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To attract bees is one of the simplest ways to help the environment. We often feel powerless when we hear of the changing climate and the devastation of local ecosystems. What can one person do to turn the tide? It is true to say that the only way anything has changed is when many individuals choose to act. If you are part of the solution and a million others, your contribution will soon be significant.
Attracting bees helps because these insects are an essential part of the health of an ecosystem. As the pollinator of plants, they are how plants flourish and grow. The bee is also seen as a vital component in maintaining food security in the world.
To attract bees means planting flowers that will provide them with a source of food. Some flowers are more attractive to bees than others, and you can help bolster the population by choosing these for your garden.
Snowdrops are a brilliant flower to plant in your garden, as they bloom in early spring and can be a vital source of food in a sparse and cold environment. For any bee that comes out of winter sleep early, these nectar-rich flowers will be essential for their diet. Butterflies also love snowdrops, so you can add a moment of life to the sparse days as winter is coming to a close.
Marigolds are also known as Tagetes. They are gorgeous flowers in bloom, coming in yellows, oranges and reds. The marigold is a great place to start for those new to gardening, and they can tolerate direct sun and drought conditions. More importantly, the marigold blooms from early summer through to the middle of autumn and provides a continual food source for bees. The added bonus for gardeners, marigolds also deter aphids from entering your garden and damaging your plants.
A pansy is such a beautifully simple flower but brings so much joy to a border. Pansies come in yellows, blues, purples and white and are very easy to grow. With regular watering and the occasional feed, these pansies with bloom from spring to autumn. If you want them to flower more, be sure to keep deadheading them so there is room for new flowers. As an additional bonus, pansies are edible and can add a stunning twist to your barbeque salads.
Clover is easy to grow and comes in many colours, from white to pink, red and yellow. Clover grows wild in meadows and is a natural choice for bees. It is really easy to grow in your garden, too, as long as there is plenty of sunlight. Like many wildflower varieties, you will find more bees and butterflies in your garden if you grow them.
Peonies are another good plant for beginners, as they come in a variety of colours and are easy to maintain when given lots of sunshine. You can easily shape a garden in a scheme to suit you and attract bees to these nectar-rich plants. To make sure that they grow from bulbs, soak these bulbs in water for a few hours before planting. Peony bulbs have a habit of drying out when transported, giving them the best chance of success. Peonies are probably one of the best choices for attracting bees because their fragrance is strong, and they will act as a beacon for our flying friends.
Lupins are beautiful plants and attract most pollinators, especially bees and butterflies. They are easy to grow in a sunny spot and come in blues, pinks, purples, and white. Lupin flowers from early summer to autumn; they can become a feature plant in your garden.
Sunflowers are such fun plants to grow. They cheer people up, and children love seeing how high they can grow. Their large seed-filled heads are a rich source of food for bees and will attract them from afar. You don’t have to go for the standard yellow sunflower, as they are also available in red and orange. The seeds are a healthy snack and full of nourishing oils as a bonus.
As a general rule, bees are most attracted to purple plants. Therefore, lavender is the perfect choice for your garden. The purple flowers are pretty, but they are also highly fragrant and hence attractive to bees. The lavender will bloom from spring to early summer, though if you deadhead them, this bloom lasts longer. Lavender naturally calms us, and you can use the oils in the plant as an insect repellent too.
The official name of this plant is Monarda. However, it is called Bee Balm colloquially because it is one of the bees’ top choices. It is an easy-to-grow flowering plant that comes in many colours. It is a member of the mint family and grows just as rampantly, especially if you plant it in a sunny spot. Bee Balm is also lovely infused as a herbal tea.
Of all the plants you can grow in your garden, Goldenrod will have the most impact in attracting bees to your garden. It is a plant native to North America and Europe and is a member of the Asteraceae family. The reason bees love it so much is because it produces the most amount of nectar. It happens to be really easy to grow, too; giving them plenty of sun and well-drained sandy soil will see them thrive.
Bees are threatened by our means of farming and the amount of construction undertaken. The natural environment of bees is shrinking, which will ultimately threaten the ecosystem’s health. By planting these nectar-rich flowers, we are doing our bit. Fortunately, by choosing these plants, we are also making our gardens beautiful, as the colours in bloom throughout the summer will be stunning.
You only need to give these plants a little care for your garden to become an oasis for bees and you as you relax through the summer months.