Pollinators and How To Attract Them

One of the great joys of having a garden is when you get to share it with others. Just like with your friends and family, one of the best ways to attract birds, bees and butterflies to your garden is to provide food and drinks. Bring in tons of pollinators with these tips and tricks!

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Besides being pretty to look at, these creatures are pollinators, and they are vital to you and your garden. More and more we’re hearing about the declining number of honeybees in the world. While that might not seem like such a big deal — especially if you’re nervous around anything that stings — did you know that almost all of the food we eat needs pollinators to reproduce? So why not create a haven for these pollinators? You’ll be helping yourself, too.

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Beekeepers are at the fore front of pollinator conservation and rehabilitation! If you have a passion for pollinators, think about getting a bee house or two.

Bees Buzz… and they are great POLLINATORS.

When it comes to bees, one of the easiest things you can do is to plant a nice variety of wildflowers that are native to your area. Also, consider planting flowers with one row of petals, like poppies, snowdrops and dahlias. These are easier to access for bees especially, and they have lots of pollen. You can also plant fruits and vegetables that flower, like strawberries and cucumbers.

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Hummingbirds flap their wings 21 times every second!! (1260 times a minute)

If you want to bring in hummingbirds, they love tubular-shaped flowers. The bonus is that butterflies generally like whatever hummingbirds like. Stagger the bloom season for your plants to provide food throughout the season.

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A good way to make sure your flowers stay hearty and healthy to provide a continual food source for the pollinators is by making sure they get the right food, too. We recommend using BigYellowBag Black Garden Soil, as it is rich in the nutrients and organic matter that plants need to thrive. Since it is a perfectly balanced mix of black loam, peat loam, compost and manure, it is able to retain moisture well.

Color Does Matter!

Did you know that bees have favourite colours? They really like yellow, white, blue and purple. Consider planting flowers in these colours. Meanwhile, hummingbirds love the colour red.

While some herbs can repel certain insects (you can read more about that here), pollinators love herbs like lavender, mint and — of course — bee balm.

The old real estate adage is as true for birds, bees and butterflies as it is for us. It all comes down to location, location, location. Make your space hospitable by embracing that ‘lived in’ vibe. That means leaving some wilder space in your yard. While you might not be a fan of a bit of mud, a few loose leaves and a bit of unmowed grass, these are all features that let the bees and butterflies know this is a good place to stay.

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If you want to help the bees along a bit you can consider providing a bee shelter. You can find instructions online to build one, or purchase one from a local garden centre. It’s also a good idea to plant where bees will want to go. They love lots of sunshine, and benefit from shelter from high winds.

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If you want to give the butterflies an especially tasty treat, they love overripe fruit.

Finally, having a bit of water available in a small, shallow dish is a great way to provide a drink for your winged friends. Cheers!

Cameron Shimoda

Garden and Soil Enthusiast