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Pollinator Highway and the Humble Bumble Bee

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

With an abundance of rain and more sunny days, Spring is a time of massive growth as the soil warms, seeds burgeon and herbs bolt looking for water and sun. Insects are more noticeable and each has their place in the garden. None is more welcome than bees; in particular, the humble gentle bumble bee.

We have several bee boxes down the bottom of our garden, (off the ground) where they are least likely to be disturbed, of old bumble bee nests. We've found that the scent of the nest attracts back these gentle ladies in autumn where they hibernate and in the spring have their tribe of offspring.

You will see them with pollen on their legs and occasionally having a snooze in a flower. Males will stay close to the queen.

Of course, bumble bees are not the only pollinators but for now, lets talk about what you can do in your garden to aid them in their search for food. In our garden there are a variety of plants that are encouraged to go to flower. Particularly herbs and vegetables with larger landing zones for these precious girls. The Apiaceae family provide large landing zones. Mostly edible herbs and seasonal vegetables, the Apiaceae family can be planted with a mixture of flowers for your own pleaseure while aiding in the providing pollen and safety for the bee. I've chosen to scatter herb seeds throughout our berm, where we let everything grow at its own rate. Keeping it well watered with captured shower water. The birds get some, but usually they take root and grow. The Herbs and Vegetables that we plant are all viable and we allow them to go to seed for collection. While they are at the flowering stage we have an abundance of insects and birdlife that all do their work accordingly.

Can you start your own pollinator garden? If you're wanting more information, there are a number of excellent articles and resources about NZ Bumblebees and Pollinator pathways.

Life is good


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