Bees play an essential role as pollinators in the garden. Without bees many of our vegetables and fruit would never get to harvest stage.
Plant plenty of flowers in your organic garden to attract pollinators, and think about a mix of plants, so something is in flower all year.
Mixing flowers among the vegetables not only adds colour, it helps to ensure that there are enough bees around to do the job and you’ll get a better harvest too.
Bees are impacted by pesticides, especially the systemic neonicotimides that are used extensively in agriculture. These pesticides remain in the soil for long periods and even if they don’t kill bees, they may have a detrimental effect on development and ability to find nectar.
Particularly bee-friendly colours seem to be yellow, purple or blue
Herbs: Anise hyssop, basil, borage, catmint, chives, comfrey, coriander, fennel, hyssop, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rocket, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme
Fruit: Apple, apricot, blackberry, black and red currants, blueberry, lemons, lime, mandarin, passionfruit, persimmon, plum, strawberries
Vegetables: Capsicum, chilli, cucumbers, leeks and onions (if left to go to seed), pumpkins, squash.
Flowers: Alyssum, cornflower, cosmos, echinacea, echium, forget-me-not, foxglove, geranium, marigold, roses, sunflowers, zinnia
Other: Banksia, bottle brush, eucalypts, spider flower, tea tree, honey myrtle
The Australian Native Bee Research Centre’s top 10 plants they recommended for Australian Native Bees
Abelia x grandiflora – Abelia
Buddleja – Butterfly Bush
Callistemon – Bottle Brush
Eucalyptus – Gum Blossom
Grevillea – Spider Flower
Lavandula – Lavender
Leptospermum – Tea Tree
Melaleuca – Honey Myrtle
Westringia – Rosemary
Many Varieties – Daisies
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