• Don’t use pesticides. Most pesticides are not
selective. By using pesticides, one risks killing off
the beneficial insects along with the pests. If you
must use a pesticide, start with the least toxic one
and follow the label instructions to the letter.
• Use local native plants. Many native plants
are very attractive to honeybees. They are also
usually well adapted to your growing conditions
and can thrive with minimum attention. In
gardens, heirloom varieties of herbs and
perennials should be used. Single-flower varieties
may also provide good foraging.
• Use a range of colours. Bees have good
colour vision to help them find flowers and the nectar they offer !
Colours that are attractive to bees are blue, purple, violet,
white and yellow.
• Plant flowers in clumps. Flowers clustered
into clumps of one species will attract more
pollinators than individual plants scattered
through the habitat patch. Where space allows,
make the clumps 1 m or more in diameter.
• Include flowers of different shapes.
Open or cup-shaped flowers provide the easiest
access and shorter floral tubes are important for
honeybees. Other pollinators, including native
bees, butterflies and birds, benefit from differing
• Have a diversity of plants, flowering all
season. A varied diet is essential for the well-
being of honeybees and other pollinators.
• Plant where bees will visit. Bees favour sunny
spots over shade and need some shelter from
strong winds. Bees need access
to water. Provide easy access, either through wet
sand or pebbles; do not drown the bees.