Whether you’re keeping bees or have decided to wait there’s no reason you can’t make your yard and home bee friendly. Growing plants to attract bees not only helps insure your garden is pollinated but it also helps give the bees around you a place to forage for nectar and pollen. Here’s ten easy things you can do to help bees in your neighborhood.

photo courtesy of Brenda Beerhorst

  1. Lawns: Get rid of some of that lawn! Not only will you have less to mow but you’ll also have room for more bee attracting plants!
  2. Bloom Times: Plan for plants that bloom at different times. Calendula and lilac and the like are great for early season blooms, different lavender varieties can mean blooms all growing season long and zinnias are a great late blooming choice.
  3. Keep That Field Wild: If you have a large field area consider wildflower seeds. Not only will the bees enjoy them but they also make wild areas beautiful with seasonal color.
  4. Chemicals: Get rid of those non organic pesticides and fertilizers. Both cause huge problems for bees and you’ll have a healthier yard for your human visitors too.
  5. Itsy Bitsy Spider: Don’t kill the spiders (or ladybugs or praying mantises)… they all help kill off unwanted pests and which helps you keep the use pesticides to a minimum.
  6. Turn That Bird Bath into a Bee Bath: Bees need water just like other living things. Place some small stones in your bird bath so bees have a place to rest while they take a drink or create another drinking space for bees.
  7. Let Those Dandelions Grow: OK, maybe not everywhere, but in the wild areas of your fields don’t be sad when you see these weeds… Bees love them for pollen and nectar.
  8. Same Same: Plant many of the same plants in each area, think “clusters”. This keeps the bees from having to go all over the place to get to what’s blooming now.
  9. Sisters: Plant a modified Three Sisters planting in your vegetable garden replacing the corn with sunflowers. The bees will love all the nectar and pollen and you’ll have a healthy veggie garden to boot!
  10. Take a look at this list of plants pollinated by bees to see if there’s anything you’d like to plant in your yard this year.

So will you have a bee friendly yard this year?  Let us know what you’re planning by replying to this post!

Don’t forget that you can boil 2 cups of water adding 1/2 cup of sugar, stir until completely dissolved. Cool before dilluting with a gallon of water to store & pour into hand held spray bottle. Spritz your blooming plants. I live in the Desert and need this when flowers wilt.

Dana says:

This is really good info. Thanks.

ROSS says:

Thank you for your phone call. I have not received the credit to my account for the extra DVD. I am unable to access the world of beekeeping help page. After setting up an account to log in, nothing happens after I press the submit button. I used a visa freedom card for payment. Please let me know what to do now.

Jessica says:

Ross, please email worldofbeekeepinghelp@gmail.com and give us your information so we can check this order for you. If you have your confirmation please forward it. Best, Jessica

Ilka says:

Jessica,
Yes, we now have about 40 hives, having sold 20 of them this spring. We sold them to a beekeeper close to Rosenheim in southern Germany, where the American foulbrood is rampant.

I just started our own facebook page — Binataler Bienenhof (Bina Valley Bee Farm). Do I have your permission to translate “10 things you can do to grow a bee friendly garden” and post it on our page, giving you full credit?

Ilka

Jessica says:

Ilka,
That’s wonderful! We’ve become a fan of your page on FB. You can absolutely translate the blog post and yes, please link to our site. Also we’d love to talk more about beekeeping in Germany if you’d contact us at worldofbeekeepinghelp (at) gmail.com

Mil says:

It’s so hard for me not to kill spiders. I know they are beneficial, but I just have this fear of them. What do you do if they are nesting under your hive’s lid?

Jessica says:

Frankly I’d leave them. Unless your hive is very weak they will take care of anything they don’t want in the hive themselves. If they aren’t bothered by the spider I’d say leave it… it may be that the spider is eating up some other pests that are problems!

Jessica says:

Ilka,
That’s great! Are you keeping bees in Germany currently?

Ilka says:

Thanks so much. I’m in Germany but many of the plants on the list are common here, too.

Ilka says:

Dear Ron, Number 10 mentions a list of plants. Could you link to the list?

Thanks,
Ilka

Jessica says:

Ilka, the link is there now. Somehow it wasn’t linked when we posted the blog post. Thanks for letting us know!