Everyone knows that the bee population is declining. A recent study showed that 1/3 of honeybee colonies died in the past year, which has major implications for our food industry. While you don’t want stinging insects to harm your guests, employees, or residents, it’s important to create an environment in which they can live happily while staying away from people. Here are a few ideas for creating a friendly environment for pollinators.
One great way to keep the honeybees happy is to plant a variety of flowers and plants in which they can pollinate. Here are a few tips on selecting the rights ones:
- Include plants that are native to your area as pollinators prefer these over non-native plants. Typically, only 20-30% of suburban landscaping include native plants.
- Plant a variety of flowers with different shapes, sizes and colors. Honeybees also prefer purple, yellow, and white flowers where they have difficulty seeing red and green.
- Choose flowers that will bloom in different seasons. If you are in a climate that has warm weather most of the year, consider adding plants that will bloom at various times to keep the bee community thriving.
- Plant in masses. Bees typically will only feed off one species of plant per “outing”, so be sure to have a minimum of 5-7 of the same plant species near each other rather than dispersed throughout.
- Minimize lawn. If your facility has a large lawn area, considering adding natural areas with native flowers and plants species. It also gives you the added bonus of reducing time mowing. If you want to keep the lawn, add white clover.
- Microclimate your garden for pollinators. Bees prefer areas that are in the sun, so a south eastern exposure is best in considering where you will plant your garden. This will give you the most sunlight from morning to mid-day.
Keeping Away From Guests
Don’t think that adding a garden necessarily means that bees will come after the people on your property. Remember, if the bees have the chance to live happily then they will be less likely to bug your guests or swarm to food and garbage areas. Bees like sugar, which can be found in soft drinks or fruits if they are left out. Keep a clean environment and make sure your trash and garden are nowhere near each other.
Do you need safe removal of bees on your property?
While keeping the bees happy is in everyone’s best interest, they can become an issue if they have built a nest or colony too close to your property or where guests may be. If you need to remove bees from your property, do not attempt to do this on your own. A pest control company like Wil-Kil can remove a bee colony in the safest way possible. Contact us for more information.