Children told to bee friendly as Little Garden rolled out again
We all know plants need pollinators to make fruit and vegetables, but do we know enough about what the bees need to survive year-round?
A new education initiative aimed at school children is trying to fill in that gap.
Bee awareness organisation BeeGAP has teamed up with education organisation the Ministry of Done and New World's Little Garden promotion to donate bees and plants to schools around the country.
Little Garden is back at New World again after last year's success, but with bee-friendly seedlings this year.
On Tuesday, award-winning garden designer Xanthe White was helping New World Blenheim owner operator Melanie Shore and her family replant the store's entrance.
Hebes have been replaced by lavender, flowering rosemary, and an assortment of vegetables.
"We've put together plants that are really good for bees; they really like blue colours," White said.
She said it was important people learned about the complex environment needed for a healthy garden.
"Food production isn't just about growing vegetables," White said.
"The bees need food when when the vegetables aren't in flower."
Some people were more interested in growing vegetables, but some were more likely to get involved if there were colourful flowers in the garden, she said.
"People are kind of like bees in the way that they like flowers," White said.
"Whatever interests kids in the environment and the world around them ... There's not just one good [way] of gardening."
Shore said the Little Garden promotion was easily their most popular.
"It's a really positive thing to be part of," she said. "I think this year with the flowers, it's been a really nice twist to it."
New World also donated a leafcutter beehive and bumblebee nesting box to Witherlea School on Tuesday.
Principal Murray Hewson said the school had an active "enviro group" of year five and year six pupils.
"Being part of this project is a great way to reward them for their labours on less glamorous tasks like composting and recycling."
Leafcutter bees do not sting or swarm. They also don't make honey, but are one of the most prolific pollinators in nature.
New World Little Garden is in store until Sunday, October 22.
Little Garden 2017
13 vegetables: Beetroot, bok choi, kale, silverbeet, onion, butternut, corn, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, courgette, yellow beans
1 fruit: Watermelon
5 flowers: Sunflower, pansy, sweet pea, nasturtium, swan plant, purple tansy (phacelia)
4 herbs: basil, thyme, coriander, oregano
To win a complete set of Little Garden seedlings go to the Marlborough Express Facebook Page