Bee pasture: advantages & procedures when planting
Creating a bee pasture with seeds in your own garden is not only good for the environment, it also looks beautiful. You can find out here the advantages of the flower meadow and which seeds are best suited for a bee pasture.
Bee pastures are also a feast for the eyes for us humans [Photo: Juergen Bauer Pictures / Shutterstock.com]
A flower meadow for bees of all kinds is not only good for the environment: it offers you colorful flowers in a small area with minimal maintenance. In addition, there is a seasonal spectacle – from the trouser bee to the blue tit you can observe all kinds of beneficial insects. By the way, you help our local insects and can pick one or the other bouquet. We will show you the advantages and how you can easily transform your garden into a bee paradise.
What is a bee pasture?
The term bee pasture has two meanings:
- A plant that gives bees a lot of feed in the form of pollen or nectar is a bee pasture in the language of beekeepers.
- An area on which a particularly large number of bee-friendly plants grow is colloquially called a bee pasture.
Bees (Apiformes) of different families, genera and species can find food all year round and perhaps also one or the other nesting or resting place in areas that are planted in a bee-friendly manner. Bee pastures are left alone for most of the year, so nature can manage itself on this small piece of land. Even in small gardens, a small area can be created with knee-high bee forage plants.
Wild bees like the big woolly bee also find nesting material in flower meadows [Photo: Gartenphilosophin / Shutterstock.com]
Tip: Examples of particularly good bee pastures – in the classic sense of the word – are bee-friendly woody plants and stone fruits. But bee-friendly flowers, bee-friendly shrubs or bee-friendly herbs are also important sources of food for bees.
Benefits of a bee pasture
What is the advantage of creating a bee pasture? The planting or sowing of bees is not only beneficial for bees. You yourself can benefit from the great ornamental value of the bee pastures. Because: Pollen and nectar are found in flowers – and these are usually brightly colored and often smell wonderful. They have these properties to attract the attention of bees and other pollinators. In addition, there is hardly anything easier to care for than natural areas full of flowering shrubs and summer flowers. Once created, they are cut down with a thread mower a maximum of once a year and watered or fertilized a little if necessary.
Tip: Cutting down the faded or withered parts of the plant is purely optional and serves your own visual requirements. If you leave the area to its own devices, this is even more useful for domestic insects, because hollow stems are retained as a nesting place or building material. Garden birds are also happy about old seed pods and dead stalks.
The following are the advantages of creating a bee pasture:
- Low maintenance effort
- Allows exciting nature observations for young and old
- High ornamental value all year round
- Habitat for beneficial insects that can protect your garden plants from pests
- Besides bees, it also attracts birds and other insects
A bee pasture on the lower floors provides a habitat for many insects [Photo: Josip-Markovic-Cro / Shutterstock.com]
Buying bee pasture: the right seeds
It doesn't have to be a whole flowering hedge or a beehive. With ingeniously composed seed mixtures, with the help of a little soil, water and patience, an area with annual and perennial flowering plants for bees and insects can be created. With a bit of luck, the annual plants will also seed each other again, so that the bee pasture remains attractive for you and various pollinators for many years. But how do you recognize a high-quality mixture for the bee pasture?
Seeds for your bee pasture should …
- Contain seeds from many different plants that cover various flower shapes and times,
- contain high-quality, germinable seeds,
- contain instructions for correct application and maintenance,
- be developed with experts, for example with beekeepers,
- Provide you with further information on protecting and promoting bees.
So that you can enjoy your high-quality bee pasture for a long time and in the long term, we at Plantura have taken these quality features to heart and developed our Plantura bee pasture. We were supported by beekeepers who advised us on pollen and nectar values, the flowering calendar and bee-friendliness. Overall, we have selected undemanding plants that thrive without much effort. Cornflower ( Centaurea cyanus ), bee friend ( Phacelia tanacetifolia ) and marigold ( Calendula officinalis ), but also Adonis florets ( Adonis vernalis ) will make you a lot of friends even without a green thumb. If you provide them with some flower fertilizer, such as Plantura organic flower fertilizer and water, they will bloom magnificently.
Creating a bee pasture: this is how you do it
Creating a bee pasture is not particularly difficult. Between April and July you can set up the system with the following 4 steps:
- Choosing the right location: Choose a free area (whether in partial shade or in the sun). Our Plantura bee pasture covers an area of up to 20 m2. Of course, you can also sow the bee pasture in pots or window boxes.
- Prepare the area: Existing vegetation that cannot be integrated into the flower meadow is removed. This gives the new seeds space to develop. This is especially true for lawns. This should be removed or milled in sod. Existing bee-friendly plants can of course be preserved.
If the soil is very sandy and poor in nutrients, we recommend incorporating some Plantura organic flower fertilizer and the peat-free Plantura organic potting soil. Then the area is raked smooth with a rake.
- Sowing: Shake the seed package well so that the different seeds mix. Our Plantura bee pasture contains some coconut material, which makes it even easier to spread. Now distribute the seeds over the area. Then the seeds are covered thinly with earth or raked in flat, pressed down and then watered extensively.
- Care: Regular watering is necessary until the seeds emerge and in long dry periods. In the first year after installation, the area should, if possible, be walked on little. Once a year you can fertilize the area with a flower fertilizer such as our Plantura organic flower fertilizer to encourage abundant flowering.
After about 2 to 4 weeks, our Plantura bee pasture will germinate under normal conditions. You can admire the first flowers after around 8 to 10 weeks. Because the seeds contained are annual and perennial, the composition of your bee meadow will change over the years: some seed plants are sown, perennials become larger and one or the other wild plant may be added.
By the way: Most bees prefer to stay in warm, sunny places. Because suitable forage plants were co-evolved with the respective pollinators, most of the bee pastures therefore prefer to grow in sunny locations.
Bees and their forage plants love the sun equally [Photo: Anna81 / Shutterstock.com]
Bee pasture in winter
As the year draws to a close, the bee pasture slowly fades too. Now it is not a matter of cutting loose, but rather leaving stalks and old seed pods for the winter. These serve as winter quarters for many insects and also small mammals. In addition, some annual plants only release their seeds after winter. So that the seeds are not lost, you should never cut the insect pasture or only cut it in the spring. In this way, winter cows are also given the chance to seed themselves in spring. When cutting down in spring, it is worth shaking the clippings vigorously to free any seeds that may still be present.
Would you like to welcome bees and insects into your entire garden? We have many other exciting articles on the topic: How about nesting aids for wild bees? In addition to the Plantura bee pasture, you will also find seeds for a Plantura butterfly meeting and a colorful mix in our shop, which we rightly call the Plantura magnet for beneficial insects. All of our seed mixtures can also be applied together to create a particularly wild meadow.