Chris­tine Rush.

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY BACKYARD BANTER -

The av­er­age Kiwi can’t do much to com­bat bee-re­lated dis­eases like the var­roa mite but to­gether we can help im­prove the health of bee colonies to min­imise the im­pact.

Klein­paste says se­lect­ing a range of plants to of­fer flow­ers through the sea­sons is a good step for­ward.

He’s planted out his own gar­den with the win­ter-flow­er­ing shrub dombeya.

‘‘It’s cov­ered in bees, wasps and flies. They go crazy for it,’’ he says.

Septem­ber is Bee Month and NZ Gar­dener has launched the Plan Bee cam­paign to get neigh­bour­hoods buzzing. Here are a few things you can do in your street to help our pre­cious pol­li­na­tors thrive and sur­vive.

Ev­ery is­sue of the Septem­ber NZ Gar­dener comes with a pack of wild­flower seeds. Scat­ter them in a weed-free patch of your sec­tion and you’ll cre­ate a pretty, meadow-like patch as well as pro­vid­ing a food source for bees.

En­cour­age your neigh­bours on Neigh­bourly.co.nz to band to­gether and help your com­mu­nity’s bee colonies. The more you plant, the more they have to eat.

Even if you don’t have much out­side space, the small­est win­dow box or bal­cony con­tainer can boost the sup­ply of bee-friendly plants in your neigh­bour­hood. Thyme, basil, rose­mary, pep­per­mint, laven­der and le­mon balm are ex­cel­lent bee-friendly herbs for small plots.

Bees need fresh wa­ter too. Fill a

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