Urban gardeners are being urged to lend a hand to a small and often overlooked worker that plays a huge part in New Zealand’s economic well-being – the humble honey bee.
Landcare Research has joined with the National Beekeepers’ Association (NBA) to launch the Urban Trees for Bees program.
The initiative is based on the successful Trees for Bees program launched last year by the Federated Farmers of New Zealand Group that was aimed at the agriculture sector and is based on improving the numbers and health of New Zealand’s bee stocks.
Urban Trees for Bees includes tips to make gardens more bee-friendly and researcher Linda Newstrom-Lloyd says creating the list of best bee plants for gardeners was quite different from the previous regional lists for farmers.
“Plants in gardens often receive more specialised care than plants out on the farm and they don’t need to be so practical. In gardens, the possibilities for numerous plant species with glorious flowers are endless and even the vege garden can have lots of good bee plants like squash and corn.
“Almost all of the herb plants tend to have a lot of nectar and are particularly well loved by bees, especially rosemary, lavender and sage. The same is true for fruit trees like apples, and plums and especially citrus fruits. Native plants for the garden such as New Zealand flax and the cabbage tree are also of high value for bees,” Dr Newstrom-Lloyd says.
NBA spokesperson, Maureen Maxwell, says growing awareness of the plight of bees has seen an increase in calls from gardeners to assist.
“Now that there is a much greater awareness of the global bee crisis, most people want to do something to help the bees in New Zealand. The plant list we created for gardens in the Urban Trees for Bees project is an excellent tool that people can use to help protect the New Zealand honey bee in cities and in country gardens,” she says.
- National Beekeeper Association of New Zealand
The Urban Trees for Bees brochure presents a shortlist of bee plants suitable for both city and country gardens. To download your copy or to find out more about how you can help, follow the link below.
Or if you are in the Farming Industry and would like to know more or download your copy of the Trees for Bees Program, follow the link below.