Preparations for your garden
As you prepare for planting, do so with a goal to create habitats for bees and other pollinators. You’ll get more abundant and nutritious crops, and a lot of joy from watching the activities of your gentle-natured bees.
Here are FIVE ways to get more joy and rewards from your yard and garden.
1. Re-thinking the purpose
A manicured garden is beautiful to look at, but what does it give back? It has lots of grass, bark chippings, weed mating and low-maintenance plants with a few accent flowers, however to bees, it is simply a dead landscape lacking food, birds, bugs and other beneficial insects. Ask yourself what’s the purpose of your garden space and what can you do to help encourage pollination . . . there’s always something.
2. Give your garden a purpose
Make it a pollinator oasis of flowering plants and trees rich in pollen for nutritious bee food. We need more safe havens for our pollinators and there’s no reason why your yard can’t be one of them.
Add native plants that thrive in your region, instead of the more costly and less hardy hybrids. They require less work to maintain and you’ll save money by less watering.
3. Be chemical wise
If you feel you must use a chemical pesticide, choose one that selectively focuses on your garden problem. Spray wisely— in the early morning or late evening—when your bees and other beneficial insects are not active. It’s not ideal, but will help protect them from direct exposure. Consider also that your bees and other beneficial insects will journey to someone else’s yard that is more chemical free and full of food, therefore it’s a dilemma worth addressing early on.
Resist using “broad spectrum” synthetic pesticides. These types of chemicals indiscriminately kill everything in your yard—thus you are creating a pollinator dead zone.
Try controlling garden pests with “bio-pesticides, such as ladybirds and other beneficial insects who naturally prey on pests as a food source.
Ladybirds eat aphids and are considered a serious option to help eliminate plant pests.
5. Seek balance
If you remove all the pests, you’re going to lose your beneficial insects. A few pests aren’t bad; it’s about a balanced approach to pest management. A healthy yard needs pests for balance.
Ultimately, while there is still debate among environmentalists, researchers, and the chemical companies about the effects of neonicotinoids on bees, our stance at BeeGAP is “natural is best”, therefore we do not recommend using chemicals in a garden.