Hmmm…but not these 2 adorable grandies of Julie!
Helping Our New Zealand Bees
Bees are critically important to New Zealand and to the New Zealand economy – much more so than you might think! Without bees, our gardens would be without many of their plants and flowers, and our major agri-export industries (worth around $5 billion) would be in severe trouble! At least one third of our foods depend on honey bees for pollination, which provides us with 35% of our calories, most of our minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants. What would happen to our nutrient food intake and in turn our health if our bees disappeared?
Albert Einstein said, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live”.
Things aren’t quite so bad in New Zealand yet, but New Zealand bees are increasingly threatened with the long-term effects of varroa mite and other new diseases. Added to this is the misuse of pesticides that affect bees in gardens and on farms, the loss of habitat for shelter and the lack of flowers for bee food.
Here’s what can we do to help our precious New Zealand bees survive:
- Garden organically if possible. If you struggle with that idea then look for bee friendly natural sprays and use them at dusk when the bees are back in their hives. Also avoid spraying when plants are in flower.
- Grow plants in your garden that attract bees. Bees love plants with ample amounts of pollen and nectar such as borage, lavender, rosemary, calendula and forget-me-not. Remember, bees are attracted to yellow, blue-green, green and ultraviolet flowers. You can purchase wildflower, bee friendly seeds from any plant shop. Some of us may like to have a garden just for bees by clearing a small place in our back yard and just planting the plants and flowers they like.
- Bee drinking stations are very handy for the bee. Put shallow dishes with pebbles or small sticks on the bottom, so the bee has something to land on. Fill with fresh water and the bees will come back every day for a drink.
Natural Weed Killer
Mix in 1 litre spray bottle
- 250 ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespons of salt
- 2 teaspoons liquid dish soap
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and treat weeds at the sunniest time of day for best results.