As we round the corner of our first month of Spring, many of you will be noticing that the bees have awoken and that beautiful therapeutic buzz once again returns to our gardens.
We don’t see our garden buddies during the Winter months, as once the temperature drops roughly below 10 degrees, Bees will retreat to their hives. They do this, to ensure they stay warm by cozying up together, surviving solely from the honey they created during the previous Summer, for food.
Then, when the weather begins to warm and flowers start to bloom, forager bees will emerge from their slumber, setting off to find pollen and nectar to feed their colony.
Generally speaking, Bees will only fly within a 6km radius of their hive, so having a corridor of bee friendly plants, flowers and trees between houses, suburbs and shires is crucial to allow for a healthy and thriving bee community. It begins in our very own gardens and hopefully extends to create a wonderful flower web of food across the land.
Here at The Old Shed, we are well aware that if we don’t make the bees (and other pollinators such as hover flies, butterflies etc...) welcome, our veggies and edible produce simply won’t flourish.
So as part of the management of the gardens, we allow some produce to ‘go to seed’, meaning we leave it to flower. Currently we have Coriander and Mustard Greens flowering purely for the bee’s enjoyment!
In addition, we have planted plentiful flowers known to bloom in Spring when the Bees are hungry, such as cornflowers, sunflowers, cosmos, evening primrose, ranunculus, lavender, poppies, snapdragons, salvias, feverfew and marigold to name a few.
If you’re getting in the garden this weekend, spare a thought for the hungry bees and pop some flowers in the ground. Here are a few companion / compatible plant pairings to get you going…
- Marigold – plant with Capsicum and Tomatoes to repel unwanted insects
- Sunflowers – plant with Sweet Corn, grown together they reduce each other’s susceptibility to pest invasion.
- Radish – left to go to seed and planted nearby your Cucumbers, will deter the Cucumber Beetle.
Happy Spring :)