Bees are necessary in gardens. They pollinate and bring life, playing an important role in growing all sorts of crops.
Unfortunately, bees in the UK are under threat so it’s down to us avid gardeners to help them out. There are ways in which we can prepare our gardens to attract bees, encouraging them to pollinate all the year through.
Here are the top ten bee-friendly plants that will attract the critters into your garden.
Lavender plants are very rich in nectar for all pollinating insects, and it’s a marvelous plant to get in your garden. It smells, and looks brilliant, and you can use some of the flowers and leaves in food too!
2. Viper’s Bugloss
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust suggests Viper’s Bugloss is the ultimate plant for bumblebees. IT flowers from June to September and provides bees with the nectar they need when their colonies are at their largest and require the most food (June/July)
Bees struggle to find food in winter months. I’d suggest planting some mahonia that will help them out. Mahonia is an evergreen shrub that products some lovely bright yellow flowers throughout winter.
Hawthorn tends to blossom around May time. It produces some lovely fragrant flowers that yields a great nectar for bees and the berries will also attract birds to the garden.
Pollinating insects absolutely love bluebells. In early spring, bluebell covered fields and wood floors are usually overrun with bees, butterflies and hoverflies. So why not create a paradise in your back garden for them?
As a late winter/early spring flower, bees rely on crocuses to provide them with nectar during the cold winter months. They are really bright and attractive flowers so will look great in your garden.
Rosemary can bring a lovely fragrance to the garden, and bees enjoy it too! Rosemary has all sorts of culinary uses as well, so it’s a really practical plant to grow!
8. Borage (Star flower)
Borage is one of the most important plants for bees and it’s being planted across the nation to attract bees. It’s a lovely blue/purple colour so is a great way to brighten up your garden.
9. Crab Apple Trees
These trees are stunning. They produce fabulous pink and white flowers around the springtime that are abundant in nectar for bees. Better yet, crab apple trees pollinate other apples, so if you’re trying to grow your own edible fruit, they’re a great choice for the garden.
10. Ox-eye daisy
The open flower heads of ox-eye daisy attract all sorts of pollinating insects, especially bees. Flowering from May right through to September, they’re a great plant to grow in your garden.
Ideally, bees need a lot of different plants and flowers to keep them healthy, so use a few different types to encourage them into your garden.