Not everyone is going to feel comfortable keeping bees. However, bees, hummingbirds and other animals that provide pollination can be great additions to your garden, and they can come in very useful if resources start to become scarce.
Just about every kind of seed plant needs to be pollinated, and while pollen may seem insignificant, it is an important part of plants’ reproductive cycle. That yellow dust allows plants to reproduce, remain genetically diverse and propagate the species. Making your garden bee friendly is a good way to keep your plants growing, and it isn’t that hard to do. You don’t have to worry about actual beekeeping, and you can be prepared with resources on hand if everything starts to hit the fan.
Whether you want to have a bee hive on your property or not, we have some tips that will help you attract and keep them in your backyard or garden area. If your family is helping you keep the garden, be sure to educate them on what it takes to care for bees and how they should conduct themselves, particularly if one of them is allergic to bees. Having bees on your property generally won’t bother you, and they should greatly benefit your garden’s ecosystem.
Making Your Garden Bee Friendly
Your Climate Determines What You Plant
It won’t take a lot of effort to make your garden friendly for bees, and you may already have things in place that are going to help. To attract pollinating animals, you need to have some flowering plants that are able to thrive in the climate you live in. The best kind of plants to invest in are ones that will flower for large parts of the year, instead of choosing short-blooming plants. No matter where you live or how much space you have, there is room for flowering plants to grow there. You can even start with a pot of flowers placed on your porch.
Have Some Colour
Bees are attracted to most bright colours. They can’t see red at all, so you will want to plant some orange, blue, white, pink, purple and yellow flowers to draw them in and keep them there.
Plants with Multiple Purposes
When you start to grow your own food, you will probably have some plants with flowers on them that attract bees and hummingbirds. Bees will go for herb plants with flowers as much as they will vine and flowering fruit plants. This means that you can grow a garden of food and still bring in the bees and other types of pollinating animals.
You might not live somewhere that you can plant all year long, but even colder climates allow you to plant flowers for most of the year. What you may want to do is plant in cycles, so that there is always some flowering plant growing, and that may mean planting different things at different times. Start early with those early bloomers that will give you flowers as soon as April or May. Be sure to plant late bloomers as well, many of which can go as far as October. This gives you pollen throughout the year and keeps those bees and hummingbirds in your garden. Perennials are a great choice, since they come around each year and tell you when plants should begin blooming.
Group Unlike Flowers Together
If you put different flowers together in the same group, then you can help bees do their job better. If you can plant flowers that bloom in clusters, then that will produce more flowers for pollinators to get in there and do what they need to do.
Make Your Garden as Bee-Friendly as Possible
Follow the guidelines we have laid out, and you should start to see bees and other pollinators show up more frequently. You have to figure out what works best in the climate you live in, though. What we have given you is a starting point. The plants that attract bees are often herbal plants with medicinal properties that can serve a variety of uses for preppers. Basil, mint, yarrow root and more are multipurpose plants that draw in pollinators. You can stockpile these herbs and have them on hand for when you need them.
Here are a few plants that can be planted in just about any garden that serve multiple purposes.: rosemary, basil, goldenrod, coneflower, lavender, yarrow, black-eyed Susan, mint, lupine and day lilies.
Watch the Weed Killers
One of the worst things you can do to your garden when bees are involved is use weed killers and pesticides. You need to keep these ways from pollinators, especially since you will be ingesting some of those toxins when you eat from our garden. You can use natural alternatives, such as growing certain plants that ward off pests. Citronella is a good way to keep pests away and still bring in the bees and hummingbirds.
You don’t want to use weed killers on your lawn either. You might not like dandelions in your yard, but bees love them. Keep that in mind as you try to treat your yard in a way that is friendly to bees.
Introduce a Water Feature
Bees drink a lot of water, and if you keep a pond near your garden or some other water feature, then you can sate the bees’ thirst. Those worker bees will need a lot of water to do their job on hot, summer days. Just adding a fountain or bird bath can make a huge difference in how much work the bees get done and how much they enjoy hanging around your garden. It can help to just add a few bowls of water placed strategically around eh garden, and your pollinators will be happier for it.
Don’t just focus on saving up seeds in your prepper storehouses. Remember to take care of the bees and other pollinators. They have important jobs to do, and they contribute to the life cycles of plants. If you don’t take care of these pollinators, then many plants will die out, so keep your garden a friendly place for bees to ensure that in a disaster, you have the resources you need on hand.