Bees are sometimes regarded as a menace in the backyard. They can buzz around you becoming annoying or possibly even sting you if you get them mad. The truth is that bees are very important to the productivity of your vegetable garden. Bees are the number one pollinator in the U.S. You can work like crazy on the care of your precious vegetable plants, but if bees do not visit some of the blooms, your vegetable garden could be in trouble.
Why do I want to attract bees to my vegetable garden?
Bees have an important role in the production of vegetable plants – by pollinating the flowers (or blooms). When you see a bee perched on a flower that bee is looking for two things: pollen and nectar. Pollen provides a balanced source of protein and fats for the bee. Nectar is loaded with sugar and is a bee’s main source of energy.
Bees are equipped with very tiny hairs on their bodies and legs. When the bee lands on a flower, pollen will stick to these hairs. When the bee moves to another flower he transfers the pollen from the previous flower to the next one, pollinating the bloom. This pollination is required for many garden vegetables such as some okra, beans, squash, cucumbers and many more. With out this pollination most vegetables will never set fruit, and that can be bad news for your garden.
Attracting bees to your vegetable garden
The best way to attract bees to your vegetable garden is to create an environment that bees will enjoy and visit. You can accomplish this by doing several things:
- Avoid using chemical pesticides – If you have unwanted bugs in your vegetable garden it may be tempting to use pesticides to control them. This is very bad for bees since the pesticides used to kill pests can possibly kill the bees as well. Try to avoid chemical pesticides and control pests using natural or organic methods.
- Use native plants – Use plants that are native to your particular area. Bees are far more likely to be attracted to plants they are familiar with over exotic varieties. Local plants are also more likely to grow better because they are far more adaptive to the climate conditions.
- Plant several different colored flowers – Bees have good color vision so they can pick out flowers that offer nectar and pollen. Bees are especially attracted to flowers which are white, blue, purple, violet, and yellow.
- Plant flowers in clumps – Bees will be more attracted to large batches of flowers of one species over one or two flowers spread out over an area. Plant the flowers in clumps 2 or 3 feet wide, where space permits.
- Plant where bees will visit – Bees prefer areas which are sunny and need some shelter from wind. The sunny side of a wall or fence would be perfect.
Plants and flowers that attract bees
Here is a list of excellent plant and flower choices for attracting bees. The types of plants and flowers which are attractive to bees does not stop with this list; there are many different types of plants and flowers that will attract bees. These are the most popular and easiest to grow:
- Butterfly Bush
- Black-eyed Susan
- Creosote bush
- Joe Pye Weed
- Mexican Sunflower
- Pincushion Flower
- Purple Coneflower
- Stonecrop (Sedum)
- Wild buckwheat
Here is a list of herbs that are great for attracting bees:
There are also some weeds that are great for attracting bees such as dandelions. I wouldn’t recommend planting dandelions in your vegetable garden, but if you have them in your lawn (like I do) they can act as a good bee attractant.
With recent data suggesting bee populations are declining, it could be an important time to consider attracting bees, and create a buzz in your vegetable garden!.
Start Attracting Bees To Your Garden With These Beautiful Flower Seeds!