Date : January 14, 2022
Bee Friendly Flower Gardens – Educational School Holiday Activity
If you’re looking for a fantastic, educational school holiday activity, why not consider planting a bee friendly flower garden with your child? Bees are disappearing all around the planet and planting even a small garden can be such a huge help – and it gets you and your kids out in the fresh air, having fun! Plus, they’ll learn so much about biodiversity, botany, and saving the planet.
We’ve got everything you need here to get you started – what plants bees like best, how to plant them, the dos and don’ts, and how you can make sure the plants you’re buying are bee friendly. Read on to find out more about bee friendly flowers and how to plant them these school holidays!
Smart gardeners know all about good insects like bees and how much work they do in the garden – without bees, the seeds, fruits and veggies that people like to eat just wouldn’t exist! This fact always blows kids’ minds. In Australia, we’re lucky enough to have over 1500 species of native bees – all of which are fantastic pollinators. A backyard garden can be a haven for native Australian bees and provide a long-lasting and varied source of nectar, pollen, and the building materials bees need to make their nests.
Top 5 Tips for Attracting Bees!
Select plants that flower throughout the year.
Many native bees need nectar and pollen throughout the year. Depending on the species, certain bees will only fly during the warmer months of the year, while others fly year-round.
Select flowers with a variety of shapes and colours.
Just like with people, different bees have different tastes. Some have short tongues and like shallow flowers like daisies, tea tree, and eucalypt blossoms. Others have long tongues and like tubular flowers like native rosemary and lavender. Some bees prefer flowers that are blue and purple, while for others, pink, yellow and white flowers are the tastiest. We bet you’ve never considered bees tongues before, right?
Plant each species of flower in groups.
Having particular species of flowers planted in groups will attract bees more easily than if you just randomly throw them anywhere. Of course, if this isn’t possible, even a small garden will still attract bees!
Select plants that also provide nesting materials for bees.
Bees don’t just need nectar and pollen; they need materials to build their nests. Again, depending on the species, different bees like leaves or tree resin to build their nests. Try to make sure the plants you buy offer either one or the other!
Insecticides will kill native bees as well as garden pests. If you need to use some sort of insecticide, try one that is a low toxicity for bees and won’t kill them, or use something natural that won’t harm them.
For more fabulous, fun ideas of what you and your child can do together these school holidays, check out these activities from May Gibbs!
Right now, Librarian Bec’s hard at work at your local library, sharing a passion for reading with little people and big. Bec writes about inspiring little readers and embracing lovely literature.