How To Increase Pollinating Bees In Your Garden


 How To Increase Pollinating Bees In Your Garden

There are two basic types of insects that good gardeners will need in their garden: pollinating insects and insects that prey on insects. This article focuses on how to encourage bees - nature's perfect pollinators - to make your garden their home, or at least their home away from home.

Importance of Pollination

According to the USDA, more than 80% of the world’s flowering plants need help with pollination. Pollination occurs when pollen grains move from the anther to the stigma of the flower. Since plants cannot always transfer pollen themselves, they need an external agent (pollinator) to help spread the pollen in order to reproduce.

Types of Bees

According to the USDA, honey bees are the most common pollinators of flowers, and they are also the most efficient pollinators. But don't think that bees are your only option. Mining bees, mason bees and bumblebees are also great pollinators.

Bumblebee

Bumblebees are larger than regular bees and are active in the garden earlier in the year than regular bees.

Mining bees

Unlike bumblebees, mining bees have very few hairs. Mining flies often nest in the ground, so make sure you have an area of your garden that isn't too manicured. The nests look like holes dug in the ground.

Mason bees

According to Gardner Supply, there are more than 4,000 species of mason bees in the United States. Unlike honey bees, mason bees are solitary and work independently, making them less susceptible to disease. They are often called "badger" bees because they dig holes in wood to build their nests. Hardworking workers, only a few mason bees will pollinate an entire tree, and they are active even in cold or rainy weather.

How to make your garden welcoming

Here are some tips to make your garden more attractive to a variety of bees:

Provide Shade

Even bees can overheat while working, so be sure to provide them with dense ground cover to rest on. A small pile of dry grass, twigs, or brush (anything that looks natural) is also a great way to encourage bees to nest in your garden.

Provide Water

Bird baths are not only attractive, but they also attract birds and bees to your garden. Even insects need water from time to time. To install a bird bath, place shallow bowls of water around your yard, let your yard area get a little muddy, or even install a water fountain so bees can easily hydrate. Offering a variety of water sources will increase the chances of pollinators staying hydrated.

Introduce Vibrant Colors

Hummingbirds aren't the only park visitors who appreciate the vibrant colors. In particular, bees appreciate plants with blue, purple and yellow flowers, so be sure to incorporate them into your garden. However, unlike hummingbirds, bees cannot see red.

Growing flowers and vegetables.

Not only will flowering fruits or vegetables provide food for your family, but they will also provide much-needed pollen for bees! Consider planting flowering plants such as tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries or apples.

Avoid pesticides.

Instead of using traditional pesticides that can kill beneficial bees and harmful insects, consider using natural options. Consider introducing ladybugs into the garden or planting nasturtiums near vegetable gardens, which repel predatory insects but do not affect bumblebees.

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