Whether you’re living in a strata apartment or a suburban Surfers Paradise property, the secret to flourishing flowers is creating a bee-friendly space. Here are our tips for bringing the buzz to your garden.
A bee is to thank for every one in three bites of food we eat, according to Greenpeace. The process of bee pollination not only keeps our gardens lush and flowers flourishing, but the plants we rely on for food, too. Nuts, fruits and vegetable plants rely on bees for pollination, and without them they won’t get the pollen that they need to continue their life-cycles. The world is in the midst of a global bee crisis, with many species becoming endangered due to pesticide use, air pollution and unsafe habitats.
Creating a bee-friendly garden in your Gold Coast property will not only benefit the bees by providing them with a safe, organic source of pollen, but will encourage a flourishing garden of flowers and vegetables for you to enjoy.
1. Pick bee-friendly flowers and herbs
Flowers are a great way to transform an outdoor space, however it is important to pick bee-friendly varieties. Yellow and purple-toned flowers in tight clusters are a beacon for bees as they are bright and easy to spot when searching for pollen. While flowers with multiple layers of petals are a charming addition for the garden, their pollen isn’t easily accessible. Avoid flowers with several layers of petals, such as roses, and instead opt for flowers with a single layer of petals to make it much easier for bees to collect the pollen.
Flowering fruit plants are a favourite for bees. A strawberry plant is easily grown and contained in a range of property types – even on an apartment balcony garden – and offers plenty of pollen, as well as a healthy treat for you. Bees are incredibly attracted to sweet-scented plants such as honeysuckle, lavender, mint or basil.
2. Ditch the pesticides
Pesticides, even organic varieties, can cause more harm than good to your garden. Many pesticides contain neonicotinoids, which can distort the thinking and feeding patterns of bees, according to a Nature Communications study. Even if you aren’t directly spraying your flowering plants with pesticides, the wind can direct residual dusts or spray towards your flower bed and taint the pollen. Spraying a mixture of apple cider vinegar and castile soap onto weeds will help keep them at bay. Epsom salts can help keep snails away – and your plants will love the high magnesium content.
3. Make use of a bird bath
Between all of the flying and pollinating, being a bee is tiring work. Help them out by setting up a shallow bird bath in your garden with extra stones in to give them a place to land. This way, the bees can grab some water and refuel before getting back to what they do best – pollination. If you see a bee resting on the ground and not moving, chances are that it’s exhausted or dehydrated. Make a mixture of water and sugar and place a small teaspoon of it beside the bee for it to drink. The sugary water will be enough to energise the bee and give it the strength to continue flying.
If you’re looking for a new Gold Coast property to create your dream garden, get in touch with our team at Ray White Surfers Paradise for a friendly chat.