CREATING a beefriendly garden is not only easy and rewarding but helps keep our food sources strong.
UWA bee expert Liz Barbour gives us the buzz on how to ensure our busy little black and yellow friends remain healthy and active.
Why should we help protect bees?
Bees pollinate one sixth of flowering plants world-wide and help produce a third of what we eat, but unfortunately over the past few decades there has been a dramatic decline in global bee populations.
The last report on beekeeping industry highlighted how healthy our bees are in WA.
But, we can’t be complacent.
Why do bees need our help?
Chemical insect control can kill bees if they are in the area when spraying occurs. Other chemicals are affecting the directional ability of the bee and hence they do not find their way back to the hive and die.
With bee domestication and moving hives in large numbers, there is a higher risk of disease, and its spread.
Climate change and fires are damaging food sources for bees; depending on the ferocity, fire can destroy a bee food source for up to seven years.
Tips for creating a bee-friendly garden
■ Plant a eucalypt tree if you have space.
■ Grow pea-type (legumes) flowers and daisy-type flowers .
■ Add natives such as banksias, acacias and bottle brushes.
■ Include fresh water: a pond, fountain, or bee bath.
■ Check there are no bees in the area before using garden chemicals.
A health bee population has benefits for all of society.