Six on Saturday: 18.7.20-Bees needs

This week is Bees Needs Week, organised by Bumblebee conservation. There are 5 simple guidelines to help.

  1. Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees.
  2. Let your garden grow wild.
  3. Cut your grass less often.
  4. Don’t disturb insect nest and hibernation spots.
  5. Think carefully about whether to use pesticides.

So, for this weeks six, I am looking at six bee favourites in the garden right now.

1. Hosta flowers

While not a flower people necessarily think of as a pollinator favourite the hostas have been constantly buzzing with bee activity. Great for adding that extra pollen source in the shade.

2. Passionflowers

The passionflowers are about as far from a native species as you can get in the UK. But the exotic blooms are loved by the bees.

3. Borage

Borage is probably one of the best flowers for bees currently. The nectaries supposedly refill in about a minute meaning they can be visited again and again. If you wanted a bee magnet for a limited space this would be it. I have both the blue and the white varieties growing and they are equally loved.

4. Hollyhocks

The hollyhocks are coming into flower. The leaves are covered in rust but they are blooming well. The hollyhocks are wonderful for the bees. They enter the large open flower and come out covered in pollen.

5. Single dahlias

While many of the double dahlias may look more spectacular I prefer the singles for the variety of pollinators that enjoy them. Last year these were enjoyed by bees, hoverflies and butterflies throughout the late summer. Here is the first one to open this year being enjoyed by a hoverfly.

And with a bee coming into land.

6. Marigolds

My mass of marigolds has seen many visitors with both honey and bumble bees coming to enjoy.

I am pleased with how many bees are coming in right now. The bumblebees are the most frequent but we are seeing some honey bees and a variety of solitary bees. It is good to know our efforts to provide for them are showing good results.

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20 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 18.7.20-Bees needs”

  1. My seedling Dahlias throw up singles, semi-doubles and full doubles and I haven’t seen much difference between the singles and semi-doubles as far as bee numbers go. Even the doubles usually eventually open out to a disc floret centre which seems to yield something, with bees on them after all the petals have fallen off.

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    1. Most of the seed grown are fine. A few of the tuber ones I’ve grown are too ruffly. But the bishops have been great for pretty much all pollinators as open enough for them all. Had butterflies, bees and hoverflies.

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  2. The dahlia is such a pretty color. I didn’t know that about borage. Interesting. I hope you don’t mind, I’ll “steal” that fact for a future post of my own! I have plenty of borage. Mine would not be recommended for small spaces though.

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      1. Yes, don’t need many to attract in a lot. I have grown it in pots before and as part of containers. If you do it containers near other things you need to cut the seed heads off so it doesn’t self-seed everywhere. I’ve let mine go a bit mad this year but I’m enjoying all the bees coming in and I like the photos of them hanging upside down.

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  3. A post full of bees’ backsides – I love it! I’m glad you featured single dahlias. Whilst the big blowsy beauties are appealing, the single ones are very pretty too and the bees really do love them. Bee-eutiful post!

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  4. Oh gosh! All the bee photos are absolutely stunning! We are doing our best to grow plants that attract pollinators, and in the two years we have been there we went from no bees (not even native bees) to many bees and hoverflies. It is so rewarding to watch them.

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