Why Bees Are Important for Your Garden
Bees are essential to preserving nature or even help it grow. Our bees ensure the continued existence of biodiversity. After all, not only crops are pollinated by them. About 80% of the wild plants, such as blackberries, raspberries, rose hips or clover, rely on the visit of the hardworking ladies. The fruits are an essential source of food for birds that feed on the berries in winter. Also, the wild plants can reproduce well because the fruits contain the seeds.
Do you want to support bees? Before we dive deeper into the topic and more "bee" puns, here is a small overview for you of what you can do for the bees yourself
- Plant your garden, balcony or windowsill with bee-friendly plants
- If possible, only buy organic products that come from sustainable agriculture. Dangerous pesticides that harm the bees are avoided here. And honestly, who of us wants pesticides on our food?
- Spread the importance of bees in your environment and talk to friends, family and work colleagues about them. We can only protect our environment together.
Why bees are disappearing
"If the bee dies, humans have four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more people. " - Albert Einstein
Not having a wide range of flowers all year round is precisely the problem that the bees find too little food. In spring, when the fruit trees and rapeseed fields are in bloom and the parks are freshly planted with spring bloomers, the table is well laid.
As soon as the feast is over at the end of May, bees sit in front of empty fields. So that this does not happen, it is essential to ensure a wide range of flowers in the balcony planting until autumn. In the meantime, many green areas in the cities are planted sustainably with appropriate perennials. Without bees, it is not possible for all of us, because who is going to pollinate all the fruit trees and flower meadows? The small insects are invaluable to us humans. Did you know that we owe 1/3 of our food to bee pollination?
Our tip: Now we have to step up our balconies. Balconies are not only an eye-catcher for the bees but also us. The more flowery it becomes, the more bees it will attract.
The consequence: No fruit without bees
When the fruit trees start to bloom in May and herald the beginning of spring, we're already looking forward to the delicious harvest in autumn. For this to happen, the bees come in.
A fruit tree can produce fruit without pollination of the bees, but the yield would be much lower. Only through the busy insects can we process a lot of apples and pears into delicious cakes and jams in September.
But not only the yield depends on the bees. The appearance and taste of the fruit also are heavily influenced by pollination. If no bee looks past the strawberry field, the berries remain small and misshapen.
The pollination performance of the bees is so valuable to us that the insects are the third most important farm animal after beef and pork!
In spring, the first flowers attract the bees from their hives. However, honeybees and other pollinating insects do not always find suitable plants to collect nectar and pollen. A wide range of flowers characterizes a bee-friendly garden or balcony.
Besides as many different types of plants as possible, make sure your bees have plants available in your garden from spring to autumn. Many plants only bloom for a few weeks, so with nectar and pollen, it looks rather poor most of the time.
To support the bees with the right range of flowers, we have put together some planting recommendations. With the following flowers, even city dwellers with an urban garden can mix up the bees' food supply. Because a herb bed can fit just as well on the windowsill as in a garden.
So that the sea of flowers not only looks good, but the bees can also nibble on pollen and nectar, you should make sure that the flowers are not overfilled with petals. These look very nice, but the stamens have been bred away and replaced with more petals. In plain language, this means that there is nothing behind the beauty of the plant and no insect benefits from it. If you keep looking out for it, you can identify many of the balcony plants as bee plants by merely looking out for bees.
- Sunflower Sunflowers: If you have a south-facing balcony, you should definitely plant a sunflower. Sunflowers are particularly rich in pollen and nectar and therefore very bee-friendly. You can also enjoy their flowers in late summer.
- Bee herb: This bright blue plant is also known as hyssop or verbena. It is a very undemanding plant that looks good as an ornamental plant in the garden or on the balcony. Bee herb is rich in pollen and blooms between June and September.
- Wildflower Blends: Wildflowers are especially crucial for wild bees. The cornflower, for example, has a very high nectar content. Besides, the flowering period is relatively long, from June to September.
- Bellflower: This is a summer flower that can be found both in the garden and on balconies. It has quite a lot of nectar, the flowering period is from July to August, and it prefers calcareous soils.
- Clematis: Clematis are useful if you want it to climb a fence or the balcony. They bloom from July to September and have some pollen and nectar ready for insects.
- Lavender: Lavender originally comes from coastal areas of the Mediterranean. Today, however, it also looks good in gardens and also fits well on the balcony. Flowering is in July and August.
- Silk plant: The silk plant is bee-friendly because it offers a lot of nectar and pollen. It is a popular ornamental plant in the garden and on the balcony.
- Ornamental garlic: This is a decorative eye-catcher on the balcony or in the flower bed. Relatively rich in pollen and nectar.
- Culinary herbs: Rosemary blooms in spring, sage in all summer months, nasturtiums are still available in September. Thyme flowers can even be found from May to October. Kitchen herbs are an excellent gift for both humans and bees.
- Catnip: Not only does it smell like lemon; it's also rich in pollen. Catnip is an excellent addition to your flower bed.
You can, of course, also apply a mixture of seeds in the planters. Mixing random seeds is a very cheap option to create a bee pasture on the balcony. You can even fill empty milk cartons with it and have a beautiful meadow in mini format.
As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities to act more eco-friendly. Even your garden can grow with for different purposes. We would love to hear your experience with planting flowers for bees and what your best tips involve.
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