Last year, as I began my preparations for my journey into beekeeping, I started construction of a "Bee Garden". It would house the hives, provide a nice source of nearby nectar and pollen for the bees, as well as a beautiful visage for the beekeepers. I put a lot of planning into the heights of the flowers as well as when the flowers would bloom so that there would always be something in bloom during the year. Well, finally I can see the results of my efforts and here are some gratuitous pics to go along with the results. You can compare them against the original plans I posted back in December 2011.
I'd say I was pretty darn close to what I planned. Although, in hindsight, there were some things I would have changed.
- Instead of 30 x 30, I should have gone 20 x 20 because I cannot reach the center of either side without stepping into the garden
- Don't buy the biggest and nicest looking Butterfly Bushes that have flowers already on them from the nursery. They are pampered in there and won't be ready for the harsh realities of a windy garden area
- Put the weed cloth and mulch down before planting. The bees don't like it when you try and weed right next to the hives
- Don't put a bird bath water supply in between the two hives. This leaves no room to work the hives. (It has since been moved to my vegetable garden)
- And lastly, it might have been a better idea to build a flower garden near the house, rather than way out where the bees are. I came across an article that mentioned how placing food or water sources too close to the hives might not allow the forager bees to communicate a distance that is so short.