FIVE HERBS THAT FEED POLLINATORS
As you gear up to plant, plant, plant this spring, pack these beeand butterfly-friendly plants into your garden. Indeed, don’t hesitate to put them in pots, containers and every spare strip of space you have! Some plants provide both nectar and pollen; others only one or the other.
A perennial that does well in the sun. It flowers in summer to provide nectar and pollen.
Another summer favourite, it provides only nectar for pollinators. An annual that self-seeds, though you can sow regularly if you like.
Great for feeding pollinators as it flowers from winter to summer. Nectar in winter is particularly precious as there are far fewer food sources for pollinators then. Rosemary is a perennial that likes full sun and well-drained soil.
You can plant different varieties for extended flowering to provide nectar and pollen in spring or summer. Thyme is a hardy perennial that likes sun and free-draining soil.
A perennial that requires a well-drained, sunny situation. It flowers in summer to provide nectar for pollinators. 1. Sign the petition calling for a ban on bee-harming pesticides that contain neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that act on the nervous system of insects. They are systemic insecticides, which means they enter into the plant’s tissue and move around the whole plant to protect it from pests and predators. That means bees and pollinators do not have to have contact with the spray residue, they can absorb the neuro-toxins via the plants pollen and nectar. You can sign the petition here.
2. Take part in The Great Kiwi Bee Count. It is a citizen science project intended to provide a base line for generations of research into the bees that are responsible for pollinating a third of everything we eat and drink. Kiwis young and old are encouraged to get into their gardens, parks or neighbourhood – preferably on a sunny day – pick a plant, and count how many bees they see. The data gathered from across New Zealand over the month will help scientists work out the state of bee health and numbers in the country, and provide a baseline figure for a future ‘‘bee census’’. It takes two minutes and you’ll learn about different pollinators. Go to The Great Kiwi Bee Count now!
3. Register your bee-friendly garden. Every copy of the September issue of NZ Gardener comes with a free packet of bee-friendly wildflower seeds. Just sow these seeds in your own garden, at your school or in your neighbourhood and then add your address to our interactive Plan Bee map. Once you have added your details, a little bee icon will pop up on the to mark your place. Over the course of the month, we’ll be able to see New Zealand becoming more friendly to bees and beneficial pollinators... one garden at a time! Enter your Plan Bee planting site now!