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A Guide to Attracting Bees In Your Garden

Whether you love them or hate them, bees are a vital source to human life because of their ability to allow plants to undergo important cycles of reproduction. If you’ve ever had a garden, you may wonder why some years flowering looks lush and blooming and why others look dry and sad. If you find yourself within the unfortunate category of low garden growth this post will provide several tips you can take to make sure that this isn’t an issue next season.

Things to consider:

Before I discuss ways in which you can transform your garden to ensure a higher population of bees to thrive in, you must first consider some of the environmental factors of the area in which you reside.

  1. Temperature where you live. Bee behavior is directly affected from temperature. The ideal temperature for bees to perform most efficiently is around 65 degrees. If the temperature drops 30 degrees below or 30 degrees above, the bees will resort to their hive for insulation.
  2. Ability to grow certain flowers in your garden. Similar to bees, certain types of flowers also are directly impacted from the external environment. If temperatures are too low or too high, the flower will not successfully be able to pollinate, germinate, or undergo photosynthesis.

How to attract bees to your garden:

Now that you have thought about these factors, here are some tips to help you attract more bees to your garden!

Create diverse plantings- each plant will pollinate at a different time of the year so by having a large spectrum of plants for the bees to indulge from would ensure a constant supply for bees to enjoy. Some flowers that bees are especially attracted to include, Alyssum, Aster, Monarda, and Papaver.

Create habitats- When we make birdhouses we do so because traditional bird nests are not completely protected from the elements. By creating habitats made out of sturdy materials like wood, bees can thrive all year. Beehive structures can be extremely flimsy and because of that their habitats are in constant danger of being destroyed from things like storms and other wildlife.

Offer Water- Bees need drinking water just as much as we do, or any other living thing on planet earth for that matter. Something as simple as a birdbath would be excellent to ensure not only bees but also birds in your garden are properly hydrated and cooled.

Avoid using pesticides- Many people use pesticides on their lawn to ensure grass that is blindingly green as well as 100% weed or insect free. Scientists point out that certain pesticides can be 10,000 times more deadly to bees than DDT. Given the consequences for your garden, keeping your lawn natural and less frequently cut will not only allow bees to live healthy lives, but it will allow you to spend less time maintaining your lawn!

If you have pictures of your garden that you would like to post, please send an email to earth@ku.edu. With that I would like to say thank you for taking the time to read my post, and best of luck to your gardening adventures!

Written by,

Cole Fife