May the roof above us never fall in
And may we good companions beneath it never fall out.

~Irish blessing

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bringing Bees Back

Quite a few of the female Rond de Nice zucchini flowers have withered and dropped off after flowering. It occurred to me that they might need insect pollination and since we moved here 6 months ago I don't think I have seen a single bee in the back garden. So after a morning session of pollinating with a cotton bud I decided to think about bee attractants. We already have nasturtiums and borage out there, but not really in abundance, so after the amazing success of the hot lips salvia greggi out the front (I should take a photo, it's really amazing) I headed to the nursery to get another salvia. While we were there Tom spotted a tray of potted sedums that were covered in bees so we grabbed one of those too and have put a little potted flower garden beneath the zucchini bed.

Interestingly, later that day I spotted a native bee gathering pollen from the grevillea in the front garden. I think it might have been one of these guys:

We patted ourselves on the back for our native attractants, but then the next day I spotted one getting into the roses along the side of the house, so I guess they're not too fussy.

Anyway, it's been a few days and I haven't seen any bees in the back garden yet. I was wondering whether we are just too close to the flowerless CBD for most bees to bother, and my research led me to a newspaper article about these wonderful people who are setting up hives on rooftops around the city.

Apparently bees need a nearby water source so our little bird bath and other water filled dishes should help, and once our Silver Princess eucalypt matures we will hopefully have enough to tempt some bees into the inner west. Fingers crossed.

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