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Bee Bar

Published by Jollean Smith in Bees · 26/5/2019 21:48:23
Tags: BeeBarGardenFlowerNative

I want to share with you a virtual tour of my latest project, the Bee Bar. This is where the Bees can go, to get a buzz!  Where nectar is always on tap. Well not really on tap, but you get the theme. The Bee Bar is actually a fun and interesting space in the garden, that has an important purpose to help native bees.

We have a home that we purchased a year ago that has a very American/Canadian type of yard, mostly lawn. A giant green patch of mowing space. I am not a fan of the massive green lawn. Don’t get me wrong I like patches of lawn, but massive areas just for mowing, make no sense to me. The turf lawn is a costly, time waster with no benefits to nature. My challenge, my husband is a lawn lover. Gasp! He doesn’t have time to mow but he does like the lawn and mowing it.

(Look at all that lawn! It's just half of it.)

Slowly over time, what I am doing is carving out flower beds and creating natural habitats, one square at a time. I feel like, if these new squares appear slowly, I can ease my husband into the ever declining green space and the ever growing native space.

What’s in the Bee Bar?

(It is hard to see all the flowers packed into the space, as many are seedlings or have yet to sprout.)

Along with some humour around bar related topics, this Bee Bar is planted with bee benefits and a little education. Each flower has been carefully selected to serve an important purpose.

1. Provide the most nutrient rich native flowers.
2. Offer a variety of flowers that bloom throughout the year.
3. Grow flowers that provide bees with medicinal value.

The bed does not look like much right now because most of what is planted was done recently by seed. There are only two greenhouse plants in the mix. Many flowers you buy at the big box stores are still being treated we chemicals such as neonics, which wreak havec on a bees immune system. As the Bee Bar grows this summer it will fill in quite a bit.

Here is what is planted:
Asters - Prolific bloomers offering a bounty of fall flowers.
Gaillardia - Native to North America, long summer bloomers.
Echinacea - Also Native to North America, drought tolerant, long summer/fall bloomer.
Agastache - Drought tolerant, Native flower with medicinal value to Bee’s. It contains secondary metabolites. These secondary metabolites are used by Bee’s to help fight intestinal parasites that they may commonly get.
Yarrow - Drought tolerant, Native flower also has medicinal value to bee’s with secondary metabolites.
Cleome - Native North American plant that blooms in the summer.
Camellia - Winter blooming.
Red Clover - A big nectar provider for bees. Also good for the soil as its a nitrogen fixer.

I have also moved some unidentified native flowers that have popped up in walking path areas, into the Bee Bar. As I see the holes in the Bee Bar I will continue to add in a few more flowers until I just have no choice but to expand. Poor hubby!

(The watering hole. One of the worker bees sole jobs is to collect water for the hive.)

The Bee Bar comes complete with signage for visitors and an actual bee watering hole. I am not sure the watering hole actually attracts many bees, but my bird bath not far away does.

Why bother? It’s just one yard.

One acre of wildflower meadow on a single day can contain three million flowers, producing 1Kg of nectar - enough to support nearly 96,000 honeybees per day, according to Plantlife.”1

That is why I bother. Even if I had half an acre or a quarter, the impact to bees is substantial. It’s my goal to support 96,000 bees one day and the Bee Bar is just the beginning.

Consider adding a Bee Bar to your garden. Show off your creativity and share it with us. Once this fills in I will share an updated picture.

Next up is the butterfly garden. I will need to get thinking on how that one will be creatively displayed, but I already have the plants ready for seeding. Stay tuned for that.

Thanks for being here with us.

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Keep reading:
Learn how some flowers are harming bees.

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