As we discovered in last Monday’s article, Queen Bee, bees are currently emerging from hibernation. Bee numbers are on the decline, so how can we help them? Well, our gardens can be a real boon for the bee. They need flowers for food and it works both ways – flowers need bees to pollinate them. So which flowers are the best if you want to help bees and encourage them in your garden? Here’s a list of some of the most bee-friendly flowers:
- Bluebell – One of our most instantly recognisable flowers. Their appearance on woodland floors is a sure sign of spring. They are one of our native flowers and the UK is home to half the world’s bluebells. Bees love them too!
- Crab apple – If your garden has space for a tree then you can’t do much better than a crab apple. Their flowers provide bees with pollen and nectar very early in the year, and the leaves are used by caterpillars
- Daffodil – Another sign of spring, Wales’ national flower is a good source of nectar and pollen for newly-awakened queen bees. They are a favourite of many and their golden trumpets make a beautiful addition to a garden
- Flowering cherry – Another tree which brings gorgeous pink blossom to your garden. We have one here and it is a fabulous sight at the moment. And of course, these early flowers are a welcome source of food for bees
- Forget-me-not – The gorgeous blue flowers on the forget-me-not are very small, but it produces a lot of them! They are a good source of food for bees during late spring and early summer. So don’t forget to put some in your garden!
- Rhododendron – These are very attractive to bees, but think twice before including them in your garden. They are so attractive that many insects will only feed from them, neglecting other plants which need them for pollination
- Viburnum – This is a shrub whose flowers are of benefit to bees. It will also help other wildlife as butterflies also like it and its autumn berries are a much needed source of food for birds facing the onset of winter
These were just a few suggestions on flowers which attract bees. If you’d like to know more then why not take a look at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust site? They have some great ideas on creating a bee-friendly garden. Try them out and do your bit to help the bombilating and be-bothered bee.