You might have heard something about the decline of the global bee population and the subsequent rather dangerous consequences for the planet's ecosystem. What can you do about it? There are several steps that can make a small difference, such as learning the difference between a bee and a wasp before you swat that buzzing intruder who has flown in the window. And then there are steps that can make a big difference, such as having fruit trees in your backyard.
Fruit trees produce pollen-rich flowers which encourages bees to pollinate. It's the circle of life, but this circle is decreasing as the bee population itself decreases. Just having fruit trees in your backyard can make a difference, but there's still more you could do by adding more trees, as long as they're the right kind of trees. You can further encourage bees by planting trees that offer cross pollination, which many trees need to grow fruit. Simply check the type and variety of fruit trees you already have, and then you can find a list of pollination partners. The bees are the ones doing the cross pollination, so making this a highly localised task is going to make your garden more appealing to bees.
With your existing fruit trees and the potential addition of cross-pollination partners, you will get a decent crop of fruit each year. Yes, you want to be able to enjoy this bounty, but you want to do so without discouraging bees, which means that chemical pesticides cannot be used. You can, however, make your own natural pesticide that will keep most insects away without discouraging or harming pollinators.
Trimming the Trees
One of the most important steps is maximising the tree's flower production. There are the basics, such as ensuring that the tree remains fertilised and hydrated. Some tree trimming is also going to be necessary, but this just involves removing the flowering branches and foliage as soon as their flowers begin to die. Be careful not to remove too much, as this can in fact reduce the tree's flowering capacity. If you're unsure, or if you have a fair number of trees to prune, consider calling in a professional tree management company to do the work. This only needs to be done once a year, so it should be done correctly.
While the global bee population might be in trouble, you can do your part locally, and you don't need to look any further than the fruit trees in your backyard.