Find out how to cre­ate more buzz in your yard.

Our gar­den ex­pert Mered­ith Kir­ton ex­plains how to cre­ate a big­ger buzz in your back­yard.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

CRE­AT­ING A HABI­TAT for bees in your gar­den is more im­por­tant now than ever, with world num­bers in de­cline. Th­ese busy buzzy in­sects are nec­es­sary for the pol­li­na­tion of flow­ers, veg­eta­bles and fruit in any gar­den, and at­tract­ing them is easy. They love any­thing that is bright and rich in pollen or nec­tar, and planted en masse to make feed­ing easy. Colours are not cru­cial, as bees have great vi­sion, but their favourites are blue, pur­ple, white and yel­low. 1 PER­FECT PLANTS Many flow­ers make it easy for bees by hav­ing a built-in land­ing pad, such as the Lami­aceae fam­ily. This in­cludes basil, laven­der, mar­jo­ram, oregano, sage, rose­mary and mint, all of which bees love... and they don’t taste so bad for us, ei­ther! But bees like more than just th­ese herbs. They es­pe­cially ap­pre­ci­ate the pollen-rich disc-shaped flow­ers of the Aster­aceae fam­ily, which in­cludes daisies, zin­nias, asters, sun­flow­ers, gold­en­rod, Rud­beck­ias and Echi­naeca, all of which can be planted now. 2 BE-FRIENDLY GAR­DEN­ING More im­por­tant than what you plant is what you do in your gar­den. Cre­ate shel­ter, build habi­tat and plan for year-long flow­er­ing, es­pe­cially in win­ter. Also, don’t use pes­ti­cides, es­pe­cially while bees are

In Aus­tralia, na­tive bees can live in a hol­low log left out of the way in the gar­den.

for­ag­ing. Be ex­tra care­ful of sys­temic pes­ti­cides that will stay in a plant’s sys­tem for a fort­night and go through the pollen and nec­tar to bees, killing them as they feed. The most com­monly sold per­pe­tra­tor th­ese days is Con­fi­dor, so BEE care­ful! 3 A PLACE TO CALL HOME The other way to en­cour­age bees, es­pe­cially na­tive ones, is to pro­vide some­where to live. Bee “ho­tels” are trendy in Europe, with cus­tom-built clus­ters of hol­low cane stakes of var­i­ous sizes used to make homes for non-honey bees. In Aus­tralia, na­tive bees are stin­g­less and can live in a “de­signer home” or sim­ply in a hol­low log left out of the way in the gar­den. Try leav­ing out clean wa­ter in bird­baths too as many in­sects, not just bees, will ap­pre­ci­ate a drink over sum­mer. But don’t let the wa­ter stag­nate and be­come a mos­quito breed­ing bowl in­stead!

Bright and bold Bees love a colour­ful bloom.

STAY A WHILE Do­rado bee ho­tel, $28.95, from Fru­ugo.

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