Thank you to Christy Erickson for submitting this article, apologize it’s a little late. ❤
Photo via Pixabay by katja
Many people keep their gardens lush and full in the spring and summer but put everything to bed once fall rolls around, unaware that they can have a lovely floral space even when the weather turns cool that will help their local bee population.
Keeping the bees fed and happy will ensure that they keep up their amazing work within our food production system, as bees play a role in about ⅓ of all the foods we eat.
Because these tiny creatures are still so active during fall months, it’s important to give them space to rest, eat, and drink since these can be hard to find when it gets cooler outside. Planting colorful flowers to attract their attention and leaving some green space will work wonders when it comes to helping them stay safe and happy. Read on for tips on how you can create a fall pollinator garden in your own backyard.
It’s a good idea to plant flowers that are native to your region, so do some research on which ones naturally grow in your state. These will flourish in your climate, and when planted in clusters, will attract local bees and help them feed more efficiently. Avoid modern “hybrid” flowers, which are often lacking in pollen and nectar.
Say no to pesticides
It’s an unfortunate truth that many gardeners are well aware of; pests will hang out around your flowers at just about any time of year, and they can do some damage if you don’t take steps to keep them under control. Pesticides, however, are full of chemicals that can do bees harm; in fact, those chemicals are part of the reason the bee population has dwindled in recent years. Instead, look for natural alternatives, such as a spray made with soap, to keep those bugs from eating up your plants.
Do some research
You may begin by choosing flowers that are native to your area, but it’s important to do some research into which plants are best for the bees. Pagoda dogwood, ninebarks, and hydrangeas are great options for year-round plants, and sunflowers are wonderful additions to a fall garden. Any flower that has a large, broad, flat face is great for bees because it gives them a sturdy place to land and feed. For more info on how best to landscape for fall, check out this article.
Give them a drink
Bees get thirsty too, but stopping for a drink can be hazardous to these tiny creatures. Give them a safe place to do so by setting out a small bowl of water with protruding stones so the bees will have a place to land and drink safely.
Give them shelter
Create a place for your local bees to rest and find protection from the elements by leaving dead tree limbs where they are or planting dense shrubs. While some bees burrow underground, others prefer to nest, so give them a spot to do it in. Read on here for tips on how to build a bee condo.
Leave some green space
Think about planting some evergreens around your home, which will provide shelter for the bees and give them a place to rest. It can be hard for them to find viable food sources in the fall, but it can also be hard to find a spot for protection since many people bundle up their gardens once the weather turns cool. Don’t worry about mulching and leave some open green space instead.
Remember that bees are more interested in the flowers than they are in you. Most won’t bother humans unless they are provoked, so talk to your family about allowing them to go about their business without interference. This will help keep the bee population where you live thriving and growing.