Beekeeping is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can take up, especially if you want to help support honey bees, other bee species, and your local environment. However, not all bees are out to hurt you; many species of bees will actually protect your garden from harmful insects such as caterpillars and aphids. If you’re interested in using your garden as a haven for these helpful insects, it’s time to make an effort to create the perfect bee garden. Here are some tips on how to do so.
Why Pollinators are So Important?
Pollinators are so important because they do an incredible job of pollinating our plants and crops. Without pollinators, it would be very difficult to produce enough food for people around the world. Pollinators also benefit from having these habitats close by collecting nectar from the flowers.
Plus, if you live in an area where pesticide use is high, or your lawn has pesticides, creating a bee garden can help bring relief to these harmful effects. So next time you plan on planting something or cutting grass make sure to think about whether or not you want it to provide pollinator relief too! The best way to build a bee garden is with plenty of sunflowers, which will give bees pollen to collect nectar. The following year we will add things like lavender, borage, and squash – all great sources of tasty pollination!
Step 1 – Understand your Lawn Care Options
Your lawn needs the right type of care to become the beautiful, tranquil outdoor oasis you’ve always wanted. Properly tending to your lawn will not only make it easier for you to enjoy and relax in your yard but also will improve its appearance. One of the first steps in starting a new lawn care routine is figuring out what type of maintenance is appropriate for your landscape.
Nowadays, there are plenty of different options when it comes to caring for your grass. One method often recommended for residential yards is an organic approach where homeowners compost their own waste from household garbage and produce scraps like fruit or vegetable peels that would otherwise go into the garbage can or the compost bin under their sink.
It sounds great, right? Well, don’t let your enthusiasm blind you! Keep reading before making any decisions about whether this type of care is right for you. You’ll need to know more about how much time it takes as well as how much work goes into this form of gardening so that you can compare it with other methods and decide which one best suits your personal preferences. So, read on!
Step 2 – Install the nectar source
In the Materials section, I mentioned using either hummingbird feeders or dry sugar. The process is pretty much the same, but the hummingbird feeders don’t need to be refilled as often. If you decide to use the dry sugar packets, be sure to have lots on hand because once those get emptied there’s no going back!
As for nectar sources for your garden, you can use natural flowers or artificial nectar. Artificial nectar will last longer than natural flowers and will help attract different types of bees and butterflies. So when it comes to designing your bee garden, the sky is really the limit – literally.
Step 3 – Create an inviting habitat for pollinators
If you want to attract bumblebees, mason bees, and other pollinators, you’ll need to provide them with an inviting habitat with lots of flowers they love. Make sure you choose plants that bloom at different times so there’s always something blooming! Butterflies also benefit from these floral habitats- keep in mind that some feed on nectar while others are more attracted to pollen.
To help butterflies find your garden try planting herbs like lavender and sage near where butterflies rest during the day or planting flowering plants nearby. Hang up some birdhouses for happy hummers too! Hummingbirds might not be able to fly as high as their winged cousins but it’s important that they have plenty of food year-round. They can be found in many climates around the world, including Asia, South America, Europe, and North America.
A good way to give these birds home is by hanging up a birdhouse close enough for them to visit but not high enough for predators such as cats or raccoons to get inside. You can buy one online or make one yourself if you’re feeling crafty! Don’t forget: even though hummingbirds may have few predators other than larger birds of prey it is still important to clean out their nests often since parasites such as wasps might take over nests quickly without our intervention.
Step 4 – Build nesting blocks for solitary bees
- Cut three, two-inch squares out of an index card.
- Punch a hole in the center of each square.
- Bind the squares together with thread, forming rings.
- Drill holes into the top and bottom of the block for drainage. – Put a ring on one end of the pipe cleaner, so that it is secured to one side of the nesting block. Wrap it around the pipe cleaner and back onto itself on the other side. The ring should be tight enough to keep the nesting block firmly in place on one end of the pipe cleaner, but loose enough to allow removal by pulling on the pipe cleaner without too much force.
- Push or twist each end of this assembly into opposite sides of your bee garden (see figure).
- Tie off your thread with a double knot near where you inserted it into your bee garden’s rim. – Using a needle, poke a hole through both layers of the paper on the corner opposite where you began sewing your nest blocks together. Pull all four ends of thread through the hole and tie them tightly into a knot.
- Place the nest blocks at least 12 inches apart within your bee garden; they will not support any weight if they are closer than 12 inches to another nest block. If you want your bees to have lots of room, just leave 24 inches between blocks. Now you can hang up your favorite hummingbird feeder as well!
Step 5 – Feeding season is upon us
Feeding season is upon us, and now is the time to feed the bees! I took the liberty of coming up with some guidelines for creating your own bee garden – plus, it looks really good! I’ll go over the step-by-step process below.
1) Determine what type of bee you are trying to attract. Generally, bees can be divided into three categories: solitary wasps, bumblebees, and honeybees. They all have their pros and cons; for example, solitary wasps typically don’t pollinate flowers but honeybees do not hibernate in winter. Bees generally fall into one of these two categories, so think about whether or not they will help your goal. For this tutorial, we will focus on attracting honeybees because they make honey and pollinate our crops.
2) Choose plants that offer pollen and nectar sources throughout the year. Good plant choices include apple trees, honeysuckle, milkweed, dandelions, and aster bushes
3) If you’re able to use your backyard space for this project then pick an area that receives full sun exposure in springtime when food is scarce. You also want to ensure that there is no access to pesticides or chemicals nearby and look for an area where there isn’t too much foot traffic, as this may scare away the local bee population. The final consideration should be the size of your desired space: ideally, it should be at least 50 square feet.
4) Once you’ve determined the best spot, choose either round flower pots (which mimic a tree hole), square pots (as pictured above), logs, flat stones, or tires (a tire cut in half lengthwise). All shapes work well but most prefer round containers as they closely resemble natural tree holes. Place your container in the ground and pour some sand around the edge if you would like to discourage ants from entering.
Fill it with potting soil mixed with organic fertilizer, leaf mold, and compost (this recipe will create a nutrient-rich environment). Add in plants such as yarrows, yellow irises, foxgloves, flowering herbs such as lavender or oregano, and any other plant types which produce attractive blooms that are available locally.
Be sure to add perennials such as butterfly weeds or hollyhocks which provide extra color during those months when blooms may be sparse. Place them close together while keeping them out of reach from pests like deer by planting them near fences or walls which might provide protection. Now just wait patiently for nature to take its course!
Step 6 – Trim the lawn and fertilize in the fall
Spreading fertilizer on the lawn in the fall is great for fertilizing the lawn in winter and spring, but also provides food for pollinators. If you need to trim your lawn to keep it from growing too long, now’s the time! Just make sure to rake up all of those fallen leaves. There will be plenty of them by now, and they can provide some nutrition for your bee garden.
Also, now that your lawn has been trimmed, there’s less competition for the flowers that are blooming. It may sound strange to have less grass around so that more plants can grow, but this way there are more flowers for bees to feed on during their visits to your yard.
Step 7 – Have fun with it
Bee gardens not only create a safe environment for pollinators to thrive but also offer gardeners an excuse to play with their plants and get creative. Start by gathering all your materials. You will need four cinder blocks, one packet each of seeds from flowers and herbs, one large pot or barrel (preferably 10-15 gallons), potting soil, and filler plants. Place the four cinder blocks on their sides so they are in rows with space between them. Fill the gaps between the blocks with pots and barrels if you have any spare pots lying around.
Add soil to the pots/barrels and use your fingers to push it down into all the cracks before adding filler plants around the edges of each container until it covers up any visible dirt or filler plant material. Next, sow the seeds evenly throughout the pots/barrels. Be sure to water every day – even after rain – and keep an eye out for weed patches as well as pests like slugs that might be attracted to your new containers. If you want more flowering plants, sprinkle some flowers over the top of each planter while watering it with a watering can afterward. And don’t forget to take pictures of your final product!
Designing and maintaining your own bee garden is an enjoyable project. It will teach you how to create an outdoor oasis, how to improve the natural habitat around your house, and how to raise more bees! The best part is you can participate in this project as much or as little as you want. There are infinite possibilities for what design and style you choose for your beehive. Use our instructions and ideas and start designing your own bee garden today.
Hi I’m Bilal Malik, a digital marketing and blogging expert holding years of experience.