Attracting Bees to your Garden
Bees and other pollinators play a key role in the success of your garden, and attracting them to it benefits both you, and the ecosystem. Gardens, especially those with fruits and vegetables, are affected greatly by the ability of pollen to be transmitted from one plant to another. Pollen, once transmitted to another plant, starts the plants fruiting process, and so begins the production of the fruits and vegetables that we harvest. The same is true for some plants, shrubs, and other flowering trees that we plant in our gardens and use for landscapes. Some flowers require pollination and without it, are unable to reach their full potential, and may struggle to survive in the garden.
The first step to attracting bees and other pollinators to your garden, short of setting up your own hive, is to plant and plan your garden with them in mind. In order to do this, consider the natural landscapes that bees are use to and are comfortable in. Wild flowers and native species of plants that would be commonly found in your region are important to consider incorporating into your garden, because they are the plants that bees grew up with, are comfortable frequenting, and are most familiar with, making them the easiest for them to recognize. Another way to attract bees to your garden is to have a variety of single petal flowers, or flowers with only a single row of petals, throughout your garden. These types of flowers, like calla lilies, crocuses, or sunflowers, usually produce a greater amount of pollen, and the pollen that they do produce, is typically easier for the hungry bees and pollinators to access, than those flowers with large amounts of compact petals.
Color is another important factor in attracting pollinators to your garden. Yellow, white, purple, and blue are the best colors to have in your garden if you want to have a large population of pollinators visiting. Also, try to stager your garden so that when one variety of flowers or plants is done blooming, another is just starting. This is important because those gardens that only have a few varieties of flowering plants that all bloom at once, will have a boom of pollen production that the bees will very quickly enjoy, and then go dormant, forcing the bees and other pollinators to grow tired and search elsewhere for sources of pollen. By staggering your garden, you keep the pollinators happy all season long.
Planting herbs is also an easy way to draw pollinators. Lavender, rosemary, mints, sage, and thyme are some of the best herbs to plant, and they are guaranteed to do the trick. Once your garden is established, and you are getting a steady stream of pollinators to your garden, year after year, you will start to notice the benefits they have on your garden through more plentiful blooms, higher yields of fruits and vegetables, and a longer bloom cycle for your plants. To keep them around longer, you can consider adding a bee house for them in one corner of the garden or your yard to encourage them to establish a home near their food source, ensuring that they will be able to stay and continue their busy work.