Bring in the birds & the bees

Globally, there are more honey bees than other types of bee and pollinating insects. They are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops and so are critical to our food supply. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination. This is undertaken mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds and bats. You can help support these vital insects and animals in your garden.

What to plant

You can help birds, bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects by planting lots of flowering plants and trees. Ideally, use a flowering chat to chose a range of plants that provide flowers, and so nectar, throughout the year. This is particularly important in winter and spring when many plants are not in flower.

If you grow your own vegetables and/or herbs, try leaving some plants to go to flower and seed.  This creates an easy and great food source for the bees, as well as providing you with seed for the next season.  

Our native birds prefer native flower nectar, fruits, seeds, insects and other foods rather than grains or bread to eat. To encourage native birds plant a variety of native trees.  

Trees for Bees has a great guide for how to plant your garden, with information broken down by region so you can learn what works well in Taranaki. You can also contact the Taranaki Bee Club for advice in this area.

You can source plants from any garden centre or nursery, however the following are worthy of note.

  • Atawhai Nursary - sells a large range of native plants often not found in regular garden centres..

  • Kahikatea Farm - While not local this mail order store sells a huge range of interesting herbs and plants for your property.

  • Kings Seeds - You can also grow plants from seed from suppliers such as Kings seeds:

Local specialists

The following local businesses and organisations are knowledgeable about planting for bees:

  • Bees R Us - all you need for bee-keeping and products

  • New Plymouth Honey and Bee Supplies - New Plymouth. Suppliers of all beekeeping equipment.

  • Taranaki Bee Club - the Taranaki Bee club is for all those interested in keeping hives of bees for honey production or pollination purposes. The club has meetings every month to assist members to get the best results from their hives by keeping them in good condition. Regular field trips are held throughout the honey season.

If you know of other stockists/retailers/suppliers/services or all round fantastic sustainable sources please let us know so that we can share.