GET YOUR GAR­DEN BUZZING WITH BEES

FLOW­ERS WITH POLLEN AND NEC­TAR BRING BEES AND EN­SURE PLENTY OF POLLINATION TO MAKE YOUR PLANTS FRUIT­FUL

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND - GREEN THUMB WORDS: MA­REE CUR­RAN

To­mor­row is World Bee Day, a day when we can all start do­ing a bit more to help pro­tect this most pre­cious re­source.

Honey bees will travel sev­eral kilo­me­tres on a sin­gle trip to for­age, and, for the sake of ef­fi­ciency, they will go where there is abun­dant pollen and nec­tar.

So think of your gar­den as be­ing a well-ap­pointed rest stop for honey bees out on a for­ag­ing road trip. You don’t need to pro­vide ac­com­mo­da­tion, but a range of de­li­cious food and fresh wa­ter is a must.

Na­tive bees and other pol­li­na­tors don’t travel as far as honey bees, but they too will ben­e­fit from a year-round sup­ply of nec­tar and pollen.

Ex­perts say there are a few things we need to do to get pol­li­na­tors into our gar­dens. First, we need flow­ers with nec­tar and/or pollen, and not just one or two flow­ers here and there. We need at least four va­ri­eties in flower at any time, and, ide­ally, we need clumps that are at least a me­tre in di­am­e­ter.

Use a range of colours, and in­clude flow­ers of dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes to ac­com­mo­date dif­fer­ent types of pol­li­na­tors.

Thyme, oregano, sage, lemon balm, basil, co­rian­der, laven­der, bor­age and rose­mary are a good place to start. One of my favourite bee-at­tract­ing herbs is rocket – it goes to flower pretty quickly and when the seeds are ripe they fall and the next crop is un­der way.

I’d have ground­cov­ers and small shrubs – neme­sia, an­gelo­nia, ba­copa, bud­dleia, salvia, pen­tas and gaza­nia. Good large shrubs and trees in­clude camel­lias, roses, citrus and other fruit trees, jacaran­das and mag­no­lias.

And let’s not for­get all the won­der­ful na­tive plants – gre­vil­leas, cal­lis­te­mon, scaevola, hakea, eu­ca­lypts, lep­tosper­mum, banksia, melaleu­cas, syzy­giums and xan­thoste­mon (Golden Penda).

Got a gar­den­ing ques­tion? Email ma­ree@ede­nat­by­ron.com.au

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