We have been hearing it for years, save the bees! We see t-shirts and coffee mugs and bumper stickers. But how do you really help these pollinators? You can easily and cheaply plant for bees at your home. With a little bit of sweat equity, you can create a beautiful and helpful oasis for these super key players in the growth cycle.
Why Should I Plant For Bees?
Bees are what’s known in nature as pollinators. This means that they take the pollen from male plant parts and redistribute to the female parts of plants to help flowers bloom and food grow. Bees are basically responsible for our produce consumption. We need to plant for bees in order to save our salads! Bees already have a harder time surviving in the modern world they often get killed with pesticides, their habitats get destroyed, and the ever changing climate has affected them as well.
Choose Your Area
When deciding to plant for bees, you want to choose an area that works for you. Will it be in the front yard or back? Shade or sun? You can always begin small and add later, depending on your comfort level with gardening. Luckily, you don’t need a green thumb to grow a lot of these plants!
Choose Your Plants
When deciding on plants there are a few things you need to consider for them to thrive:
-Native plants. You want to use vegetation that is indigenous to your area. Here is a great list of native Michigan plants, including a favorite, Bee Balm, which our favorite pollinators love.
-Flowers, produce, or grass. You also want to decide on what type of garden you want to plant for the bees. It can be as simple as planting seed and changing your grass to a pollinator friendly one. If you would like a more aesthetically pleasing yard, wildflowers can be beautiful and low maintenance. If a garden is for you, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, pumpkins, eggplant, hot peppers and gourds all are great to plant for bees.
-Perennials vs annuals. You want to keep your plants growing, year after year. And the best way to do this is by starting with perennials instead of annuals. Annual plants need to be redone after the winter season. Where perennials, if taken care of correctly, should sprout up at the start of growing season (spring). This will save you time and money in the long run.
If you do plant for the bees, keep in mind that you will see more bees! If you find that they have nested in or near your home, do not fear or panic, here is a list of professionals that can help you safely move the bees. Always take proper precautions and keep your safety first. Keep checking back to the Kratos Gas & Power blog for great home improvement ideas and money saving tips!