bee garden for kids

Bees are some of the most important creatures on this planet we call home. In fact, they’re responsible for almost one out of every three bites of food we eat. And it’s our job to make sure our children understand how to help them in the future.

If you’re wondering how to teach your child about bees, don’t worry. Below we’ll cover a few bee-friendly tips for you and your kids to practice right in your backyard garden.

Pick Your Plants Carefully

Picking your plants is the first step in creating a bee-friendly garden. Not only do the plants you choose have an impact on how bees will treat your garden, but picking out plants can be a fun activity for kids. Different plants will feed bees at different times in the year, so make sure you work to choose a variety of plants that will provide your buzzing friends with almost a full year’s supply of food. 

Not sure what blooms will feed the bees most effectively? Here are a few of the best blooms to plant to ensure your garden is helping the bees year-round.

For Spring…

  • Crocus
  • Hyacinth
  • Calendula
  • Wild Lilac

For Summer…

  • Bee Balm
  • Cosmos
  • Snapdragons
  • Hosta
  • Echinacea

For Autumn…

  • Zinnia
  • Witch Hazel
  • Goldenrod
  • Sedum

If you choose a few blooms for each season, you’ll be helping your local bees keep busy almost all year round. This is an excellent educational opportunity to teach your kids about how bees operate from season to season, as well.

Create Spaces for Solitary Bees to Rest

While many bees operate in hives or colonies, there are other bees who remain solitary. Even a bee that can’t make it back to the hive at the end of the day might need a place to rest! That’s why it’s important to strategically place a few resting spots around your garden. There are a few options for these spaces, as well.

Bee hotels are a great way to help solitary bees. You can DIY one by taking a block of wood or a tree stump and drilling holes into it before placing it in your garden. Another option is to glue hollow canes together to form a box-like structure for your garden. If you’re pressed for time or just not that crafty, it’s possible to purchase a pre-made bee hotel.

In addition, it’s a good idea to leave a small patch of bare dirt for ground-nesting solitary bees. Some bees may use loose dirt or mud to create egg cells or even build their own little nest. Make sure you mark off this area so it stays undisturbed, though. It’s typically a good idea to tuck this bare patch away in a little corner of your garden where people rarely go.

Stay Away from Pesticides

One of the best ways to help the bees (and your family) stay safe is to stop using pesticides and insecticides in your garden. Insecticides are designed to kill insects, and bees are a part of that population! Not only that but insecticides and pesticides can be harmful to your children and pets. 

If you’re really in a pinch and need some form of plant protection, speak with your local beekeeper. Odds are they’ll be able to provide some information on how you can protect your plants and be a friend to your local bees.

Include a Water Source

Even bees need to drink water! Making sure you include a water source for your local bees is an important part of creating a bee-friendly garden. All you’ll need is a shallow bowl or a drainage plate from one of the ceramic planters you don’t use anymore. 

If your kids are into crafting, this is a great opportunity to make sure your bee-friendly garden has a stylish watering hole. Glue down some glass beads to beautify the bottom of your water dish or paint it with fun colors. In addition, secure some small statues or pieces of wood to the bottom of your drainage plate, making sure they stick out above the water level. Remember: bees need a place to perch while they drink!

Protecting Bees Means Protecting the Future

Bees are incredibly important. If we teach our children how to care for them from a young age, we’ll be ensuring that future generations can benefit from and have a healthy respect for our buzzing friends.

Are you ready to start your bee-friendly garden?