Responsible for the vast majority of pollination, bees are essential to our ecosystem. With around one-third of the world’s food supplies reliant on pollination via bees, it’s critical that we nurture the species and provide them with suitable habitats. That’s why planting the right flowers to attract bees is so important.
Attract Bees By Planting Nectar-Rich and Pollen-Rich Flowers
Bees are attracted to pollen and nectar. So growing plants that are rich in both of these will ensure they flock to your garden. Be thoughtful when choosing which plants to grow. Remember that different species will flower at different times of the year, so try to select plants so that you have flowering varieties open at all times.
Flowers You Should Be Planting to Attract Bees
Spring flowers include: borage, calendula, wild lilac and hyacinth (and don’t forget the dandelions)
Summer flowers include: cosmos, bee balm, echinacea, snapdragons, sunflowers, foxglove, marigolds and hostas
Fall flowers include: zinnias, sedam, aster, witchhazel and goldenrod
Other Flowers to Include: cornflowers, lavender, lantanas, blanket flowers and milkweed
In addition to this, choosing plants that provide easy access to pollen and nectar makes it easier for bees to pollinate. If you’re not sure what species these are, visit a local specialist center, such as Calloway’s Nursery, and ask for advice.
Some plants which have been selectively bred don’t actually allow bees to access either the pollen or nectar that they hold. By choosing plants that do facilitate access, you can ensure that bees will visit your garden and stay.
Related: 9 Flowers You Should Plant In Your Vegetable Garden
Create a Bee Hotel
Making a bespoke bee hotel is easier than you think and it won’t take up much room at all once it’s complete. Typically, you can construct a bee hotel from some basic planks of wood and some hollowed-out wooden tubes or branches. Also, you can find that bee hotels are easily available at garden centers and nurseries.
Remember to place your bee hotel in full sun and watch as bees arrive to lay their eggs inside the hollows. Once the larvae hatch, you’ll see them emerge from their stems and take flight. The best part is that you’ve made a significant difference to a vital species.
We may think of weeds as unsightly trespassers but many of them actually do important roles. Dandelions and lawn clovers provide pollen for bees. These can be a great feature to have in your yard if you want to make it bee-friendly.
Reducing the amount of weeding you do will help to ensure that bees have a constant supply of pollen and nectar to access. To go one step further, you could leave a portion of your garden to grow unrestricted and allow nature to take over and thrive.
Welcoming Bees into Your Garden
Many people feel a little apprehensive about making their garden more bee-friendly because they fear being stung. While you may want to actively encourage bees into your garden if you’re allergic to their stings, non-allergy sufferers needn’t be too worried.
It’s relatively rare for bees to sting people, particularly if they’re left undisturbed. By keeping your distance and watching carefully, you can enjoy a stunning nature show right in your own backyard.
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