You may be wondering “How can I support the bees?” Lucky for you, you have arrived at the right place!
Hands-on projects benefit local bee populations. From feeling parched due to California heat to craving the next ideal flower, we can help these critters by crafting a container garden that we like to call “Beelieve Boxes.” Keep reading for details on the suggested contents, handy instructions, ideas, and direct links for recommended supplies and affordable products.
- Container large enough (about 5-10 gallons) to grow 2-4 medium-large flowering plants (link to recommended grow bag: https://www.amazon.com/247Garden-5-Pack-Gallon-Aeration-Handles/dp/B013JFHMNK/ref=sr_1_32?dchild=1&keywords=grow+bag&qid=1612379685&sr=8-32)
- All-purpose, flower-enriching soil (such as https://www.homedepot.com/p/Miracle-Gro-Miracle-Gro-Garden-Soil-All-Purpose-for-In-Ground-Use-1-cu-ft-70551430/312540716?mtc=Shopping-B-F_D28O-B-D28O-28_3_SOILS_AND_AMENDMENTS-MULTI-NA-Feed-LIA-NA-NA-BASE_SHP&cm_mmc=Shopping-B-F_D28O-B-D28O-28_3_SOILS_AND_AMENDMENTS-MULTI-NA-Feed-LIA-NA-NA-BASE_SHP-71700000055296437-58700005215196439-92700056795182801&msclkid=752dce02242011f5e722ae1920e3ea6f&gclid=752dce02242011f5e722ae1920e3ea6f&gclsrc=3p.ds ordered to the proper amount depending on the size of your selected grow container)
- Bee-attracting flower seeds. We recommend using 2-4 of the following (note: these selections are best in climates similar to the San Fernando Valley in Southern California):
- Zinnia https://www.burpee.com/flowers/zinnias/zinnia-giant-flowered-mixed-colors-43273A.html?msclkid=dc704e4e2dd511bc7b2d2e5932a0305b
- Wild Bee Balm https://www.amazon.com/Seed-Needs-Monarda-fistulosa-Seeds/dp/B003TCVMYE/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=bee+balm+seeds&qid=1612128329&sr=8-2#customerReviews
- Verbena bonariensis https://www.burpee.com/perennials/verbena/verbena-bonariensis-prod001064.html
- Marigolds https://www.seedsnow.com/products/marigold-sparky
- Rosemary https://www.amazon.com/Gaeas-Blessing-Seeds-Rosemary-Germination/dp/B08KZLT7XJ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=organic+rosemary+seeds&qid=1612129543&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExVUo3NEYyQTFEQldVJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTQ2OTg1MzQ3QlVIRE83OVNNRiZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwODM3MjAzMkZBU0FONFVYNjdTRCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=#customerReviews
- Raspberry Lemonade Zinnia https://www.burpee.com/flowers/zinnias/zinnia-raspberry-lemonade-mix-prod001532.html
- Orange California Poppy https://www.amazon.com/Seeds-Eschscholzia-californica-Islas-Garden/dp/B0877X12ZJ/ref=pd_di_sccai_3?pd_rd_w=KrKjX&pf_rd_p=c9443270-b914-4430-a90b-72e3e7e784e0&pf_rd_r=K39ZV65GTNAQHPRMSB75&pd_rd_r=d39b9788-41f5-4dd3-8695-849fea2a69d2&pd_rd_wg=Liw5b&pd_rd_i=B0877X12ZJ&psc=1#
- Lavender https://www.etsy.com/listing/747152627/lavender-organic-seeds-heirloom-open?ref=pla_similar_listing_top-3&frs=1
- A consistent water source
- A sunny area ideal for your selected seeds (see packages for how much sun the seeds need)
- Obtain seeds that require similar light, water, and soil
- Select a sunny location in a yard or on a balcony/roof that you welcome bees and other pollinators into
- Gather your grow bag/gardening container, soil, seeds, and water
- Pour enough soil into the container to reach 2-3inches below the rim
- Follow the directions on the packages of your selected seeds for planting instruction ideal for each type
- Carefully water your sowed seeds
- Keep moistened according to your seeds’ preferences, but do not water too much or else the the emerging plants may become sick and not grow well. Additionally, over-watering may cause rot to form, especially at the bottom of the grow bag
- Be patient as the plants develop. It will take at least a few days to see growth, and a few weeks to a couple months for the flowers to bloom and attract bees, again, depending on the plants you grow.
- Enjoy the sight of your little bee oasis. The bees will thank you for all of your work and care!
- Email pictures of your process to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured on our Instagram (@beeside.the.bees) and/or on our website!
Just like humans, bees need water to live. Unfortunately, it is often a struggle for bees to find sufficient water when on the job. So let’s help them by creating bee baths for your yard or balcony!
First, find a clean dish that can go outside (be sure that it will be able to withstand the weather and harsh temperatures). Next, find pebbles and medium-sized rocks to place inside the dish at various levels. Toss in a couple of twigs and fill with clean water. You want to make sure that there are enough exposed rocks above the surface of the water so that the bees have places to rest and drink, or else your efforts may not be as effective. Change out the water every day to ensure that bacteria, fungus, and other threats do not infest the water and sicken the bees. Note that if you live in a sunny and hot place, you may want to keep a consistent eye on your bee bath to make sure that the water did not evaporate completely, or else the bees will not benefit. Lastly, your best bet is the place the dish near any bee-attracting plants (this may be next to a garden, flowering plants, etc.). Congratulations, you have just created a bee bath! Your local bees sure thank you for providing them with refreshments.