While most green thumbs understand the importance of these pollinators, having plants that attract bees is a must if you want them to pay your garden a visit.
For many years, bees got a bit of a bad rep as vicious stingers that were out to get us, but in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, bees are regarded as one of the keystones of any successful ecosystem, as these tiny creatures are largely responsible for the pollination of many species of plants.
In simple terms, pollination is what we call the transfer of pollen from an anther of a plant to the stigma of a plant. This process enables fertilisation and the production of seeds, most often by the wind but mostly by animals like birds, butterflies, and of course, bees.
On a global scale, almost 80% of the world’s industrial food production requires pollination by insects like bees. While the same concept also applies to residential backyards right here in Australia, purposefully adding plants that attract bees is one easy way to help do your bit in keeping your local bee population safe and well fed.
How To Attract Bees To Your Garden With Plants
Most people are surprised to learn that Australian native bees don’t store nectar and therefore they generally don’t produce honey. It’s for this reason that European honey bees were first introduced to the Land Down Under roughly two hundred years ago, but the cost of this honey did come at a price.
European honey bees steal food from native birds and animals and take over their homes, but the flip side is that they do pollinate some of our crops and many of our native plants. In contrast, native bees pollinate native plants, many of which can’t be pollinated by introduced bees. Some flowers need vibration to release pollen, which many of our native bees can do and European honey bees often cannot.
In turn, both types of bees have a role to play when it comes to keeping the natural world ticking and adding plants and flowers that attract bees to your garden is one way to capitalise on both sets of potential benefits.
Butterfly Bush – Despite its name, butterfly brush is one of the key flowers that attract bees to any garden. As a bushy, hardy perennial shrub with long graceful stems that bloom with pink and white flowers during spring and summer, the plant also goes by the name Buddleia. When its flowers sway in the wind, it’s rumoured to resemble a swarm of butterflies.
Bottlebrush – If you live in an area that receives large amounts of rain, then the humble bottle brush is ideal for flowers that attract bees. Known for its distinct bushy red flowers and is often found growing in areas that are prone to flooding, bottlebrushes are a low allergen plant that thrive in full sun, and can tolerate both droughts and floods.
Native Daisies – Perfect as ground cover and also known as the Swan River Daisy, native Australian daisies are not only sustainable, but are also visually attractive as a garden staple thanks to its delicate mauve, white and blue petals. The shallow flowers of daisies provide readily accessible nectar and pollen to all native bee species and are great for small spaces.
Blue Gum Trees – All bees have a particular fondness for blue gum trees as the flowers that grow on Eucalyptus species are closely linked to a bee’s ability to forage and produce honey. In addition, these trees are often the only food source available to bees during harsh weather conditions that other plants can’t tolerate, so if you have some at home, be sure to keep them.
Honey Myrtle – As a dense mounded shrub with small leaves and clusters of attractive and intricate purple flowers that are produced sporadically all year, the honey myrtle plant can grow as tall as three to five metres if left to its own devices. The intense clusters of pink to purple flowers not only look good, but are also key flowers to attract bees as well.
Nasturtium – As a classic cottage garden plant that is known to ramble through other plants and over garden structures, nasturtium flowers are incredibly easy to grow and care for. Not only does this plant thrive in poor soil conditions, but it’s also famed for its medicinal properties in addition to being a tasty snack for local bees.
Ultimately, the more that you’re able to encourage a sustainable ecosystem in your garden by learning tips like how to attract pollinators like butterflies, the happier your plants will be. However, sometimes your plants may need a little extra help in fending off unwanted invaders, but that doesn’t mean resorting to pesticides that may have negative consequences on the health of your soil, plants and even local wildlife – so what’s the alternative?
Introducing A Safer Way To Spray
Bioweed is an organic, non selective weed killer that works fast on contact with the weed, in order to rapidly desiccate and burn even the most stubborn of plants. It can be used anywhere around the house including garden beds, veggie patches, paths and driveways, and is safe to use around children, animals and even native wildlife.
The best part? Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leaders greenPRO, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production.
If you’re on the hunt for a weed killer that’s safe to use around pets or kids, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely – check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries.