Interested in creating a garden for your bees and other pollinators? It’s actually easier than you think, but you need to let your garden be a little more wild and natural for it to work.
Clean out your garden area after temperatures are about 10 C outside. Many pollinators hide over the winter in the ground cover, hollow stems and leaves. You should also choose three plants per season that will be in full bloom for each month-spring, summer and fall. It’s also recommended to choose different shapes, colours and sizes.
Thrrow away the desire to plant in perfectly aligned rows, planting in clumps will attract more pollinators because it’s a larger number of flowers to visit in one flight. Your location needs sunlight and to be fairly sheltered from wind. Your bees will like it better that way.
Flower Fact: plants that need pollination usually have colourful flowers and contain special glands within the flower called nectaries. This is what secretes a sugary liquid known as nectar.
If you have honey bees in your yard, think of what type of honey you want to have, as your bees will be sure to visit your garden for pollen and nectar supply.
There are many ideas to choose from including flowers, herbs, shrubs and trees! The aster family is a very pollinator-friendly group of plants that do well across Canada. Also choosing a number of native plants to your area can attract more pollinators as they grow well in your region and are pollinator-friendly.
Chives, Clarkia, Clover, Dianthus, Larkspur, Lupine, Poppy, Alyssum, Violas
Bachelor's Button, Basil, Black-eyed Susan, Gaillardia, Calendula, Echinacea, Salvias, Cosmos, Foxglove, Squash, pumpkin, Yarrow, Verbena / Petunia, Nasturtium, Snapdragon, Blazing Star, Basil, Dill, Thyme
Asters, Dahlia, Marigold, Salvia, Scabiosa, Sunflower, Zinnia
If you need more help planning a pollinator garden, visit your local greenhouse or contact a local horticulture society for help and suggestions. Another good resource for plant types the Agroforestry Woodlot Society.
Once you have your pollinator’s oasis planted, you will be sure to get a lot of new visitors this summer. Bees and other pollinators will be sure to enjoy your colourful nectar buffet.
Our beekeeping season is taking off, so if you have questions or need supplies we are here to help! Call, email or shop online.
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If you are a beginner beekeeper, knowing if there are enough honey stores can be hard to figure out on your very first overwintered hive check. The simplest way to check if there are enough stores is to gently lift your hive from the bottom board (without disturbing the hive too much). If it is very light and easy to lift, you DO NOT have enough stores.