Planting a friendly garden for the bees is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature and get your hands dirty.
Select flowers that have a variety of colours and shapes. The different type of native bees like different types of flowers.
- Some have short tongues and like shallow flowers such as daisies, tea tree and Eucalypt blossom. Others have long tongues and like tubular flowers such as Coastal native rosemary (Westringia), lavender and salvia.
- Some prefer blue or purple flowers. However, mauve, pink, yellow and white flowers are also popular.
- Some native bees have strong preferences for a particular native flower. However many will happily visit a wide range of both exotic and native flowers
STEP 4 - Plant flowers that have nesting materials
In addition to nectar and pollen, some bees need collect materials to build their nests. Leafcutter Bees cut small circular or oval-shaped pieces of soft leaf to construct nest cells for their young. They particularly like the leaves of rose bushes, Buddleja, Bauhinia, Desmodium and wisteria. Resin bees need to collect resin from trees to construct their nests. We sometimes collect some resin from our Stingless Bee hives and put this out for the Resin Bees to use
STEP 5 - Avoid insecticides in your garden
Insecticides will kill native bees as well as garden pests. Try to avoid using any insecticides in your garden. However, if you really have to use one, choose an insecticide that has low toxicity for bees, try to apply it when bees are not active (such as at night or on a cold day) and avoid spraying the flowers of the plant.
Information provided by Aussie Bee