Who doesn’t love the sight of a garden that’s buzzing with activity on a sunny day? Bees with their little bottoms hanging out of flowers, butterflies floating gracefully on the breeze and hummingbirds zipping around faster than the eye can follow; all signs of a garden that’s brimming with life and vitality.
The buzz on bee benefits
Pollinators are essential to our survival. Here are some of the main reasons:
- Between 75% and 95% of plants on earth need help from pollinators. Without them there would be no flowers, no fruit, and no plant reproduction.
- They pollinate about 1/3 of the world’s food crops.
- Without pollinators we wouldn’t have many of our favourite fruits and vegetables including berries, apples, grapes, seeds and nuts – even chocolate!
- Insects provide a vital source of food for birds and fish.
In your yard alone, without pollinators many of your plants would fail to flower and your fruit and vegetable plants would be unable to fruit.
How to attract pollinators
Here are a few tips for planning a pollinator-friendly garden:
- Plant lots of flowers – the more varieties you have, the more pollinators you will attract.
- Plant several of each variety as bees like to flit from one bloom to the next, but will concentrate on one variety.
- Select single blooms as opposed to double blooms.
- Choose trumpet-shaped flowers.
- Choose native and heirloom, rather than hybrid varieties.
- Provide a shallow bowl filled with fresh water, and containing pebbles for insects to rest on.
- Don’t mow your lawn on a hot afternoon as insects could be sheltering in the grass.
Some flowers that will attract pollinators include alyssum, calendula, cosmos, fuchsias, herbs, marigolds, snapdragons, sunflowers, verbena and zinnias. You can find all these on our online store.