Ever wondered how to attract honey bees to your vegetable garden? Bees play a vital role in maintaining balance in our environment by pollinating flowers and crops. They’re also very beneficial to your garden. The honey bee population has been declining for a number of years. However, there are several things that you can do to help. By making your garden attractive to bees, you can help save the bee population.
Why Are Honey Bees Important?
Bees are crucial members of our environment and ecosystem. They pollinate fruiting plants and help produce our food. Without them, we would not have many fruits and vegetables we enjoy.
Honey bees are responsible for pollinating large numbers of plants and crops over distances. This means that they help to produce more of the food we eat by cross-pollinating. They also produce honey, which is a valuable commodity.
They truly are essential and beneficial insects that play a critical role in the ecosystem.
How To Attract Honey Bees To Your Vegetable Garden
1. Plant Flowers That Bees Like
One way to attract honey bees is to plant flowers that bloom at different times. This way, there will always be something in bloom for the bees to pollinate. If you are wanting to attract honey bees to your vegetable garden, the best thing you can do is plant flowers that bees like.
Some good flowers to plant include lavender, daisies, and sunflowers. Planting various flowers will give the bees more options and help ensure that there is always something in bloom for them to visit.
2. Buy Or Build A Bee Box
You can buy or build a bee box to attract honey bees to your garden. A bee box is a small structure that houses a colony of bees. If you live in an area with already honey bees, you can put a bee box in your garden.
They will likely find it if it offers them access to food, water, and safety. You can order bee boxes online or from a local beekeeping supply store. Once set up and occupied, you can harvest honey from the bee box.
3. Cultivate A Bee-Friendly Environment
If you want to attract honey bees to your vegetable garden, there are a few things you can do to create a bee-friendly environment. First, follow the tips here and choose plants that will provide nectar and pollen for the bees.
Some good choices include lavender, sunflowers, and clover. Also, make sure your garden gives bees a sense of safety. Try to avoid loud machineries like mowers or tillers.
Use hand tools to prevent disturbing the quiet peace of the garden.
4. Provide Adequate Drinking Water For Bees
One of the most important things you can do to attract honey bees to your vegetable garden is to provide them with an adequate source of drinking water. Bees need water not only to drink but also to use in their hives. A good way to provide water for bees is to create a small pond or birdbath in your garden.
You can also provide a water source for the bees by placing a shallow dish of water in your garden. Be sure to change the water regularly, so it stays clean.
5. Avoid Using Pesticides
Pesticides can be harmful to honey bees and other pollinators. If you are using pesticides in your garden, follow the label instructions carefully to avoid killing bees. There are many ways to attract honey bees to your garden without pesticides.
Instead, try using all-natural or organic methods of deterring pests. Additionally, avoid using weed killers and herbicides in your garden. These chemicals can also drive away bees and other pollinators.
Types Of Plants That Attract Honey Bees
There are different kinds of plants you can keep in or around your garden to attract honey bees. Let’s break down the types of plants that attract honey bees.
1. Native Wildflowers
Native wildflowers are the best way to attract honey bees to your vegetable garden. Giving local honey bees their natural food source will keep them coming back. By planting native flowers, you will be attracting native bees and helping the local populations.
This is ideal for supporting the local ecosystem. Depending on where you live, flowers may vary. Research your area’s native wildflowers to find what kinds to plant to attract native honey bees.
2. Colorful Flowers Like Zinnias, Hyacinths, and Crocus
These colorful flowers attract bees. They can be planted at different times of the year to keep the bees coming year-round. Bees are especially attracted to purple, blue, and yellow.
Therefore, the more bright colors, the better, and you will see your flowers with lots of bee guests. Providing bees with various flowers and colors is very appealing to honey bees.
Think of it like a colorful honey bee buffet.
3. Fragrant Flowers Like Bee Balm, Jasmine, and Lavender
Wild bergamot, more commonly known as bee balm, is a honey bee attractant and makes your garden smell amazing. Plant fragrant plants like lavender and jasmine to attract honey bees. Honey bees use the pollen from these flowers to make honey.
Different fragrances add different flavors to the honey. If you are harvesting your own honey, different flowers will change the flavor and fragrance of the honey. Bees like to add variety to their honey, so give them a good selection.
4. Vegetables And Fruits That Require Pollination
While veggies like tomatoes are self-pollinating, there are other vegetables that require pollination. So planting suitable vegetables in your garden will attract honey bees. Melons, cucumbers, gourds, pumpkins, and eggplants all need the help of bees for pollination.
Plant these in your garden to attract more honey bees. Honey bees also pollinate fruit trees. For example, bees love the nectar from peach, apple, and citrus trees.
5. Herbs Like Chives, Thyme, and Mint
The fragrant blossoms of some herbs will add flavor to your garden and attract all kinds of honey bees. Also, you might want to pot these herbs because they spread quickly! Planting herbs around your vegetable garden can also deter pests.
For example, lemongrass and mint deter mosquitos. In addition, these herbs produce flowers that bees love. Let’s not forget, you’ll have access to fresh herbs to cook with!
Now you see, attracting honey bees to your vegetable garden is not hard. But, first, you need to create a bee-friendly environment. Your garden will look beautiful and smell amazing, and you’ll also be doing your part to save honey bee populations.