Native bees are an important component of any wildlife-friendly garden, and with about 1700 species, some are probably buzzing around your garden, collecting nectar and pollinating the plants. Here are three ways to make them truly welcome.
- Grow bee-food plants, such as tea tree, callistemon, melaleuca, scaevola, grevillea, westringia and hibbertia.
- Avoid using insecticides, wherever possible, and never apply insecticide to plants in flower.
- Make nest sites for solitary bees (a bee hotel) by tying together bunches of hollow stems, such as pieces of bamboo or lantana canes, and by drilling holes in blocks of hardwood timber. Attach your bee hotel to a tree, or stack the nest tubes in a corner of the garden. Solitary bees are not aggressive, but can sting if handled.
For more Q&As with a wildlife expert about the creatures that visit our gardens, pick up a copy of the August issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, on sale now.