David Bingley, bee keeper and supplier of our delicious

honey is joining us at the market tomorrow.

Here are some ways to lure those vital insects into your garden.

(From the BBC Gardeners’ World team)

Make a bee-line

Great flowers start with pollination, and for that you need bees. Find out how to get the busiest garden insects to work for you.

Gardens are extremely important for bumblebees, and vice versa. Bees need flowers for sustenance, and flowers need bees for pollination. But it’s important the flowers you grow provide the food bees need.


Preferred flowers

Most double flowers are of little use, because they’re too elaborate. Some are bred without male and female parts, while others have so many petals bees can’t get to the nectar and pollen to collect it. This is the main reason why single dahlias are popular with many bees, while doubles are usually ignored.
The single-flowered rose family, which includes crab apple, hawthorn and potentilla, seem to be irresistible to our buzzing friends, as are the flowers of fennel, angelica and cow parsley, and sedums.
Tubular-shaped flowers, such as foxgloves, snapdragons, penstemons and heathers, are also all-favourite feeding places for bees.

Plants for life

It’s vital you provide flowers throughout the bumblebee’s life-cycle, from March to September. It’s also a good idea to have at least two nectar- or pollen-rich plants in flower at any one time during this period. The nectar feeds the adult bee, while the pollen is collected to feed the young. Of course, the more flowers you have, the more attractive your garden is to bees, so you can never have too many!
Try the following to attract more bumblebees into your garden:
Daffodil 'Christobal'

Spring flowers

Bluebell, bugle, crab apple, daffodil, flowering cherry and currant, forget-me-not (Myosotis), hawthorn, hellebore (Helleborus corsicus,
Hfoetidus), pulmonaria, pussy willow, rhododendron, rosemary, viburnum, thrift (Armeria maritima).

Geranium flower

Early-summer flowers

Aquilegia, astilbe, campanula, comfrey, everlasting sweet pea (Lathyrus latifolius), fennel, foxglove, geranium, potentilla, snapdragon, stachys, teasel, thyme, verbascum.

Bee on dahlia flower

Late-summer flowers

Angelica, aster, buddleia, cardoon, cornflower (Centaurea), dahlia (single-flowered), delphinium, eryngium, fuchsia, globe thistle (Echinops), heather, ivy, lavender, penstemon, scabious, sedum, Verbena bonariensis.

Advertisements