“Don't cut! Flowers for the bees” is what I read on a board in the flower field near my house. Earlier this year I also noticed beautiful red poppies along various roads in Enschede (NL). Flowers seem to keep popping up everywhere.
You probably didn't miss the cry for help that is being called for the preservation of bees this summer. In addition to the explosive rise of flowers in my area, I also regularly come across reports about the preservation of bees and that got me thinking. I knew that bees are important, but I didn't know exactly why and how I could make our garden bee-friendly, for example. I did some research and, in addition to some knowledge about bees, I also have 3 great ideas for you to make your garden or balcony bee-friendly!
Why are bees important?
Not everyone knows, but bees are incredibly important to our society. Without our dear friend the bee, we simply have no food. The bee makes a major contribution to the pollination of our food crops.
How does it work? When bees look for food (or nectar) in a flower, they unnoticed take the pollen from the flower with them. If this pollen ends up in another flower via the bee, this plant is fertilized (Source: Natuurmonumenten). No less than 75% of our food crops are pollinated by bees. So thanks to the bees, we can enjoy fruits and vegetables such as courgettes, peppers, cherries, apples and raspberries.
There are about 360 species of bees in the Netherlands, but more than half of these are already disappearing (Source: Natuurmonumenten). In concrete terms, this means that fewer bees live and that less fertilization takes place. This has drastic consequences, because it also means less fruit and vegetables grow. And these are vital our society!
How is it possible that the bee is becoming extinct?
We now know that there are fewer bees, but how is it possible that they are becoming extinct? The main cause: a lack of food. The bee needs a good, green environment, which is rich in pollen and nectar sources. Due to our destructive behavior (cutting trees, building more buildings) there is less and less green around us. Less green means a less good living environment for the bee. Actually, the threatening living situation of the bee is a direct result of our destruction of the earth and nature.
I want to help the bees!
When I first read the above information I was actually a bit shocked. You are starting to see our impact on the earth more and more and this is a concrete example of it. So: let's look for solutions! I soon learned that a wild garden with tall grass and wild flowers is the ideal habitat for bees. I don't want a completely overgrown garden myself, but I do want to lend a hand by making our garden a bit greener with beautiful wild flowers.
I also read that the more different plants and flowers you have in your garden, the more different types of bees you attract to your garden. For example, bees love lavender and herbs such as dill, rosemary, chives and thyme. But even if you have a balcony, you can already take serious steps to create a pleasant living environment for the bee. So here are my ideas to make your garden or balcony bee-friendly!
1. Seed bombs by Blossombs
With these seed bombs you can create a colorful flower garden for bees and butterflies in a very fun and easy way. You can throw the Blossombs anywhere you want flowers. So this can be done in your garden or, very conveniently, in a pot on your balcony! Fun to do yourself, but also a fun sustainable activity for children.
The seed bombs contain an organic seed mix of wild flowers, specially formulated for bees and butterflies. And yes, they are completely organic! The seed bombs are made in the Netherlands with 100% natural ingredients such as clay, nutrients and color pigments. You can use the seed bombs yourself, but they are also very nice to give as a present. This way you can inspire even more people to make their garden or balcony bee-friendly!
2. Bee hotel by BLOOM your message
Another beautiful and creative idea; a bee hotel. The bee hotel from BLOOM your message consists of a do-it-yourself kit that is made entirely from sustainable and recycled materials. The hotel was developed in collaboration with the Dutch Bee Foundation to give the bee population a better chance of survival.
The outside of the bee hotel is made of agricultural waste and provided with a natural coating that allows it to hang outside in a sheltered place. The interior contains various sizes of holes, suitable for different types of wild bees. In addition, the top of the hotel provides a place for other insects.
Besides the fact that you literally create a house for the bee, the nice thing about this bee hotel is that you have to put it together yourself. This makes it very suitable as a sustainable activity for both adults and children!
3. Growing garden by Superwaste
You can also get to work with this last idea; a nursery garden of recycled tea bags for the bees. With the Superwaste growing garden you can grow bee flowers wherever you want; in the garden, on the balcony or on the windowsill. The garden does not take up much space and that makes is super handy!
The garden contains soil tablets, a bag of seeds and an instruction on how to grow the seeds. It's great to do by yourself or as an educational activity with kids.
Ready for action
Hopefully these tips have helped you and you will also start working on making your garden more bee-friendly next spring. I know that I will see the above three products in my garden! Would you like to give your friends or relatives a bee hotel or seed bombs? Then check the Bee Friendly or the Start Being Sustainable & Bee Friendly gift boxes that I have composed. Together we can ensure that the bee does not disappear!