Anyone can help bees by planting herbs, flowers, fruit trees and vegetables that will provide nectar and pollen from their blossoms. The key to any bee friendly garden is to keep it pesticide and herbicide free. There are many natural things you can do to keep your garden plants from being chomped by the bad guys which we will cover in future posts.
If you don’t have a garden, growing on a balcony works well, or, find your nearest local community garden and participate. Helpful for you, others and the environment and a wonderful way to introduce your kids to where their food comes from, something everyone should know, but less and less people are getting access to.
I find that starting off with quick growing useful herbs, flowers and vegetables, is a great way to help the bees, adding fruit trees and native flowers later as you become more experienced and if you have the room.
What you can grow will depend on the time of year seeds and seedlings can be planted. A great start to finding out when to plant in Australia is to visit www.gardenate.com and choose your zone (area) where you live, or check out Annette PSW Seedsaver Facebook page to find out what and when to plant.
A good idea is to choose plants you often use in cooking. Win-win for you AND the bees.
Camphor Basil Photo Credit: Annette Jones
Orange Thyme. Photo Credit: Annette Jones
Bee on Rosemary Flower. Photo Credit: Annette Jones
Easy to Grow Herbs
Basil – many types such as lettuce leaf, lime, perennial, and sweet, and a camphor basil especially for the bees
Bergamot also know as Bee Balm
Catnip also known as catmint
Chives – garlic or onion
Mint – many types such as apple, chocolate, lemon, peppermint, spearmint
Oregano – common or golden
Purslane – gold or green
Sage – common, pineapple, purple, Russian or variegated
Thyme – many types such as common, golden, lemon, orange, silver and wild
There are many other herbs not on this list. Some for medicinal use, some that are pollinated by other pollinators instead of bees, and some that are harder to grow than those on this list. For starters this list gives you a wide range of easily grown types especially friendly to bees.
Send in pictures of your garden herbs in blossom.