by Steffan Browning
In the current absence of leadership from the Government on action to keep bee populations healthy, there is plenty that you can do in your home gardens to help.
Gardening for bees
- Don’t use pesticides.
- If you need to use them, avoid spraying when flowers are in bloom. Spray early in the morning or at sunset to avoid the times that bees are foraging.
- Plant flowers in groups together to attract bees and butterflies.
- Include different sized and shaped flowers in all seasons.
- Choose several colours of flowers. Bees like blue yellow, white or purple.
- Provide fresh, pesticide free drinking water for bees.
Here are lots of bee friendly plants you can choose from.
Ask your gardening centre to hold the spray
We wrote to the main garden centres about stocking bee harming neonicotinoids and the Warehouse and Placemakers both wrote back to say they would stop stocking these products. What a win!
I’d love you to write to the Warehouse or Placemakers to thank them, or ask your local garden centre to take the same great stand.
Here’s what I wrote to the main gardening centres:
“I am the Green Party agriculture spokesperson and am pursuing the issue of bee health which is a critical issue for New Zealand as an agricultural nation.
United Kingdom hardware retailers B&Q, Wickes and Homebase have all recently confirmed that they will stop stocking products that contained three neonicotinoid insecticides that have been identified as posing a risk to bee populations. These three are clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam.
I am writing to ask you for your current position on these chemicals and if you do sell them in any of the products you stock. I also want to ask you about whether you are considering, or would consider, making a similar stand to the UK stores in committing to no longer stock products containing these chemicals.”