Spring is just around the corner and with more people becoming aware of nature’s soothing effects, now’s a good time to green up your space and boost biodiversity at the same time.
Contributing to 35% of global food production, bees are essential for supporting agriculture and biodiversity. Sadly, populations are declining around the world, but the rise of urban conservation could just be the key to increasing the numbers of these life-giving pollinators.
Bees have always been part of the urban landscape and can be found thriving in gardens and parks.
Why do bees thrive in urban environments?
An article by leading US digital publication Smart Cities Dive points out that, due to insecticide, extensive farming practices and habitat loss, bee species are under threat in rural areas. It also reports that urban bees have larger colonies, are better fed and less prone to disease with colonies surviving longer than their country cousins.
Subsequently and given South Africa’s fantastic climate, bees can easily be attracted into our urban spaces no matter the size.
What you can do to attract bees into your garden
- Grow bee-friendly plants – this does not have to be anything arduous and a little potted plant outside your window or on your patio is perfect! Bee-friendly plants such as lavender, aloes, gazanias, freylinia, anthericum and strelitzia are all hardy, easy-to-grow plants.
- Provide a little shelter – having a small space of uncut grass at the corner of your garden could provide a much-needed haven for bees. You could also create a bee hotel out of recycled material.
- Avoid using pesticides in your garden – these kill bees and other pollinating insects. If something is eating your plants try a solution of sunlight soap, oil and water to keep pests at bay.
- Support local beekeepers – by purchasing honey and other bee products from them to help keep the bee population safe in your area.
Are you an urban conservationist? If so, please share with us what you’re doing to green up your urban space by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.