Though summer is on it’s way out in my neck of the woods, I’m still going to drop these tips just in case someone in a warmer, dryer climate might benefit from the info.
I’ll be posting 🍂 AUTUMN 🍂 specific tips next week.
🐝 Summer Flowers To Attract Bees
Regardless of the season, one of the best things you can do to help bees is to plant flowers and maintain a year round pollinator garden to ensure your bee visitors always have something to eat.
- Oregano (let go to flower)
- Bee Balm
- Giant Coneflowers
- Sweet Coneflowers
- Lesser Calamint
- Black-eyed Susans
- Pineapple Sage
- Russian Sage
- Bluebeard (Caryopteris)
Native plants are always best, check out these Pollinator Friendly Plants Lists by The Xerces Society. Find your region and choose plants that bees would naturally find in the area.
🐝 Look For Bee-Friendly Alternatives To Pesticides and Harsh Chemicals
Check out Garden Collage’s awesome guide to safe, bee-friendly pest control. A few of these I use in my own garden every year.
Another strategy is to attract the beneficial insects that eat the pests you want removed, such as encouraging ladybugs into your garden to manage an aphid problem, or praying mantises who will catch and eat a whole variety of pests. If you live in an area that is unlikely to be visited by these beneficial bugs, they are often sold in nurseries and garden centers, as well as shipped by many online retailers and can be released directly into your garden (check your local laws before importing insects).
Consider leaving harmless spiders on your plants also, this has been difficult for me personally, but a previous whitefly problem is now almost non existent if my spiders get left alone to do their thing.
For more information: OrganicLesson.com has a great article with a list of beneficial bugs for pest control as well as flowers that attract them naturally.
🐝 Go Organic If Possible
Organic farmers don’t use toxic pesticides that can kill or harm bees, or herbicides to kill the weeds that provide nourishment for pollinators. Buying organic produce indirectly helps bees by supporting these farmers, but also uses your buying power to let retailers know there is a market for organic produce. Purchasing fruit and vegetables from a local farmer’s market or joining a CSA is also a great way to support your local bees. A good resource for locating potential CSAs and Farmer’s Markets near you is Local Harvest.org.