Bee bombs are hand-crafted wildflower seed balls made from clay, sifted topsoil, and hundreds of locally native wildflower seeds. Bee bombs are planted into the ground to encourage bees and other pollinating insects to move into the surrounding area. It’s a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to buying expensive packets of seeds that usually only contain one or two species of wildflowers. When making your bee bombs, it’s easy to create a big batch all at once and then store them until you’re ready to plant them. In this article, we will explain the steps involved in making bee bombs and how to use them to encourage bees into your garden.
Find High-Quality Clay
The first step in making bee bombs is to find some quality clay. The most important thing is to make sure it’s free from contaminants like chemical preservatives, metal shavings (including lead), paint, or other things that might harm bees and other pollinating insects. It should be natural red or grey clay, not white/yellow/brown clay which is usually chalky and full of limestone. Avoid any toxic types of clay-like terra cotta because this may end up in the seedlings when they are planted. One excellent choice is brick dust made by recycling old bricks for use in gardening projects. Other good options include sifted topsoil, garden loam, and sifted potting soil. To enhance bee bomb usage you could mix in well-rinsed coconut coir with your chosen medium. It will break down over time and provide a source of nutrients for your seedlings.
Gather The Right Seeds
Using only native wildflower species (for pollinating insects) is a must. You should avoid invasive species like Bermuda grass or other exotic plant types that may take over your garden. To make your bee bombs, it’s best to get seeds from plants growing locally near you because they are adapted to the environment there and are more likely to thrive when planted into the surrounding area where they were originally found. One great option is to collect them yourself (with permission) by digging up the plant roots (after they have died in winter or when no longer blooming), shake or vacuum off all the soil, let them dry, and then store them in plastic bags until ready to use.
Get Your Hands Dirty And Mix The Ingredients
The next step is to get your hands dirty and mix the ingredients. You can do this using a large bowl, but it’s easier if you use an empty five-gallon bucket to mix in so that you can get your hands right inside and break up any lumpy lumps into fine particles (with fingers). Pour in two parts clay (or whatever medium you chose) and add one part seeds. This will usually be around 5 tablespoons of clay per cup of seeds; for example, 75 tablespoons of clay and 25 cups of wildflower seed. Mix everything well with your hand or a shovel until it resembles damp potting soil or sifted topsoil (until all the seeds are covered and coated by the clay). To save time, you can get your soil/clay mix pre-mixed from a garden center near you.
Make Your Bee Bombs
All that’s left to do is make the bee bombs themselves! Mix one part water with three parts seed mixture (just enough to dampen it). Roll your mixture into balls of whatever size you prefer and lay them out on a tray or container until they dry (usually around two days, depending on humidity levels in the air). After this, just plant them into the ground wherever you want bees and other pollinating insects to thrive. They can be used by throwing them out of hand or scattered gently across an area using a rake stick. When planting bee bombs, try to avoid compacting the soil where you place them. If you want, you can sprinkle some seeds on top of the bee bombs once they are in the ground.
Maintain Your Bee Bombs And Soil
Bee bombs will need to be maintained when planted into the ground- water them frequently in dry conditions (every day or every other day depending on how fast it dries out) by pouring some water around each bee bomb about once per week. If you live in an area where the soil is soaked during winter rains, then they can survive without any irrigation. One thing you will need to do is make sure the soil is completely damp before planting any seedlings because dried clay balls can damage fragile roots.
If you want your plants to grow in straight vertical rows like cornfields, then just plant directly into the bee bomb with no extra seedlings needed. If the bee bombs are not being watered or soaked during winter, then you may want to dig out a shallow hole so that water can collect inside for extra moisture.
These tips should help guide anyone looking to plant bee bombs into their garden. Remember to plant a wide variety of species to help create a stable ecosystem where insects and wildlife can thrive. By using these simple steps, you will be able to create a beautiful garden full of life and color and support local biodiversity.