Gardening

How to attract bees and other beneficial pollinators to the garden

In today’s post we will see how to attract bees to the orchard or garden to promote pollination and get better harvests of fruits and flowers. As we have already seen in other blog articles, bees, like other pollinators, have many benefits for the garden and for the crops.

Pollinators go from flower to flower and with their little legs carry pollen from one plant to another. This is essential for the formation of many vegetable fruits, so today we will see some methods to attract bees to our garden.

If the bee disappeared from the planet, man would only have 4 years to live

Quote attributed to Albert Einstein

The importance of bees is crucial in ecosystems and, of course, in an organic garden. You can read more about this in this article about the importance of pollinators.

How to attract bees and other pollinators

Below we will see some tricks to attract bees and other beneficial pollinators for the organic garden.

1. Make a shelter for bees in the garden

Do you remember the post in which we explained how to make a shelter or house for ladybugs like this one?

Shelter for beneficial insects

Well, we could do the same with bees: build a house or shelter for bees where they can live. Here is a very cool video of how a colleague, an Agricultural Engineer from Chile, makes her own modular shelter to attract bees.

2. Plant hedges to attract pollinators

The hedges that border the orchard or the garden have a lot of benefits for the organic garden. To begin with, the diversity of beneficial insects that they attract to the orchard, such as pollinators or other insects that are natural enemies of pests because they feed on them and can help us eliminate them.

Hedges and shrubs interspersed in the orchard

We have published several posts talking about hedges and some interesting species such as hazel, ivy or wild fruit hedges. You can see more about this in this link to the post «Interesting species for hedges in organic gardens»

3. Associate aromatic plants with vegetables to attract bees

Aromatic herbs are very useful plants in the kitchen to flavor many dishes, prepare sauces, stews, garnishes… But in addition to their culinary usefulness, they can help us a lot in the garden because many of them, with their smell, help us attract bees to the orchard

Association of horticultural with mint

For all its benefits, we have several posts on how to grow aromatics step by step, about its benefits, which aromatics to plant and why… (You can find all these posts by typing in the blog search engine the word “aromatics”. I hope you like them!).

4. Place artificial hives in the garden

I didn’t know about this method of keeping bees in the garden until we visited China last year and I saw it in some greenhouses (You can see some very interesting articles from the Agrohuerto trip in China and everything we saw there in the category «Types of Orchards around the World»).

In the first image you can see the yellow whitefly traps hanging and, in the lower left, a white and yellow box. It is an artificial hive to keep the bees close to the crops (in the image on the right you can see the open box in the foreground).

Artificial hives to keep bees in the orchard

The following photos are from another orchard where we also saw this system to keep the bees in the orchard. It seems to me a good option so that, with little effort, we can fill the garden with beneficial insects that pollinate plants.

Artificial hives of bees to pollinate the orchard

5. Plant flowers to attract bees

Flowering plants can also be great allies in the organic garden. Like aromatic flowers, some flowers can attract pollinators because of their strong smell and color. There are many beneficial flowers for the garden, but in the post Flowers in the garden to ward off pests or attract beneficial insects you can see some of the most useful ones.

Flowers in the garden to attract bees

I hope you have found these tips on how to attract bees and other beneficial insects to the garden useful. I await your recommendations in the comments if you know other ways to get more bees for the orchard and the garden.

References

  1. Perret, S., Gacitúa, S. & Villalobos, E., 2012. Honey orchards. Sustainability for beekeeping production. Forest Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture. Government of Chile.
  2. Potts, SG et al. (eds.), 2016. The assessment report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production. IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the UN).
  3. García García, M. et al., 2016. Pollination in agricultural production systems: systematic review of the literature. Idesia (Arica), vol. 34 (3), p. 53-68.
  4. Bado, SG et al., 2016. Arthropods associated with implanted floral bands in a cherry tree crop. National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA, Argentina).
  5. Miñaro Prado, M. et al., 2018. Pollinating insects in agriculture: importance and management of their biodiversity. Ecosystems Magazine, vol. 27 (2), p. 81-90.

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