- Check out and print our new ‘ACT FOR BEES flyer. It has lots of simple ideas on how to be Bee Friendly!
- Newly updated September 2021 ACT for Bees Planting List Sept 2021 for the ACT and region
- Plant heirloom varieties of herbs and perennials as hybridisation has reduced the nectar and pollen in many flowers.
- Plant flowers in clumps of up to 1 metre across as it is easier for pollinators to find and reduces foraging distance.
- Choose several colours of flowers. Bees have good colour vision and are particularly attracted to blue, violet, purple, yellow and white. They like petals with nectar guides including stripes and spots.
- Native bees prefer a variety of ‘local’ natives. They are largely ground dwelling, have a forage distance of 500 metres and prefer soil free of pesticides and fertilisers. Leave areas of ground undisturbed for native bee nesting sites. Keep dead wood and trees in paddocks for habitat. Bees Business has an excellent guide Choosing Plants for Australian Native Bees
- Butterflies prefer red, orange, pink and white flowers with a trumpet shape that hold nectar.
- Provide a wide variety of plants that flower throughout the year. Some species of grevillea and callistemon will often flower twice a year.
- Plant in sunny spots with some shelter from strong winds.
- Use organic seeds and seedlings to ensure plants have not been treated with pesticides. For suppliers please go to Organic Suppliers section.
- Don’t use ‘-cides’ in your garden (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides).
- Here is a list of Australian Neonicotinoids brand names .
- Ask before you buy plants what chemical treatments have been used on seedlings. Look up our ACT FOR BEES flyer for other common brand names of neonicotinoid pesticides. Share with your local nursery information about the dangers to bees of these pesticides and support smaller nurseries which have a better connection with their suppliers.
- Create BeeFriendly Garden signs for your front garden to advertise what a Bee Friendly garden is.
- Bees and other beneficial insects — ladybugs, butterflies, and predatory wasps — all need fresh water to drink. Put stones in a bird bath so they don’t drown.
- Herbs are the bees medicine chest and great for cooking so include a wide range of herbs in pots or in the garden. Basil, Bee Balm, Calendula, Chamomile, Coriander, Dill, Echinacea, Lavender, Lemon balm, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Sunflowers, Thyme and Yarrow are wonderful additions to our gardens and can be grown in pots if limited space. Good for us and good for bees, butterflies. Let them go to flower!
- When your garden is planted up and buzzing with bees, download our FREE ACT FOR BEES Bee Friendly Garden Sign for your garden, school and business to share the good news!
Exciting news! The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has adopted ACT for Bees additions of flowering times, nectar, pollen and seed resources and species of forager to their Municipal-Infrastructure-Standards-25-Plant-Species-for-Urban-Landscape-Projects It also includes Ngunnawal cultural use of plants.
ACT for Bees Planting List Sept 2021 is a short version designed for home gardens and schools. Just updated September 2021 with photographs of the plants.
These are great guides for other regions
- Powerful Pollinators- Encouraging insect pollinators in farm landscapes. NSW central slopes, Murray-Riverina and North East Victoria. Excellent guide for rural communities produced by Wheen Bee Foundation and Sustainable Farms.
- Planting & Creating Habitat To Attract Bees Great resource from Valley Bees community in Nth NSW with lots of ideas for bee hotels as well as the plants that flower in different seasons.
- Pollinator Link: Bringing Back the Butterflies, Bees and Birds has great resources for Brisbane region and invites the community to join in creating pollinator corridors in the region.
- The Heart Gardening Project is creating the Melbourne Pollinator Corridor(MPC)…an 8km community-driven wildlife corridor (focussing on native bees and other pollinating insects) that will link 2 large green patches that run along the Birrarung, Westgate Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens
- Bees in the Burbs Facebook page has an excellent booklet by Kit Prendergast on building Native Bee Hotels. BEWARE of shop bought insect hotels as they are often not deep enough (>15 cm) for the most common native Australian bees. Learn more about native bees from ACT for Bees Australian Native Bee page.
For Pest Management
- Try garlic spray for aphids instead of pesticides. Learn about companion planting where particular plants grown together flourish and are stronger.
- Natural Pest & Weed Control shows how to encourage pest predators in your garden.
- Integrated Pest Management is a great guide by Canberra Organic Growers Group about how to manage pests & diseases using a range of strategies.