COVID 19 may mean a temporary halt to Earth Day events, but you can still focus on the backyard, roof top or deck. So why not create a bee garden? We need these busy striped honey makers to keep our environment ticking. Here are some tips from EarthBites and Rocky Mountain Flatbread on how to get the bizz buzz happening on your back patio or in your backyard. And it’s easier that you think! Talk about a great family friendly Earth Day activity.
4 tips for creating a bee friendly backyard or patio
Prepare a Bamboo Bee Home
You can make a home for bees in your home by simply using bamboo and used tin cans. Wash out an empty can. Hammer a hole in the back of your can with a large nail and from the inside of the can, turn a screw a few half turns.
Cut fully dry bamboo pieces about 1 inch shorter than the can. Tie the bamboo sticks together with string or yarn. Create a little mud and push in the back of one side of the bamboo.
Turn a small screw a few half turns into a south facing sunny fence or wall about four feet above wild flowers, flowering herbs or flowering fruits such as blueberries or raspberries. Place your bee home on the nail. Then place the tied bamboo sticks into your can.
Make a Bee Feeder
Masonry bees are coming out in the next few weeks and they need lots of food. Sugar water is a great source of energy for these solitary bees. Mix 1/2 water and 1/2 sugar into a mason jar. Drill a 1/8 inch hole in the bottom of the jar. Place the jar upside down on a plate using sticks to elevate the jar and add some rocks to create a landing pad for the bees to drink.
Create a Watering Station
The best option to create a watering station is to fill a shallow bowl with fresh water, sticks and pebble so bees can have a landing place to drink from. Place near your bee home and refill daily.
Plant Flowers that Bees Love
Plant a selection of flowers, fruits and herbs to attract native bees. Here are some great suggestions:
- Flowers: Geranium, lupin, sunflower, verbena, calendula, sweet alysuum
- Flowering fruits: Pumpkins, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, kale, raspberries, strawberries.
- Herbs: Sage, parsley, chives, lavender, fennel, borage
EarthBites goes into Vancouver schools to teach thousands of kids how to grow and cook their own healthy meals. The children are instructed by a dedicated team of urban growers, nutritionists and entrepreneurs who are passionate about engaging children with the food they eat. EarthBites is currently partnering with seven Vancouver schools, and was founded in Vancouver in 2007 by the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Education Society.
Harriet Fancott is the Editor and Social Media Manager for Vancouver Mom. She has over 20 years experience in the arts, tech and mom-based blogging arenas. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring all that Vancouver has to offer from festivals and events to playgrounds and beaches to sushi and ice cream (although not together).