Since I can’t have a beehive, the next best thing is a garden of beautiful flowers that gives the bee population a place to thrive and survive and this book will help me get there!
In this very well-organized and thorough book, it covers it all. I really enjoyed reading about the authors because you can just sense their love of gardens and bees and how important it is to them to support a dying species and teach others to do the same.
The introduction gets the book started off right by letting the reader know why bees are so important and how the loss of them will affect our food supply, which is a concept most people can grasp better. It also explains how gentle bees actually are and that the idea of getting stung just by one flying around you is untrue. I think their explanations of how to avoid getting stung can really help kids understand and to not be so afraid.
Chapter 1 discusses all types of bees that you can hope to see in your garden. You’ll find a description of the most common bees, information about their life cycles and distinguishing features so that looking at the flowers is not just something to do when you’re relaxing, but a fun pastime. Instead of bird watching, you can bee watch.
Chapter 2 is all about the plants. They break this section down into types of flowers/plants, give lists of bee-attracting types, and also give suggestions on what might be good for your garden depending on your taste. If you prefer annuals, perennials, super bloomers, native species, etc., you’ll find no shortage of suggestions. This chapter also tells us which plants bees are NOT attracted to so you can steer clear of those if you really want to make your garden a bee hub.
If you love pretty flowers and all, but like to make your garden more useful by having it do double-duty, Chapter 3 is what you need. I love having an edible garden and it’s so easy to make it bee-friendly as well. With lists of herbs, fruit trees, and different vegetable and fruit plants, your garden will be food for you and the bees! It’s a twofer of beauty.
Chapters 4 and 5 are where you really get the information on how to create a bee-friendly garden and how to tend it so as not to kill the bees you want to support. Whether it’s your front yard, back yard, fence lines, all of it, or just a tiny patch that’s available to you, they help lead you in the right direction. If you prefer a certain color palette, that’s also possible! Just want white? Great, there are options. Love the wildflower look? That’s even easier. Beautiful pictures are included of yards so you may not have to work from scratch if you aren’t the most creative mind or are just too overwhelmed by the idea of creating a new garden.
They could have stopped here and it would have been an incredible book. But Chapter 6 is included for those who want to go beyond their own gardens and get involved and become a bee activist. Yes please! There are lists of different opportunities regarding conservation, how to teach others about bees, and an incredible list of resources.
The last few pages are a regional plant list that makes looking for what to plant for your specific zone number and climate area easy.They also tell you if the plant is native or invasive, which is something I’ve personally never encountered on such lists.
Overall, if you’re looking to start a bee garden not only to help the bees but provide beauty or food for yourself and/or your family, this is the book for you. I will be using all the information to better my own garden for the bees and add in some new species of flowers I never thought or knew to plant. My front yard is already better than it was, but I can do more. The backyard, well, it’s just begun. They love the lavender and the lemon tree, but so much more can be improved upon. I am giddy to get going! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did and I hope it makes your garden a sanctuary for the bees and for yourself.
“The Bee-Friendly Garden” at Penguin Random House
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.