Bee Garden Challenge

stevo

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Hey everyone, I am running a Bee Garden Challenge through my Facebook page and website: https://www.nativebeehives.com

Here's some basic info, any support is appreciated.

Bee Garden Challenge!
Gardening is great for your mental health and also a great activity for your kids, it will also help the bees!!

What to do
  1. Start a new garden… Flower garden, Vege garden, Pots etc, What ever you like that will benefit Bees
  2. Take a before photo of the area so we can see how it looks before you started
  3. Take another photo of it at it’s best
  4. Post the two photos before December 14. Post on the Native Bee Hives Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/Native-Bee-Hives-786044761508635/ or email [email protected] .
  5. Good photos presented in an understandable way will help me and others understand what you have accomplished and your chances of winning.

Challenge starts now!
Ends December 14

Get the prizes for Christmas.. Posting prizes with in Australia only.


**Even if you don’t come back and post photos, think about starting a garden that will provide resources for the bees!

***If anyone or businesses want to donate prizes let me know!
 

spector

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I have an area that I re-sow with native pollinator wildflowers every year. It is getting bigger and more diverse, and I noticed it was quite popular this summer! I had some old kale seed, so I added that last year, and it became a whole mini-ecosystem of pest insects, followed by beneficials. It was an unintended but welcome benefit that the pest seemed to prefer the wild kale to my cultivated veggie plants!

Unfortunately, almost all the flowers are dormant right now, and they won't bloom before the end of this year, so no opportunity to participate in the contest. Too hot and dry to plant any new seeds right now, although I will be putting some more out in fall. I am trying to add some native herbal/edible plants into the mix, as well. For now, the bees are enjoying the beds of lavender and mint that have grown out of control.
 

Vicky

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what a good idea stevo, I have a couple of packets of bee and butterfly flower mixes that I'm trying to get going around the yard, I also try to let at least one of each variety of veg go to seed for the insects. Coming up to the time to get seeds going which is always exciting. We also have a ton of soursobs come up in our yard every winter which I have left for the bees this year.
 

Janelle

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We had an abundance of bees when our mock orange was flowering. Now I notice them on the lemons and also high up on the flowers from a large fish tail fern we have. Looking forward to seeing the results of your challenge.
 

stevo

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Thanks for the replies and positive comments, cheers. Yes it's good to let a few vegies go to flower and maybe leave some of the garden to go feral.

I've removed a few sections of lawn and have put in a bit of bee, butterfly, pollinator mixes, they're all going very well too.

Here's one garden progress shot...

nbh_beegardencomp_web-3.jpg
 

DTK

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Stevo, I am so envious of you folk who can garden without cages. I am not all that far from you but anything I plant outside the veggie cage gets eaten overnight.

All the best,
 

Vicky

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Not sure about the native bees but I'm trying to plant under our small apple trees a range of bee/butterfly friendly plants as well as some that we can harvest, borage is the first one I had success with, although the elephant garlic was here when we got here, I've managed to spread it around a bit over the years though. There is Love in a Mist, some chives, tansy, parsley. I've even put some strawberry runners in there and some survived over summer with lots of water. And this year, I managed to get a couple of little patches of lucerne under one or two trees. We get a carpet of soursobs in the general area around the trees over winter so that helps the European bees but I don't really know of the native bee appetite.
 

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stevo

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update for this competition....

The Bee Garden Competition was a great success with 46 entries submitting 125 photos. 18 businesses happily and enthusiastically donated well over $1000 worth of their products as prizes for the competition.
The main objectives for the competition were to create new resources for native bees, but possibly equally important, to create activity and awareness around our native bees.

During the Covid restrictions it may have given some of us something to focus on and gardening is known as very beneficial for both mental and physical health. The native bee community is quite small in Australia, but a gardening competition crosses over to the garden community which is massive around the world so it draws new people across to develop an awareness and interest in native bees. Most people only know the European Honey Bee and don't even know there are "other bees".

To start with I only had one prize and that quickly grew from businesses wanting to be involved and sending me their products. A few of those businesses and people I know were also inspired to start their own gardens which were very impressive.

There were so many great entries it was difficult to choose the winners and I felt bad not being able to give everyone something for their efforts. Hopefully the native bees that are attracted to their new gardens will be their reward! (Cheesy?)

AA_beegardencomp_webcollection1.jpg

beegarden-promo-04092020.jpg
 

Grandmother Goose

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I've been getting a bit concerned about the lack of bees I've been seeing around my place lately, it's spring and they should be common and all over the place, but I've only seen one honey bee in 3 months. Then yesterday when I was working on building my front garden - which will be full of ornamental flowering plants - I was delighted to finally see a native blue banded bee. I couldn't get a photo of it at the time sadly.
 

Jason890

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I've been getting a bit concerned about the lack of bees I've been seeing around my place lately, it's spring and they should be common and all over the place, but I've only seen one honey bee in 3 months. Then yesterday when I was working on building my front garden - which will be full of ornamental flowering plants - I was delighted to finally see a native blue banded bee. I couldn't get a photo of it at the time sadly.
When I first started rebuilding my garden I was wondering what bees where around, but once the macadamia trees started flowering there where bees everywhere honey bees and native
Might be because I take more notice but they actually swarm when I walked past the trees you could here them buzzing
Now they are in the veggie garden I notice them on the corn the cucumber flowers the bocchoy that has gone to flower the citrus trees although they have finished flowering no flower is safe 😁
It has actually inspired me to even plant some flowers
 

Mandy Onderwater

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Bees were pretty absent here until we got our first rainfall again. It's like they were waiting on some rain, more so than a flowering garden here. Now butterflies, bees, bugs, birds is going wild here :)
 

Jason890

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Bees were pretty absent here until we got our first rainfall again. It's like they were waiting on some rain, more so than a flowering garden here. Now butterflies, bees, bugs, birds is going wild here :)
I don’t know much about bees
But was watching a couple this morning
Instead of flowers they where crawling down into the hearts of lettuce
My guess is they where looking for a drink as I had finished my morning watering
I have no other explanation and only a guess but I think that’s what they doing
I normally have phone in pocket but did not so could not video
It’s funny how I notice all the insects and bugs since since starting to garden again
 

Mandy Onderwater

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I don’t know much about bees
But was watching a couple this morning
Instead of flowers they where crawling down into the hearts of lettuce
My guess is they where looking for a drink as I had finished my morning watering
I have no other explanation and only a guess but I think that’s what they doing
I normally have phone in pocket but did not so could not video
It’s funny how I notice all the insects and bugs since since starting to garden again
It's great isn't it? For me it's learning which bugs are good for my garden and which are not. I used to try to kill them all. Oops, sorry bugs! Nowadays I try to keep better track, though I am definitely still learning :D
I feel like that sentence was a little jumbled. I've just been driving for 4 hours straight so I'm a a bit tired, haha.
 

Mandy Onderwater

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It's good to see everyone knows there's more species than just the honey bees :cheers:
I only learned when I moved to Australia, oops. But I got told that the native bees here don't have stingers, thusly making me aware to more types of bees. I feel like people should be eductated, because I swear I've killed bees before, thinking they were just useless bugs. I'm doing better now and have got bees in my garden :)
 

stevo

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hah yeah I used to think everything was just a bug. Now i can identify 10 species of native bee in my small back yard. Watchout, I'll start geeking out about native bees! Australia has 11 described species of social stingless bees and more that haven't been named yet, but 1600 species of solitary bees, which can sting. We don't need to worry about European Honey Bees, they're doing fine.
 
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