How to Attract Bees to Your Yard
Bees are beneficial in many ways, which is exactly why you should consider attracting more bees to your own yard. Intrigued? Read on to learn more about the importance of bees, and how to attract bees to your yard!
Why Are Bees Important?
From the pretty petals you like to pick up and smell to the fruits and veggies that are the root of your home garden, many of the plants you encounter on a daily basis needed a little help getting going.
Pollination is the process whereby pollen is transferred from the male part of the flower (the stamen) to the female part (the stigma). When boy meets girl, seedlings begin to grow. Sounds simple enough, right? Because these two parts of the flower don’t connect naturally, the pollen needs a little help getting from one spot to the other. This is where bees come into play.
When bees stop by to smell the roses (or any other flower), the plant’s pollen collects on the body of the bee. As the bee wanders around the petals, the pollen falls of its body, distributing this seed-creating substance from the stamen to the stigma. There are literally dozens of foods and plants we may not ever even know about if it weren’t for the handy assistance of bees helping to pollenate the flowers.
Why Are Bees in Danger?
Over the last decade or so, a few bee scares have hit the headlines. On a number of occurrences, massive numbers of bees died seemingly simultaneously, causing widespread alarm, if not panic, in parts of the country.
As it turns out, the death of bee populations doesn’t necessarily signify the end of the world, but it does raise a red flag of awareness. MSNBC explored Why we can’t stop panicking about the honeybees last year in an interesting article that explores the recent spike in bee deaths.
In the end, it seems bees’ lives changed dramatically when they became commercialized worker bees, so to speak. Once upon a time, bees could frolic and pollinate small, organic, diverse fields to their hearts’ content. In today’s world, they’re exposed to plenty of chemicals and pesticides; meanwhile, their natural habitats are diminishing.
How to Welcome Bees into Your Yard
Ready to create a buzzworthy habitat for your favorite pollinating property guests? It doesn’t take a ton of work to welcome bees into your yard, but you’ll likely notice a big change in your ecosystem’s happiness shortly. Foods and plants that produce flowers will roll out the red carpet for your stinger-wielding, winged friends.
Consider planting these flowers and plants:
- In the Garden: Peas, squash, eggplant, broccoli, cucumbers, watermelons, and pumpkins
- Around the Yard: Pear, plum, and apple trees
- Sweet Finishes: Raspberries, blackberries, and gooseberries
Use chemical-free pesticides. As we discussed, chemicals and pesticides have been major contributors to the decline of bee populations. Chemical-free plants equal happy bees, so go organic, and stick to a more natural way of life. Your bees will thank you.
Make a Bee Shelter. Bee pots are easy to make, and they provide great refuge for hardworking pollinators. Start with a small clay pot and a small lump of garden moss to cover the drainage hole. Fill the rest of the pot loosely with hay, then place the pot upside down in a warm, sheltered spot in your yard or garden. Bury half the pot underground to keep it from going anywhere. The moss will shift down once the pot is upside down, allowing just enough space for the bees to come and go.
If you’re feeling super crafty, try making a mason bee house.
Have you been successful at bringing bees to your yard? We’d love to hear about it! Please share your bee stories and photos at our Evergreen Turf Facebook page!