There are so many layers to the macadamia story. From cooking, health and wellbeing to people, gift ideas and macadamia country, there’s a lot to discover about this extraordinary Australian nut. Spend a little time exploring our latest stories. You’ll be amazed at what you find!

Home » Stories » A sustainable approach » Tips for creating a bee friendly home and garden

Tips for creating a bee friendly home and garden

Macadamia flower with bee

Macadamia farmers love bees! They are an essential part of a macadamia orchard, with an important role in producing the creamy nuts we love.

Step into any macadamia orchard in springtime and you will hear the hum and buzz of bees hard at work pollinating the delicate macadamia flowers so they will become nutritious nuts. If it weren’t for the industrious work of this important insect, we wouldn’t have macadamia nuts come harvest time.

The macadamia nut is actually a seed and the fertilising work of bees is essential for the nuts to form. 

Tips for World Bee Day

Of course, it’s not just macadamias that need bees. Bees are essential for producing many other nuts, as well as fruits, vegetables and herbs. In fact, around one third of the food we eat relies on these little critters. 

Once the trees are in bloom, bees visit the flowers in search of food. Bees feed on nectar for energy and pollen, which provides protein and other nutrients. Their foraging transfers pollen from one flower to another and facilitates fertilisation, which results in fruits and seeds. 

Fast fact: Did you know it takes around 140 bees to produce one kilogram of macadamia nuts!

World Bee Day

World Bee Day on 20 May is an important day to celebrate the essential role that bees play in our ecosystem and to consider ways to further support these vital creatures. 

Honey bees entering their hive

To celebrate World Bee Day we’re sharing our best tips for creating a bee-friendly home and garden.

1. Set up a bee friendly water source

Like all living creatures, bees need water to survive. Honey bees use their proboscis, a thin, straw like tongue, to slurp up water. However, bees cannot swim so they require a water source that is ‘bee accessible’. Something with a shallow edge is ideal. A birdbath or shallow dish, preferably with pebbles around the edge so they can easily drink the water without being submerged, works well. Once a bee finds a water supply, they will return to it regularly. 

Bees also typically prefer ‘dirty’ water because it is richer in nutrients. They often drink from ponds, gutters and puddles. Good news for gardeners: you don’t need to keep your birdbath or bee dish clean! 

World Bee Day tips
Bee enjoying a bee friendly water source.

2. Plant year-round food sources

Bees need food throughout the year, so it’s important to plant a variety of flowers that bloom at different times. Diversity is the key here. Choose a range of different types of flowering trees and shrubs, and check you have a year-long spread of flowers. If you are buying from a nursery, you will be able to check the planting guide for this information. It’s also good to make sure you are planting them in the right conditions, as some plants won’t flower if they don’t get enough light.  

3. Go colourful!

Did you know bees have colour preferences when it comes to flowers? They can’t see the colour red, but they can see ultraviolet light. Stacking your garden with a range of blue, purple, yellow and white flowers will attract bees. Native bees generally love native plants, so make sure you plant natives to support native Australian pollinators too.

Bee on colourful flower. Photo Erik Karits via Unsplashed.
Bee on colourful flower. Photo Erik Karits via Unsplashed.

4. Minimise chemical use

Pesticides and herbicides can be harmful to bees and other pollinators, so try to avoid using these chemicals in your garden. Instead, opt for natural remedies, many of which can be made in your kitchen at home without special ingredients or equipment. Garlic, chilli, olive oil, bicarb, salt and dishwashing detergent can all treat pests in the garden. Check online for recipes to know which treatment to use for which pest.

5. Be mindful of mowing

Bees and other pollinators need grass and other plants to grow and bloom. Avoid mowing your lawn too often, or leave a section of your lawn unmowed to allow wildflowers and other plants to grow. Letting herbs go to seed will also allow them to flower, which will attract bees into your garden.

Various bee houses
Bug and bee hotels come in all shapes and sizes

6. Install a bee hotel

Not all bees live in hives. Some are solitary. Bee hotels (sometimes called ‘insect hotels’) provide shelter from extreme weather and serve as a safe place for bees to hatch their young. They can also provide a safe place for solitary bees to nest. Having a bee hotel will improve pollination in your garden. You can purchase a bee hotel or make your own by drilling holes into a piece of wood or bamboo. 

Bee on macadamia blossom
Close up of bee on macadamia blossom

7. Get involved in restoring native bushland

Many bees rely on native plants for food and habitat, so getting involved in restoring native bushland can have a positive impact on local bee populations.

8. Encourage friends and neighbours to plant for pollinators too

Spread the word about the importance of bees and encourage others to plant bee-friendly gardens in their own yards. This is also a way to create––or should we say ‘pollinate’––connections in your community! By working together, we can create a network of bee-friendly habitats that support these vital pollinators. 

How will you be bee-friendly this World Bee Day? Buzz on over to our Facebook page and let us know!

Related Stories

How to fight food waste with Australian Macadamias Delicious ways to fight food waste Did you know that we waste 7.6 million tonnes of food a year in Australia? That’s equal to nearly 300… Read More
Macadamia nut hanging on tree in Australia Five reason why we’re loving The Original Macas Long before Ronald even opened a restaurant, macadamias have provided fast and delicious on-the-go eating for Australians making macadamia nuts… Read More
Why sunlight and regenerative agricultural practices are the key to this Australian macadamia orchard The Harris family’s macadamia farm outside Bangalow on the NSW Far North Coast is called Piccadilly Park, but this is… Read More
Why shopping at a farmers’ market is more important than ever! Farmers’ markets are essential for small farm businesses, especially during a year like 2020. At their heart, farmers' markets are… Read More

Get monthly emails about all things macadamias. Yum!

Just pop your details

down here

Contact us

Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your user experience. Continuing to use our site means we’ll assume you’re ok with this. Read more