Did you know there are over 1,700 species of native bees in Australia? The busy buzzy bee is one of the most important pollinators for our food chain and is essential to help keep your flowers in bloom! With a few steps, you too can create a bee friendly lawn…
Bees are the world’s largest pollinators; honeybees alone are responsible for pollinating 80% of all flowering plants.
Pollination can also come from wind and water, however only around 12% of the world’s flowering plants can be pollinated by wind. An even smaller 2% of pollination occurs by water pollination.
Pollination occurs when bees collect nectar and pollen from a flower. When collecting pollen, some of this pollen will stick to the bee’s body. When moving to the next flower, the pollen that has stuck to the bee’s body can rub off onto the stigma. This process fertilises the plant, allowing it to grow fruit and seeds so it can spread.
Bees are attracted to flowers that have open or flat flowers that have lots of pollen and nectar. They love a variety of bright and colourful flowers. When looking to put in new plants in your garden, try and make sure you have a balance of plants so that you will always have a flower in bloom. This will help encourage bees to your lawn year-round, helping you create a bee friendly garden.
In some cases, native trees are the preferred choice for bees. Some of their favourite plants include Daises, Eucalyptus, Acacia, and Banksias.
Combination planting in theory will help attract pollinators from using a variety of flowering plants and will help assist certain plants take up nutrients. By using a variety of plants close to each other, you will help create a bee friendly garden. Combination planting can also be used to help deter damaging causing insects.
Over 99% of native Australian bees will either live in a small group (semi-social bees) or will live alone (solitary bees) in small holes in the ground or nests. Both bee types will make their home in a pre-existing hole in wood or will make a hole in the spongy, soft stem of a flowering plant (pithy stem).
To help these bees, you can provide a place for them to go and rest. To make a bee hotel use a small box and fill it with bamboo canes or old flower stalks that are hollow. You may need to cut these sticks to size to fit in your box. You can also use a small block of wood and drill out different size holes for the bees. This will help create a warm safe place for the bees to go and rest in. You should place your bee motel in an area that gets plenty of morning sun.
Flow also sells a bee hotel for native bees. They contain different size sticks so the bees can find their perfect home.
For the aspiring beekeepers, there are a few great beehive starter bundles to help get you started on your bee-keeping journey.
One of our favourites is the Flow Hive. With these hives, you can collect honey straight from the hive with a simple to-use-tap. These hives use partially formed combs. Once the honeycomb is filled and the key is turned the comb will split, allowing the honey to flow out of the hive and into your jar! This avoids the need to open the hive and use processing equipment with no mess.
When it comes to the use of insecticides, we recommend using Acelepryn GR. Acelepryn GR provides safe and effective control of damage-causing bugs while minimising the impact on the environment and non-target organisms like bees and earthworms.
Check out the Lawn Solutions Australia lawn care page for more helpful tips and advice here.