Bee-Friendly Gardens, Insect Hotels & Hand Pollinating Tips


When we plant for bees, our gardens not only become more BEE-autiful, but also more productive. I'm sharing how to create insect hotels; hand pollinate your crops to boost your harvest; grow garden-friendly habitat for pollinators + choose bee-friendly flowers. Dig in!
Tips to attract bee 'guests' to your 'hotel'!
Tips to attract bee 'guests' to your 'hotel'!
By providing 'Bed and Board' for pollinators and meeting their needs, you can encourage them to take up residence in your garden. Bees need shelter (to rest & raise families); food (nectar & pollen) + water (to drink & bathe).
Bee houses can be decorative garden art too!
Bee houses can be decorative garden art too!
To be sustainable, I prefer to upcycle or reuse materials on hand. Natural fibres and supplies like bamboo; wood; broken pots, bricks or tiles; pine cones; corks; hollow plant stems; corrugated cardboard from old boxes; clay; bark and pruned branches are ideal materials to use. Avoid PVC or other potentially toxic materials.
A shallow, safe bee bath with landing zone
A shallow, safe bee bath with landing zone
When planting a bee-friendly flower garden, these are some helpful tips:
1. Choose TRADITIONAL FLOWER VARIETIES particularly those with SINGLE FLOWERS (where you can see the stamens). They have more nectar than modern hybrids.
2. Include a DIVERSE range of flower shapes, colours and sizes to attract different bee species.
3. Plant flowers for ALL SEASONS so there's food all year round.
4. Plant flowers and plants of the same type in small GROUPS, clumps or borders.
5. Be COLOUR SELECTIVE (include blues, whites, yellows, purples & violet). These are bee magnets!
Nectar + pollen rich Flower List for bees
Nectar + pollen rich Flower List for bees
During an average collection trip, a honey bee visits 50-100 flowers. If you don’t have this many flowers in your garden, bees are likely flying next door to finish 'shopping' for food. If you don’t have room for a lot of flowering species, work with your neighbours to plant for bees. Create a bee-friendly zone in your neighbourhood.
These colours are especially favoured by bees
These colours are especially favoured by bees
Sometimes nature literally needs a hand. I've put together a FREE printable 'How to Hand Pollinate Fruit & Vegetables Guide'. It covers 2 methods I use to improve pollination and your harvest with illustrated steps. You may also find this handy.
Step-by-Step Guide to Pollinating by Hand
Step-by-Step Guide to Pollinating by Hand
There are loads more tips on boosting your harvest by making your garden more attractive to pollinators in this article. Click the link for more pics and details. If you missed Part 1 of this series on Pollination, you can find the post @ https://themicrogardener.com/4-steps-to-improve-pollination-and-your-harvests-part-1/.
bee friendly gardens insect hotels hand pollinating tips, gardening, homesteading, repurposing upcycling
I'd love to know what plants YOU grow to attract bees and pollinators to your garden, so please share in the comments.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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2 comments
  • Cora Binam
    on Apr 9, 2018

    As a member of my local Bee keepers assosation, Thank you for your efforts, ideas, and enthusiasm!!!!

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