Garden and Landscape Design for Bees

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I know a lot of people build flowerbeds to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, but do the same methods and flowers work for bees? I watched a documentary on Netflix recently about declining bees and I want to do all I can to encourage bees to visit my yard. What have you done to encourage bees in your yard?

On a side note, I saw an article on making a winter home for bees similar to the ladybug house. Has anyone done this? What kind of bees would be attracted to this? I just assumed all bees lived in a man built home or a huge hive.
 
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I don't have a full answer, BUT my sunflowers last year attracted bees and bumblebees galore; in the mornings when I went out to feed the animals all I heard was harmonious buzzing!
 
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Do you grow your sunflowers from seeds? I never have any luck with the seeds, but I love the look of sunflowers. Any special tips you can give me?
 
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Yes I grow them from seed and start them in the garden. I don't plant too many because they get so gigantic; heads the size of dinner plates. In some areas I also let the wild bird seed grow, meaning those tiny weed 'sunflowers', but I only leave a few of those - I live out in the country so my gardens are more 'country fide' than surburban gardens.
 
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When I try to start the seeds outside, the birds eat them. When I started some seeds inside they started well, but ended up dying. The few that made it, died after I placed them outside. Maybe, I just have bad luck with them?

Here is a picture of a bee home. I just am not knowledgeable on what bees would live here and if they are native to my area. I really would love to do some research, but I always get side tracked!

mason-bee-house-1.jpg
 
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I've got to ask my brother in law! I live in Central Texas; he lives in East. He builds bee houses! I know he and my dad worked on some for my dad while he and my sister were visiting... now I want to ask my dad how those went!

Makes me think of another topic; bats houses. Bats eat insects right, sounds like a great idea for areas around or near the garden... for those that don't go batty that is!
 
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Mariam, I love this bee home, it looks adorable! I wonder how to encourage bees to live in it. I'd like to have something like this in my garden. Unfortunately, there are less and less bees here:( I want to help them!
 
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Mariam - I too, just love that bee home and I haven't as yet seen one quite as attractive as the one in your picture, it would be just the thing for my bees - which I seem to have hundreds of at certain times of the year, as to why I'm not altogether sure because I didn't purposely plant anything to attract them, but its possibly because I have a lot of nectar rich plants that these particular bees like.
 
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I know a lot of people build flowerbeds to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, but do the same methods and flowers work for bees? I watched a documentary on Netflix recently about declining bees and I want to do all I can to encourage bees to visit my yard. What have you done to encourage bees in your yard?

On a side note, I saw an article on making a winter home for bees similar to the ladybug house. Has anyone done this? What kind of bees would be attracted to this? I just assumed all bees lived in a man built home or a huge hive.

Miriam, I must say I really applaud your interest for bees, I'm actually worried about their sudden disappearance as well. I no longer have plants in my garden (I'm moving out hopely soon), but I keep some fresh water sources for the bees. I used to see a lot of them in my yard, they came here to take a zip of water, but I no longer see them :(

Most of the bees who venture out of the hive are workers, by the way. A home for the bees sounds like a good idea, you could attract some bees to it, but a queen will be needed in order for them to settle there.
 
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After watching that documentary, I realized there really was a problem. I remember when I was younger, you could barely go barefoot outside because you would step on them. I did not think about a water source for the bees, I need to do something like that, too.

I was thinking that I had read something about a type of bee that would be attracted to these houses because they hibernated or something. I really need to look it back up, though I am not sure where. Would a worker lead a queen back to a hive? Could there be bees that do not use a hive structure?
 
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I've got to ask my brother in law! I live in Central Texas; he lives in East. He builds bee houses! I know he and my dad worked on some for my dad while he and my sister were visiting... now I want to ask my dad how those went!

Makes me think of another topic; bats houses. Bats eat insects right, sounds like a great idea for areas around or near the garden... for those that don't go batty that is!
Bats are super eating bugs, mainly mosquitoes. You can build bat houses for them too. In Connecticut most of our bats have died off, only two species have survived due to a fungus.
 
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Firelily99, it's true, I've seen many bat houses in a park near my house. They look a little weird, but yes, people do build them. I've never seen any bats though.

I was looking for a home for the bees at a store, but I wasn't able to find anything:( I guess I should make one on my own.
 
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When I try to start the seeds outside, the birds eat them. When I started some seeds inside they started well, but ended up dying. The few that made it, died after I placed them outside. Maybe, I just have bad luck with them?

Here is a picture of a bee home. I just am not knowledgeable on what bees would live here and if they are native to my area. I really would love to do some research, but I always get side tracked!

mason-bee-house-1.jpg
That mason bee house is adorable. I have wanted to make one but haven't yet gotten to it.

I have lots of different varieties of bees that frequent my yard. I love the big bumble bees, and find the hover flies quite entertaining. Flowers that they love are bee balm, echinacea, lambs ears and the flowers of the butterfly bush. Don't forget flowers from herbs like oregano, thyme and mints. I know there are many others out there. A quick Google search might give you more ideas of flowering plants that would do well in your area.
 

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