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How To Bring Bees To Your Backyard : According to the World Wildlife Federation, 75% of global crops and 90% of wild plants rely on bees for pollination. Without bees in our lives, not only would the planet be an extremely bleak place to live, it is also likely that we’d starve. Helping the bees to thrive isn’t down to the beekeepers – it’s the responsibility of everyone. Our backyards and gardens provide the bees with a food source and sanctuary. With some pet-safe natural planting, we can give the bees all they need to survive and continue to pollinate. If we look after the bees, they will look after us for many years to come.
Grow a bee-friendly lawn
A perfectly neat, manicured lawn may look beautiful, but it won’t have the plants and flowers that the bees thrive on. Your lawn can be a wildlife haven, not only attracting bees, but other insects and birds too. If you let your grass grow a little longer, all the seeds that have been dropped by wildlife, or brought in on the wind, will begin to grow, such as clover, daisies and buttercups. These are packed with pollen and essential for the bees. If you don’t want to devote your whole lawn to a wildflower meadow, then you could leave a simple heart shape just for the bees, or just leave the edge strips to grow wild.
Don’t use pesticides
Pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers are bad news for your pets. They are also no good for bees. Common pesticides often contain acetamiprid and thiacloprid – these are active nicotinoids that will kill bees. If you need to use pesticides on your trees or plants, then look for natural alternatives, or make your own. You can use a spray of water and castile soap to control aphids or mites that are causing damage in your backyard. You should avoid chili pepper spray or garlic spray however, as these can be toxic for dogs.
Build a bee hotel
A bee hotel will help to provide a valuable nesting site for the bee species that prefer to nest in cavities. Often they will look for old beetle holes to nest in, but you can easily buy or make a bee hotel using bamboo stems, which are hollow inside. Place your bee hotel in a south-facing position in your backyard – they shouldn’t be in direct sunlight. The entrance of a bee hotel should point downwards, to prevent the rain from getting in and making the wood damp. The bees will nest, but vacate by the end of the summer months. In the fall, bring our bee hotel indoors, or put it in a shed so that it doesn’t get wet. You should also clean out any fungus and debris, to prevent parasites.
Bees are essential to life on earth. You can easily do your bit to protect them, by making your backward a bee paradise.