Planting for Bees

Planting for Bees

Some Bee Facts

- There are over 200 species of solitary bee in the UK alone, from mining bees, which make their nests in the ground, mason bees that will inhabit any nook and cranny they can find and leaf cutter bees to name but a few.

- One mason bee can do the job of 120 honey bees when it comes to pollinating apple blossom (another reason to encourage them into your garden or allotment).

- Solitary bees are very placid insects and no danger to either children or animals so a fantastic way of teaching children about nature and helping encourage pollinators.

- There are 25 different species of Bumblebee in the UK (and 250 worldwide)

- Bees are responsible for pollinating a third of the crops we eat.

Generally to help it's a really positive step to plant bee friendly plants in our gardens and on our allotments making sure we provide flowers for all times of the year for when the bees hatch or come out of hibernation in the Spring, throughout the summer to feed their colony’s (or lay their eggs in the case of the solitary bees) and during the Autumn so they can build up the reserves they need to survive the Winter. The thing to be wary of with summer bedding plants is to avoid the F1 hybrids that are often sterile and no use to pollinating insects, going for plants like antirrhinums, buddleia and forsythia etc. Here's our top Bee Friendly Plants.

Perfect for Beginners...

Wild Marjoram - it has a long flowering period through July and August producing lots of nectar when the bees are about. A great plant to sit by and count different species of bees visiting the garden (and it's perfect on your pizza too...) and Toadflax, a flower designed for pollination by bees. Queen bees flying late in the autumn need a food source to give them energy to find good places to over winter and build up reserves to survive the cold nights ahead.

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