Bees are vitally important - in fact, one in every three bites of food that is eaten worldwide is taken thanks to bees and other pollinators. However, the global population of bees is in decline. We can all help by creating gardens which are attractive habitats for bees to visit. Moreover, there are many benefits of connecting children with nature at a young age. Let’s get them on board with the importance of bees and how we can encourage bees into our gardens.
Flowers For Bees
Bees love plants that are rich in pollen and nectar and as they move from plant to plant they transfer pollen, producing fertile seeds. To encourage bees, plant plenty of pollen-rich flowers in your garden which will provide blooms all year round, choosing several colors and shapes of flowers and planting them in clumps. Examples of flowers bees love include Asters, Wild Bergamot (also known as beebalm) or Goldenrod. To keep children interested, they can plant sunflowers, marigolds or nasturtiums. These are popular with bees as well as being easy, fun and quick to grow.
Crops For Kids...And Bees
Bees also love a herb garden and at the same time, kids can learn about growing plants from seed, caring for their plants, harvesting when ready, cooking and finally eating tasty food they have worked hard to produce. Bees particularly love mint, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Spending time in the garden is great for children's intellectual, emotional, social and physical development as well as promoting healthy eating. Fruit trees are also good for bees and kids love picking and eating cherries, strawberries, and raspberries as much as bees like the blossom.
Somewhere To Live
In order to learn about how bees live, create a home for them in your garden. Bee condos are simple to build by drilling holes into a piece of wood or bundling straws into a box or bottle and hanging in a warm, dry location safe from predators. These condos will encourage bees to nest as well as being a great activity for kids. If space allows, install a beehive in your garden. Hives should be positioned in a quiet spot which gets plenty of sunshine, especially in the morning. Take some advice from a local beekeeping club and you will soon be harvesting your own honey.
Bees, a vitally important insect, are in decline. We can all help by creating gardens which attract bees as well educating our children as we go along. Kids can grow sunflowers, harvest herbs, and fruit, create habitats, and eat honey produced by their own bees at the same time as understanding the importance of bees to our world.