September is NZ Bee Aware month, so today it's a salute to bees!
HOW TO KEEP BEES HAPPY….
There are loads of plants that bees love and they look great in the garden - including salvia, catmint, echium, lavender, roses, rosemary, citrus, and natives like cabbage trees, pohutukawa, rewarewa and manuka. Pip fruit and stone fruit trees, flowering herbs - there are heaps. A good rule of thumb is to look for plants with blue flowers - but they're also fond of yellow, white and purple too. And they love wildflowers!
Don’t forget about bumblebees either, they are even better pollinators than honeybees.
Here are some tips from the National Beekeepers Association of NZ
Bee Friendly Garden Tips:
- Don’t use pesticides – particularly avoid any containing Neonicotinoids, which have been linked with bee decline
- Bees like blue yellow, white or purple flowers – chooses several colours
- Use local and native plants
- Plant flowers in groups together. These patches also attract butterflies.
- Include different sized and shaped flowers
- Try to have flowers for each season
- Favour sunny spots over shade with shelter from wind
- Avoid spraying when flowers are in bloom. Spray early morning or at sunset if necessary.
- Provide fresh, pesticide free drinking water for bees.
- Do not plant prohibited or controlled weeds – www.biosecurity.govt.nz/nppa
Check out www.apinz.org.nz for more bee friendly plants to grow, plus tips on how to have a hive of your own.
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