Tips

Attracting Bees to the Garden

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Bees play an essential role as pollinators in the garden. Without bees many of our vegetables and fruit would never get to harvest stage. The members of the pumpkin family provide classic examples. These all have separate male and female flowers and, unless the pollen gets carried from the male to the female, there’s no way the cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin etc. will develop.

The solution is to plant lots of flowers in the garden to attract pollinators. Mixing flowers among the vegies not only adds colour, it helps to ensure that there are enough bees around to do the job. Of course the bees aren’t interested in helping the flowers; they’re simply chasing the nectar that the flowers produce. Pollination is incidental.

Here are some easy-to-grow, bee-attracting flowers that can be started from Yates seeds. Favourite, bee-friendly colours seem to be yellow, purple or blue.

Some of the herbs are also very bee-friendly. They have a natural affinity with vegetables and many are said to deter insect pests in the garden.

Try these herbs:

Don’t forget, though, that some people have a life-threatening allergic reaction to bees and bee-stings. Perhaps a cute sign about yours being a ‘bee-friendly garden’ will provide visitors with an appropriate warning.



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