Hey if you want to grow a veggie garden and want to repel insects without hurting the bees you can consider:
- Flowers like marigolds and nasturtiums repel most insects.
- Herbs like catnip and peppermint can also repel most insects. Do some research, there’s an herb for almost every bug.
- Some natural insecticides don’t effect bees, like neem oil, bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (usually just called btk but if you google that you get the serial killer), and certain insecticidal soaps.
- And you can even do some googling and order live ladybugs or beneficial wasps to release into your garden.
It might seem like people pushing for less chemical use in home gardens are closely aligned with the ‘gmos will give you cancer’ crowd, but the problem with insecticides is not only do they kill the bees in your garden (which still adds up), but some of them, like neonicotinoids, can be carried back to the hive and kill the entire hive, and those numbers really add up. (Anecdote: It happened to a local bee keeper, entire hives of his just started dying in the middle of spring.) And please always carefully read the labels or ask around while shopping for any live plants, as harmful chemicals may have already been applied.