This month, Life is a Garden is taking part in the important global conversation about the need for urgent bee conservation. Like you, we are gardeners on a mission! And this month our mission is to #PolliNationSA and gather all the green fingers we can to join us in creating nation-wide, bee-friendly backyards. Here’s how you can help our crop crusaders by planting their faves, making small adjustments to your current garden, and even building homes for these hard workers.
Let’s speak bee
We are inviting gardeners to awaken their inner eco-warrior and consider the bee as an essential service to mankind! The balance of Mother Nature and Her creatures are in a delicate little dance with humanity, with the bees playing an ever-important role in sustaining the following:
- In South Africa alone, over 50 different food crops are dependent on bee pollination.
- The honey bee not only pollinates our fruit and vegetables, but they also improve the weight and quality of them.
- Bees sustain our wild flora, which in turn supports the growth and preservation of almost all biodiversity and ecosystems in South Africa.
- These guys are THE most important group of pollinators visiting over 90% of the leading 107 crop types worldwide.
- Bees also contribute to job creation and employment on a beekeeping and farming level.
- Honey offers many medicinal benefits such as anti-bacterial and diabetic properties.
Planting for bees
Welcoming honey-makers into your garden is easier than you may think. Once you know how to cater for bees, planning your next flower pot or gardening project becomes super easy. Similarly, a few simple additions to your current garden could make all the difference. Here’s what you can plant for bees:
- Herbs such as sage, fennel, lavender, thyme, and rosemary
- Flowers such as sunflowers, coneflowers (Enchinacea purpurea), Cape Daisy (Osteospermum ecklonis), dahlias, roses, Cape Forget-me-not (Anchusa capensis), and cosmos
- Shrubs such as Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), Aloes (Aloe spp), proteas, September Bush (Polygala myrtifolia), and porkbush (Portulacaria afra)
- Fruits and veggies such as watermelons, cucumbers and pumpkin are a bee-fave!