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Bees, plants and humans

Aprikose-Kioto-mit-Bienen-8-Kopie

We are fruit specialists: pome fruit, stone fruit, berries, nuts, exotics and more – we are all about fruit-bearing plants. Markus takes on proverbial circumnavigation in order to find novelties for our Lubera customers in countless visits and discovery tours. We research and experiment to find out the ideal growing conditions and provide non-stop tips and advice on planting, maintaining, pruning and fertilising our fruit-bearing woody plants.

Will we have to soon pollinate our fruit trees and berry bushes ourselves?

Basically, in our cottage gardens, orchards, allotment gardens, home gardens and pleasure gardens (and of course in the Lubera Mundraub Garden) we make sure that our plants feel comfortable in every way and can form many fruits. Only two things are at our mercy: the weather (we all remember the devastating late frost last year) and pollination. Okay, we can do something about the weather: watering, draining, shading, covering or sprinkling. But what about pollination? In my head I have haunting images of Chinese workers who manually brush thousands of pear trees with brushes. And immediately the study from last autumn comes to mind, which documents a drastic decline of insects in Central Europe. Does this mean that the natural fertilisation of our apples, cherries and other fruit-bearing plants are in danger? And will the calming hum of bumblebees soon only be in our memories?

Aviation fuel and baby food for bees

I can give you the all-clear. We still have honeybees, bumblebees and other wild bees. And they love to take care of pollen transfer from flower to flower. But above all, agronomic causes (lack of food, poisons) as well as the missing habitat make it increasingly difficult for our furry beneficial friends to survive. Keyword: bee mortality. And this is exactly where I start. Instead of just talking and giving theoretical tips, I now tackle this myself and reach for the shovel. What do I have in mind? I take care of filling stations for aviation fuel and baby food! There is a border surrounding our office - it's supposed to become a grocery store for insects. And the bed may and should be beautiful, too!

Which plants are good for bees

In early spring, wild pastures provide plenty of nectar and pollen. Immediately afterwards, the fruit tree blossoms present the bees with plenty of groupage. And then? Then it gets tight. In some regions, there are still rape fields that can feed at least honey bees and bumblebees, but many other wild bees already go to their hives; they lack the variety and many are specialised in only certain plant species. And in regions without rape – but with plenty of corn – the bee colony already experiences famine. Nectar (the aviation fuel) and pollen (important protein for the offspring) are missing from early summer to autumn – and therefore all of the bees, whether wild bees or honey bees, and even the nectar-drinking butterflies!

The most important questions when choosing bee-friendly plants

  • • Which plants bloom in the period from June to October, in the period when the food supply is too short?

  • • Which plants offer food for insects? Do I want to attract honey bees, certain wild bees, butterflies or all of the above?

  • • Which plants do I like? I will plant these plants in more prominent places.


The guiding principle is this: woody plants and shrubs for support, perennials and herbs for filling – and enjoying

For space reasons, I make a decision to plant a few trees and especially perennials and herbs. There, not only butterfly caterpillars, but also my colleagues and I can taste a few leaves...a list of insect-friendly plants would unfortunately make this post even longer, so I will now save this information for the next post.

The most important criteria for bee-friendly plants

Even without much research, you can create a fantastic paradise for bees, if you follow two simple rules of thumb: first, native species are particularly well suited, but this does not exclude "foreign" plants! Apple blossoms are, for example, for bumblebees and many other bees a downright paradise, even though the cultivation of apples originates in Kazakhstan. Second, I only use open-flowered varieties; double flowers offer neither reachable nectar nor pollen. Nevertheless, double flowers look very opulent and, for example, most intensely fragrant roses have double blooms – so they for sure have a right to exist in the garden, but in the bed I am creating for bees I deliberately do without them.

Philipp Schneider, a trained biologist and head of the Lubera online shop. Philipp can’t stop talking about bees and chickens.

P.S. Every month I will try to write about bees, bee-friendly plants or wild bees. And of course I will introduce my bee plant of the month. I am open-minded and thankful for criticism, praise and questions. Please contact me at support@lubera.co.uk.

Biene-auf-Blute-Kopie

 

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