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May 26, 2011

Here’s the Buzzzz on attracting Bees to your Garden!

by karenfriesen

1.Don’t use pesticides. Most pesticides are not selective. You are killing off the beneficial bugs along with the pests. If you have to use a pesticide, start with the least toxic one and follow the label instructions closely.
2.Use local native plants. Research suggests native plants are more attractive to native bees than exotic flowers. They are well adapted to your growing conditions and thrive with minimum attention. Heirloom varieties of herbs and perennials can also provide good foraging.
3.Chose several colors of flowers. Bees have good color vision to help them find flowers and the nectar and pollen they offer. Flower colors that attract bees are blue, purple, violet, white, and yellow.
4.Plant flowers in clumps. Flowers clustered into clumps of will attract more pollinators than individual plants scattered through the habitat patch. Where space permits, make the clumps four feet or more in diameter.
5.Include flowers of different shapes. There are four thousand different species of bees in North America, and they are all different sizes, have different tongue lengths, and will feed on different shaped flowers. Providing a range of flower shapes means more bees.
6.Have a diversity of plants flowering all season. Most bee species aren’t fussy. They feed on a range of plants through their life cycle. By having several plant species flowering at once, and a sequence of plants flowering through spring, summer, and fall, you can support a range of bee species that fly at different times of the season.
7.Plant where bees will visit. Bees favor sunny spots over shade and need some shelter from strong winds.

Read more from Wildspaces and Ecology

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