Trees (and Plants) for Bees
Bees are critical to our survival, with one mouthful in three and nearly ¾ of the diversity of our daily food is directly attributed to bee pollination. Honey bees all around the world are in decline because of Varroa mite infestations and other threats including pesticide misuse. Of course, bees are very important for the pollination of our home fruit trees.
So what can you do to help bees?
- Do not spray when plants are in flower or when bees are present, so if you must spray, do so in early morning or at sunset.
- Provide fresh, clean drinking water for bees.
- Plant nectar and pollen sources in your garden to nourish and encourage bees.
Plan Bee is an initiative by NZ Gardener to increase the number and variety of nectar and pollen rich flowering plants available to friendly insect pollinators. A free packet of Mr Fothergill's wildflower seeds, specially selected to provide an excellent source of nectar and pollen, was given away with the September issue of NZ Gardener. An interactive map of registered plantings of these seeds can be found here.
Some excellent information about bees and beekeeping can be found on the National Beekeepers Association website here.
And the Trees for Bees website has a tonne of information on the best flowers, shrubs and trees to plant for a healthy community of bees.