Nowadays, having a garden area at home is more of a luxury. Most people living their city life prefer living in apartment blocks.
But who says you have to go to the woods to enjoy nature?
City life may not allow for the most expansive green areas, but your mini balcony patio can attract the buzz and chirps of bees and birds with the appropriate plantings.
The fluffy, striped little fellas flutter about the plant pots in springtime, making honey and fertilizing the attractive plants that blossom at that time.
Bees pollinate multiple florae that we count on for food, with their significant participation in ecological systems and the delectable honey they produce.
We can attract those little beings by making our outdoors more bee-friendly, and here’s how you can go about it.
Pick Pollinator-Friendly Plants
Adding some greenery to your balcony or patio is beneficial in more ways than one.
While adding aesthetic value, you may also draw bees to your restricted open-air urban environment by planting pollinator-friendly plants. Select plants that:
Can flourish in pots and can stand up to shallow growth conditions. It is best to plant them in larger pots.
- They are suited for vertical growth.
- Are relatively low than extremely high.
- Bloom with vibrant colors. The colors purple, blue, white, and violet are the most appealing to bees.
It might be challenging to draw bees if you live on the top level of a tall structure.
Bees are quite adept at telling their other workers where the finest feed is, but they cannot grasp the height difference.
Therefore, the likelihood that they discover your intricate foraging location will be smaller if you are high off the ground.
Here are some pollinator-friendly plant options:
The chocolate fountain stonecrop specie is simple to insert in pots and can cover gaps with lovely leaves and pollinator-friendly blooms.
Since windy conditions make it difficult for bees to pollinate flowers, the closer the blossoms are to the surface, the ideal.
The stable, compact, and thick Sedum attract pollinators with its rich rose blossoms, and the astute gardener will love its rich foliage’s chocolate tint.
The purple coneflower is a low-maintenance variation that accurately represents the classic species; the vibrant foliage makes it alluring for pollinators and butterflies.
The magenta-rose blossoms have petals that extend horizontally, giving them a huge, dramatic appearance on the patio.
Both honeybees and native bees love the nectar that sunflowers provide. These happy flowers have a brown center surrounded by crimson striations on the yellow petals.
These cheerful blooms are a favorite nectar source for bees. Sunflowers may be grown all year round.
The lavender blooms have a delightful scent, and it is fascinating to see the bumblebees enjoying them while wearing pollen all around them.
Lavender is a fragrant, compact species with little water requirements and plenty of pollinator-attracting blossoms.
One of the most popular plants for pots, rock gardens, and compact areas.
Fall migration of hummingbirds, and different kinds of bees, beetles, and beneficial bugs, depend heavily on goldenrod as a food supply.
Goldenrod is a low-maintenance pollinator attractor that offers much-needed brightness and pollen at the finish of the growing season.
When summer ends, and the plant is covered in yellow-gold, inverted panicle blooms throughout the fall.
Borage is very attractive when it is in flower, and bees really adore it. Because of the attractive shape of its blossoms, it is called the starflower.
Both the leaves and the blossoms are edible and go well in salads. You can also add them to drinks to give them a pleasant sweet flavor and wow guests with a stunning display.
One Petal Ring Is Bees’ Favorite
The nectar and pollen produced by single-petaled flowers are greater than that of double-petaled blooms since they have just one ring of petals.
Furthermore, certain flower types, sizes, scents, and colors appeal more to pollinators than others.
Here are a few options:
- Black-eyes Susan
- Wild Geranium
Make Plans for Blooming All Year Long
To draw bees to your yard, prepare for flowers to bloom throughout the year. You can pick flowers that bloom at different times of the year, such as crocus, calendula, borage, and lilacs for spring.
The summer months are ideal for bee balm, marigolds, cosmos, sunflowers, snapdragons, and pentas. Fall is the time to plant zinnias, asters, and gaillardias.
Expand the Winter Blooms
Many bee species that live in colder climes become dormant during the winter; stingless bees hibernate, solitary bees disappear, and other species move to more temperate regions.
Some bee species, such as the Black bee and common carder, may survive in frigid climes, but they are wiped out when there aren’t enough flowers.
If you live in a region with colder winters, take extra precautions and plant additional wintertime flowers like narcissus, hellebores, ground ivy, and cowslips.
Make a Beehive
Even the busiest bees prefer to take breaks from collecting pollen and feeding on nectar sometimes.
Some species make their homes on the shaded ground beneath the vegetation, while others slink into crevices in trees or even dead trees.
You must build little hollow shelters for honeybees and position them in the most tranquil area of your terrace or garden space.
It’s great to give visiting bees somewhere to stay, but you might want to think carefully before installing a permanent beehive on your balcony.
If you don’t use mulch to feed your plants, you’ll discover bees nesting below your plant container.
Deadhead Your Blossoms Regularly
For beginners to gardening, deadheading is the process of removing your plant’s dead or fading blossoms.
It works best when done repeatedly with sharp scissors because it tells the plant to focus its energy on producing more blossoms rather than seeds, which is the plant’s method of guaranteeing that its lineage will continue.
When deadheading in your bee-friendly space, keep an eye out for drooping, wilting, and dead petals.
Remember that only a few flower species, such as daffodils or Sedum, will bloom again after being deadheaded.
Avoid giving yourself a caretaker’s regret by removing the blossoms from plants that only produce one bloom.
Make a Bee Bath
Did you know that honeybees need water for digestion, dissolve crystalline honey, and keep their colonies cool?
Whether in a home or an apartment complex, making a small bath or a pond for bees can make your balcony garden a lot more bee-friendly.
We recommend making your bath in an old bowl with an open ring, a frisbee, or the bottom of a clay pot.
Place some smooth rocks in your preferred container, and pour it with water until the tips of the rocks are slightly over the water’s surface.
When your bees need a drink, they will have a place to relax and a surface to land.
Your bee bath should be cleaned once a week, at the very least. Combined with washing the dog or cat bowls, if you have pets, this can become a simple routine.
Avoid spraying your plants with typical insecticides, especially those that contain neonicotinoids, because they are toxic to bees.
You might not require pesticides to control native plant species as they are often immune to pests and other diseases.
Instead, you might use organic fertilizers and insecticides that won’t harm honeybees, butterflies, or other pollinators.
Doing this may prevent your garden from turning into a hazardous refuge for these teeny creatures.
Keep Your Pots Close to One Another
Who doesn’t loves lush green foliage and vibrant flowers packed in a cluster?
Honeybees are always on a stroll, hopping from one flower to the other, and while you leave no dead space between the flowers, it will be one joyride for the honeybees.
This may also serve as a breeding ground for unwanted seaweeds due to active pollination, but you don’t have to worry about that.
Bees love feeding on seaweeds. However, if the invasive growth of seaweeds becomes a concern, you can easily stop them from seeding.
Scared of Getting Stung by a Bee? Here’s What You Can Do
When inviting bees to your space, you should get used to their buzzing. While bees are beneficial to your garden, we all know how scary a bee stung is, but here’s the good news; not all bees attack.
Like bumblebees are the most peaceful and will not bother you if you don’t disturb their activity and touch their bee hives.
And just in case you get stung by your buzzing guests, here’s what you can do:
- If at all feasible, get rid of the stinger immediately, maybe by scratching it with your fingernail. Never attempt to remove a stinger from underneath the skin’s surface.
- Use soap and water to clean the afflicted area.
- Use an ice compress.
- As needed, use an over-the-counter painkiller. If you want to relieve discomfort, you can take ibuprofen.
- Elevate the affected area if it is on an arm or leg.
- Use calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to relieve redness, irritation, or swelling.
- Take a diphenhydramine or chlorpheniramine-containing oral antihistamine if itching or swelling concerns you.
- Do not itch the sting site. This can aggravate irritation and swelling while also increasing your chances of infection.
In conclusion, attracting bees to your balcony or garden is easier than you may think. Over the years, bee populations have declined.
There are approximately 3,000 species of bees. Bees pollinate 90 percent of the world’s flowering plants, including many fruits and vegetables.
These pollinators are vitally important to food production. However, bee populations around the world continue to decline.