One day coming back from a relaxing stroll in the peaceful Friedrichswalde, walking on the street overlooking our hives, I was thinking ‘but how much beautiful our hives are??’. Then I was pondering about how a nature lover, sensitive to sustainability and biodiversity could give his help to beekeepers and bees.
Have you ever wondered: bees are nice, honey is good, but in my little, what can I do? How can I help bees?
This is a good question, for sure! After reaching the full awareness about how much bees – those tiny beings – are so essential for our ecosystem, for sure something roused in you. It’s our world, can I do actively something to save it, or not? Maybe this sounds a bit too much, I know, but I’m 100% sure that if everybody, one by one, would pick up a small commitment related to biodiversity protection, something would start to change. Helping bees is certainly a very good first step. Complaining without doing anything won’t help to change anything for sure. Pondering without doing anything won’t implicate so many steps ahead. But if from pondering we move to action? what do you think about it?
Who sows will reap…speaking of this, here it is what you could do: sowing! 🙂
How to help bees: plant & act!
There is a wide range of flowers of which bees are completely in love with, in other words, flowers rich in nectars. You know, it’s like when you go to the supermarket and there are your favourite cookies (sorry I’m greedy for cookies) in offer! It’s something like this. And if right you plant something that makes many bees happy? Have you ever heard about bee-friendly plants? Plants that help bees. I had never noticed this before getting closer to this wonderful black&yellow world, but if you go in any plant nursery or in a common supermarket, most probably you will find for example some pots with a ‘bee-friendly’ label. Right that pot would be on the Amazon wish list of any bee.
There are many researches behind this bees’wishlist, to the point that there is even the possibility to calculate the potential honey quantity that we could get from a certain plant in its blooming period and in excelent conditions. Do you have a piece of garden or a dull balcony? What about giving it an extra touch with a flower or a plant that can help bees? In most of the cases, in addition, they neither need so much care – you don’t have to be such a green thumb, let’s say.
So, do you want to find out more?
What to plant to help bees?
There are many bee-friendly plants, in a beekeeping manual I found some examples:
- Facelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia): it has much nectar, a very long blooming period and this is excelent when it comes to bees because they can get gradually its nectare and for a longer period
- Hovenia Dulcis: its peduncle are edible and sweet (while the fruits are not edible at all), it blooms later and it has much nectar
- Evodia Tetradium: here the nectar qty is so high that it’s also nicknamed as honey tree. So bees’ apotheosis. This too blooms late (end of Summer – beginning of Autumn). But why do I point out this? Because it’s important to let bees have the highest variety of nectar sources during more months of the year.
Other plants, considered as decorative plants, exist too. These are perfect for their nectar as well: Liriodendron, Lavender, Linden and Eucalyptus, for example.
Moreover, there are many fruit trees that make bees literally dancing Samba: cherry trees, apple trees, quince trees, hazelnut trees, pear trees but also berries, such as, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and currants.
And if you love to cook and you like adding spices to your dishes like me, I got hearted-eyes when I found out that some plants like rosemary, sage, savory, basil and thyme are particulary adored by our bees.
So much choice, don’t you believe?
You buy a plant and you essentially offer a dinner to a bee! Not bad, is it? It would be nice to sensitise our administrations as well to use these kind of plants in wild areas or in our parks. It would be a wonderful bee-friendly practice! Something simple to help bees in our little. In the public field next to our house, for example, they have planted many quince and pear trees. These all are for who wants them. Indeed, last Autumn we harvested kilos and kilos of quinces – I had brought a full basket to my mom and my aunt in Bergamo as well! Then in many lawns in the surrounding there are plums trees and several elder trees too – Can’t wait for Summer starting, so as to show off my Marmelade-master skills 😀
And the Gäblini? What have they planted so far?
What about us? In Gäblini’s garden you can find 3 apple trees (and a ‘puppy’ apple tree that we had bought last year, that now has many super cute buds). But also an old cherry tree and two pear trees, these two planted last year and now with some shy buds. Then we have a big rosemary bush, sage, thyme and oregano. Another bee-friendly new entry from 2020 is the lavender, we hope it will become soon a nice big bush!
As we told you here https://www.gaeblini.com/en/2021/04/25/granpa-heinz-beekeeper-for-passion-since-ever/, Granny Eva ADORES flowers, she has an endless passion for all kinds of flowers, so we have many of them as well a bit everywhere.
Last year, in addition, we decided to dive into a vegetable garden adventure (and we liked so much that we are keeping it on!). In our wonderful nursery there were basil, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, salad. While in the outdoor part: carrots, potatoes, green beans, strawberries, bushes of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, these last ones bought a couple of years ago but we were positively surprised about the results 🙂 I enjoyed sooo much all the times I could have yogurt with our honey and rasberries!
If you would like to see more about the flora at our apiary and surroundings, we suggest you to follow us on the social media 😉
And you, what do you have in your garden? Have you already made any bee happy? Would you like to plant something to help bees? We would like to know more – leave a comment here below and/or post the pic of what you have planted on social media with hashtag #plant&act