Independent garden centres and landscape professionals are crazy about native pollinators. Whether or not you’re in the gardening world, bees are an extremely important part of our food source. Experts say that 80% of our food requires pollinator help – which comes from bees, insects and animals – making it important for us to help the bee population.
Throughout the month of March, independent garden centres received PlantSomething materials to use in their garden centres. These materials include the PlantSomething Bee Friendly postcards and posters, making it easier for you to identify which plants to choose for your garden. By selecting bee friendly plants that bloom around the season helps attract more bees to your garden.
In BC there are over 450 types of native bees, however, many of them are solitary and don’t look like traditional bees. Most people can identify a honeybee, or a bumble bee, but garden centres are educating the public about the Blue Orchard Mason Bee, a small bee with a blue-green body. Through workshops at garden centres, gardeners can learn how to position mason bee houses in their yards and care for their new ‘pets’ while helping increase the population of native mason bees in their community.
Professional landscapers are also helping the native bee populations through bee friendly garden designs and suggestions for bee friendly plants to their clients. PlantSomething Bee Friendly magnets are added to the back of landscape trucks to show their commitment to bees.
Bee Gardening Tip #1:
Group like flowers together. By visiting the same flowers bees are able to efficiently collect pollen and pollinate the flowers. Otherwise the bees are constantly re-learning how to enter the flowers to collect the pollen and nectar.
Bee Gardening Tip #2:
Include a small water dish for bees to grab a drink while they are in your garden. Bees, just like us, get thirsty while working in the sun, by providing a little watering hole for the bees you will attract more bees to your garden. Make sure you add small stones to the dish so the bees have a landing area.
Bee Gardening Tip #3:
Using a variety of plants in your garden will help more bees find food. Some bees need smaller flowers with a large landing pad. Other bees, like bumble bees, need larger flowers to access the pollen.
Also make sure that you have flowers that bloom in late winter through to fall. Bees require food as soon as they emerge and the sooner they can find food helps increase their chance of survival.
Use our interactive map on PlantSomethingBC.com to find landscapers and garden centres near you.
Learn more about BC’s native bee population. The Pollination Ecology Lab at SFU is a great resource to explore the different bees that call BC home.