Planting A Bee Friendly Garden

Episode: 7
Title: Planting A Bee Friendly Garden
Broadcast: 17th October 2015
Presenter: Chloe Thomson

There has been a lot of talk lately about the declining bee population around the world and in Australia. And when you realize that 1 in 3 bites of the food you eat - comes from a bee pollinated plant - you begin to understand how important these little guys are to our food supply.

  • The general consensus is that there are several contributing factors in the declining bee population including; a reduced number of pollen and nectar plants thanks to urbanisation, increased use of systematic insecticides and global warming.
  • Planting a garden with bee attracting plants like gorgeous lavender is a fantastic way to provide for both honey and native bees.
  • If you’ve got the space give bees a smorgasbord of different heights, colours and flower shapes to choose from. These low growing, long flowering armeria will look great in here.
  • Bees like a varied diet and it’s not just exotics that they enjoy. Many of our Australian native species are fantastic bee-attractors and with heavenly fragrant flowers - like this brown boronia - it’s easy to see why.
  • When it comes to finding tall trees with bee loving flowers, you can’t go past our flowering eucalypts like this Tucker time honey pots. As a bonus they also bring in native birds and other pollinators too.
  • Make sure you have at least 4 plants flowering in your garden at anyone time. Pollen supply is most important for bees in late winter and early spring - this wattle, with its pollen laden flowers is the perfect addition for flowers at that time of the year.
  • And here’s another tip - you can attract good bugs to your garden by planting sweet smelling, small flowers like cosmos, alysum, marigolds and queen anne’s lace. And if you still need to reach for an insecticide - choose a certified organic one, rather than something systemic.
  • Keep nectar and pollen rich plants away from kids play spaces if you are concerned with stings and teach kids to respect bees.
  • A bee friendly garden doesn’t need to be large. Experts suggest that urban bee keeping plays a significant role in protecting Australian commercial agriculture. So, don’t be scared of bringing bees into your garden - after all our plants need them and we need them! So give bees a chance.