This week is Bees Needs Week, organised by Bumblebee conservation. There are 5 simple guidelines to help.
- Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees.
- Let your garden grow wild.
- Cut your grass less often.
- Don’t disturb insect nest and hibernation spots.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.