill friend and foe alike – aphids, caterpillars, bees, ladybugs. Use natural and organic insect repellents, not insect killers. Try not to use pesticides if you can help it.
- Make a spot of water for them – Bees need access to fresh water along with flowers. Make a bird or bee bath of sorts, for them to drink and get fresh. Keep it clean, and they’ll keep coming back!
- Leave areas for them to nest – If you have a big enough garden, leave some areas untouched for the bees to nest in and make their hives. Try not to disturb any hives as long as they’re not dangerous.
Even if you do not have an open garden space, you can make your own contribution on your balcony or windowsill! If you want to have a green space and flowers, why not plant bee-friendly ones and kill two birds with one stone? You can make a yummy haven for bees even in a pot!
I really hope that I have managed to convince someone out there to treat bees as friends and do a small bit to help them. It’s time we help these tiny winged angels that are the reason behind all food we eat. Until we meet again, take care and keep gardening!