Did you know that there are more than 1500 species of native bees in Australia. They are important pollinators of Australia's wildflowers and vege patches and they are a vital part of our bushland. Native bees can be found nesting in hollow trees, shallow burrows in the ground or in soft dead timber.
The Aussie Bee website provides a wealth of information on Native bees. Their top tips for creating a bee friendly garden are:
- Select plants that flower throughout the year or choose a selection of plants that will flower in sequence in each season of the year
- Select flowers with a variety of colours and shapes - this will support a variety of bee species
- Plant a group of each flower species - a bed or row of plants are more attractive to native bees than scattered plants
- Select plants that provide nesting materials in addition to nectar and pollen - this might be plants with a particular leaf type or trees that produce resin
- Avoid insecticides as these will kill native bees as well as garden pests.
Ten favourite flowers loved by Australian Native Bees can be downloaded here.
99% of Australia's native bee species are not social, however, they will use a Bee Hotel. Bee hotels can be as simple or as elaborate as you like - for more information and for some design ideas from the Aussie Bee website, please click here. Alternatively watch this short clip on bee hotels from Gardening Australia.