Garden Bee & Butterfly Feeder

With Summer temperatures at their peak our little winged friends of the garden need extra doses of tender loving care.  We became bee parents this spring with two beautiful buzzing hives and have learned so much about how to care for bees in our yard.  We have a lot of flowers in our meadow and perennial gardens, and a water feature that flows all year, but we hadn't given much thought to our winged friends needs until our hives came home.
It's so good to take care of bees and butterflies in our spaces, because these are the pollinators of our flowers, gardens, vegetables, herbs...pretty much anything green and growing.  They love bright flowers, and get food from many other growing sources, but we can help them by providing a water source and a little boost of food, especially as summer winds down.
Making a water source is quite easy and can be a fun project for the whole family.  One of the easiest ones we made was taking a Terra Cotta planter and a saucer base, gluing them together to create a mini-water bath.  I used a landscape adhesive to stick them together and painted it all with the Prairie Paints Chalk Paint in Milkhouse White.  I purchased a mini pot to set inside the saucer and added mini rocks that I found at a pet supply store.

Adding the rocks gives a landing surface for the bees and butterflies to land on.  To the rocks I added sea-glass, marbles, and colored rocks.  These items with their bright colors are attractive to them and adding the mini-potted plant to the saucer helped as well.  Once they know there is a water source, they will come.  Fill with water to just below the level of the rocks so they can land on them.  It takes a few days, but there is nothing much sweeter than seeing those little honey bees land on a rock and drink.  You can feel good knowing you are helping our world in a small way.
One other way you can support our little butterflies is by adding new flowers as the summer winds down.  There are some plants that flower and go all the way through till fall, like Mums. Butterfly Flowers, Coneflowers, Black-Eyed Susans, Cabbages and Lavenders.  All things bright and  beautiful are good for them to eat and a fresh supply towards the end of the summer helps.
Nestled in with my planters are smaller water feeders made from pie pans and tin cans.   I fill these feeders with rocks and glass so they can find a drink near my plants.  It is easy to fill while I am doing my daily watering.
You can also find Bee Food and most farm supply stores.  This food comes in a powder that you can sprinkle near your planters or in a dish. It doesn't take much to give them a little extra boost of nutrition.  
If you are wanting to add bees to your yard without having a full hive, you can add these darling little Leaf Cutter Bee Homes.  Leaf Cutter Bees are so fun to watch.  They are tiny little bees that pollinate and make little nests for their babies out of the flowers and leaves from your garden.  We hung this house outside near our garden and watched these tiny little bees come in and out of their willow tubes filling them with flowers.  It cost us less than $20.00 and has brought so much joy.  We are now filling up a second house that we found at our local farm supply store.   

I hope this post has encouraged you to add more buzzy love to your garden or patio with feeders for your winged friends.  There is so much out of whack in the world right now, and this one gift back to nature has brought us peace and joy & I hope it does for you too.  You can catch my KUTV Fresh Living segment on Friday at 1:00 or on their page in archives.

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