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There are roughly 80-100 million managed beehives all over the world, but the population of these busy helpers is declining globally. Bees play a very important role in the pollination of crops, plants and flowers, and one of the ways to support the bee population is to encourage their presence in your garden. If you have a green space and want to attract bees, some species of plants and flowers can lure bees to visit your garden and pollinate your plants.
Lavender Tops the List
According to scientists at the University of Sussex, lavender is a favorite plant of bees – particularly high-bred varieties such as gros bleu, hidcote giant and grosso. Lavender is a bushy, fragrant perennial plant native to the Mediterranean, India and the Middle East. It contains pollen and nectar that feed the bees. Even if you don’t have adequate land for a flower garden, you can opt for container gardening at your place. You’ll need a large container for lavender, as it grows to the size of a small shrub. There are several types of container appropriate for lavender, however, if you’re keen on planting this well-loved beauty. From raised planters to single pots and window planters, there is a receptacle that will suit the type of vegetation you want to cultivate.
Plant a young lavender in the spring as the soil warms up. If you are transplanting in fall, get established plants so that they survive the winter. To keep weeds to the minimum, add mulch, but keep it away from the crown to avoid excess moisture and root rot.
Lilac Shrubs are also Alluring
Like lavender, lilacs produce both nectar and pollen, making them appealing to bee pollinators. The bright colors of the petal and the wholesome nectar lure bees. As bees collect the nectar for their food, they fertilize the lilac or another flower nearby, encouraging seed formation across the shrub. To enhance pollination, position lilacs in a sunny area, keeping them closely spaced so that you create a bigger target for the bees. Bees like bright areas for nectar collection, while lilacs need adequate sunshine for the photosynthesis process.
The Crocus Attraction
Another flower that bees like is the crocus plant, which appears in winter, spring and autumn. However, bees love the crocuses that bloom in spring the most. They are one of the first groups of flowers that bloom in the year, and bees need fresh pollen after a long winter to replenish their stocks. Their inviting aroma attracts bees and other garden pollinators.
Crocuses are low maintenance perennial bulbs. Available to bees from early to mid spring, they come in a variety of colors and are easy to grow, coming back year after year. To draw bees, crocuses should be placed in large clusters several feet wide.
Pollinating insects, including bees, are on the decline. Helping bees repopulate is easy when you cultivate plants and flowers that attract visits from these valuable insects. By purposely redesigning your garden to include bee-friendly flowers and plants, you are increasing the chances of pollination and the survival of bees.