Feed the bees and your belly

Written by Annie Keig

Brunch is best on sunny mornings with a gaggle of friends, good coffee, and a bit of bougie booze if you’re feeling fancy.

If you’re looking to save your wallet and save the bees this Bee Aware Month, we’ve got you covered with some Bee Friendly Brunches you can host at home.

Whether you’ve got an enormous garden or just a planter box in your window, it’s easy to share the love with our tiny, fuzzy-butted friends and plant some mutual favourites.


Brunch: Nothing says “good morning” quite like mint. Whether it’s brushing our teeth, sipping warm mint tea, or a creating a classic Mojito. a little sprig of mint goes a long way.

Care: If mint were a person, it would be the kind of friend that is wonderful – as long as you can set boundaries. If left unchecked, mint can take over your whole garden, so make sure to plant it in a pot that gets full sun. This aromatic plant is an excellent source of nectar for bees and flowers in summer and autumn months. Need some seeds to get started? Check out the Mint Mix at Twiglands.


Brunch: Keep the fresh feelings coming with a bite full of mozzarella, tomato, and basil drizzled with balsamic. Light and healthy, this dish might be more on the “lunch” side of brunch, but we still love it. Basil adds a slight spicy zing and keeps the meal moving.

Care: Basil gets cold easily. Since Wellington weather is so unpredictable, it’s a safe bet to keep your basil in well drained soil on a sunny windowsill or in a sunny spot in the garden. Basil blooms small white to purple flowers that are an excellent pollen and nectar source for bees. Pop into Palmers Miramar to purchase this plant.


Brunch: On cold Wellington mornings, sometimes all you want is to thaw your fingers with a good cup of tea – and what’s cooler than making your own herbal tea blend? Gather your friends around a warm table and offer them some fresh brewed chamomile tea, grown and dried in your home. Need a way to steep your homemade brew? Check out Moore Wilson’s Bodum Assam Tea Press.

Care: Bees might not be huge tea drinkers, but they are huge chamomile fans. Chamomile is part of the daisy family and can grow in a pot or out in the garden – as long as it gets eight hours of full sun, it’s a happy plant.

Purple Salvias / Marigolds

Brunch: From muffins to waffles to pancakes, there’s always a little sweetness in our step after a good brunch. Nikki & Jordan Shearer have a marvelously seasonal cake decorated with bee friendly flowers like purple salvias, lavender, and pansies: the Smoked Apple cake with Passionfruit Curd. We love the cake, bees love the flowers, everybody wins.

Care: Purple Salvias (and all salvias, really) are a bee’s bread and butter. These plants are long blooming and resistant to dry conditions. There are hundreds of different kinds of Salvia, so whether you’ve got a shady garden or a sunny garden, you can find one that will work for you.
Plus, marigolds can take care of others. They’re what’s known as a companion plant. Plant them alongside your vulnerable plants, and they’ll repel pests like aphids and nematodes.


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