The Benefits of Bees
Bees are lovely to see bumbling around the garden and they are highly effective pollinators. Our solitary bee houses, butterfly habitats and wildflower packs are effective ways to attract bees to your garden or veg plot.
These little beneficial bugs will pollinate your flowers, fruit & vegetable, increasing production and you'll be doing your bit for the eco-system.
How to attract bees to your garden
Bees make fantastic friends for gardeners for their assistance with pollination, so it's definitely worthwhile encouraging these brilliant bugs to your garden. By providing bees with vibrant, colourful wildflowers to visit and a safe place to rest, they will flock to your garden and stick around to help out with your polination
Beehives can play a very important part in our environment. Many bee species, including solitary bees and bumblebees, are under threat, but gardeners can do their bit to help ensure their survival by including a bee hive, bee log or bee nest in their gardens and planting flowers attractive to bees.
You can encourage bees to your garden with colourful wildflowers that they find absolutely irresistible. Bees are particularly attracted to the colours violet and yellow, so these bright, beautiful flowers will attract them to your garden. If you're short on space, this Butterfly and Bee Feeder will provide a perfect spot for your friendly local bees to stop by for a snack
Which crops can bees pollinate?
The world needs bees to pollinate many important food crops, including most fruit and vegetables. Bee pollinated crops are important sources of vitamins A and C, and minerals like calcium. By pollinating attractive wildflowers like bluebells and poppies, bees also help to maintain the natural environment that we love.
Here are some of the fruit and vegetables that are pollinated by bees:
- - Strawberries
- - Broad beans
- - Basil
- - Blueberries
- - Coriander
- - Raspberries
- - Cucumber
- - Apples
- - Pumpkin
- - Squash
- - Tomatoes
- - Aubergine
What are the best flowers for attracting bees?
If you want to plan out your beds and borders to be bumblebee friendly, here are a few more ideas for plants that will attract these furry pollinators, including some that you can use in the kitchen!
Rosemary - Rosemary is great to have in the garden to add fresh flavour to your cooking - the flowers are like a magnet for bumblebees, meaning the rest of your garden will benefit too! Rosemary grows well in hot dry spots in the garden - plant it near the veg patch to help your beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and hot peppers to flourish.
Borage - The vivid blue flowers produce masses of nectar, meaning bublebees and honeybees will love it - borage is also thought to repel toamto worms and cabbage worms - us it as a companion plant for tomatoes, cabbage, squash and strawberries.
Foxgloves - These produce a showy flower that come in white, shades of pink, purple and lavender. - large species of bumblebee can often be spotted clambering into tubular foxglove blooms to reach the nectar within.
Lavender - Not just good for bumblebees, lavender will also attract butterflies and honeybees, so it’s a good all-round plant to grow for wildlife - plus your garden will smell lovely! Lavender is a natural repellant of moths, slugs, and deer, so try planting it around your cabbage, broccoli and fruit trees.
Chives - Like rosemary, you can add the foliage of chives to your cooking -Gardening Angel Francesca recommends it in scrambled eggs! The flower are a hit with bumblebees and other pollinators - it makes a great companion plant to a whole host of veg including parsley, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, kohlrabi, mustard, peppers, potatoes, rhubarb, roses, squash, strawberries and tomatoes.
Oregano - a must have in a kitchen garden, oregano is easy to grow and attracts all sorts of pollinators - it aslo repels pests, and works paricularly well alongside cabbage, cauliflower and cucumber.
What if there were no bees?
In the UK, there are 254 species of wild bee (solitary bees and bumble bees), 25% of which are listed in the Red Data Book of endangered species. Incredibly, food that relies upon bee pollinated crops represents a massive 80% of the food on the supermarket shelves.
If pollinating bees disappeared, the price of many fruits and vegetables would increase: the price of British apples alone could double! It is estimated that it would cost at least £1.8 billion per year to replace the pollination done by bees with pollinating by hand.
It is widely acknowledged that changes in agriculture are the main cause of the decline in bee populations throughout Europe. Hay meadows have declined by 97% since the 1930s, removing an important source of forage for bees. It seems that solitary bees – the most common bee in Britain might be especially vulnerable to pesticides.
So it goes without saying, we need to save the bees! If you are looking for the right bee-keeping essentials for your garden, or have any other general gardening questions, please feel free to get in touch with our Gardening Angels on 0845 602 3771 or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We're always happy to help.
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