One of best ways to attract bees into your garden is by providing the nectar rich plants that they love. Gardens are not quite the same without the wonderful drone of insects throughout the summer months, and watching a sole bumblebee bouncing through the flowers is a wonderful sight. And whether you simply want to provide a wildlife haven, or want those bees to come and pollinate your vegetables, providing nectar rich plants is a must.
One of the most important concepts when providing for bees is that you need to plant flowers which will provide sustained food over a period of time. It’s no good having a nearby hive find your garden because of all your wonderful spring nectar, only to have no flowers in summer or autumn to provide them with sustenance. With this in mind when you choose your plants, try and include varieties which will flower at different times of the year, providing nectar for insects over consecutive months.
When bees first emerge from their winter hibernation they will be desperate for food, and including some garden flowers for those first warm days is a great way to attract these fabulous insects into your haven. Hellebores are particularly loved, and will be open from as early as January in some places. Meanwhile spring bulbs such as daffodils and hyacinths are perfect, and if you really want to give bees a treat you can force some bulbs on indoors, before placing them outside on warm days before any other flowers may have come into bud.
As the months develop, more nectar rich flowers will come into bloom. Foxgloves are perfect for encouraging bees, with every flute having large amounts of nectar to entice bustling insects. Oriental poppies are also brilliant, with their large blousy flowers offering the ideal snack. Climbers such as honeysuckle are great, their fragrance also offering a wonderful additional element to the garden. Delphiniums and lupins are good plants for later summer, and buddlia is not called the Butterfly Bush for no reason, with its tiny flowers attracting insects from all over. Meanwhile, cornflowers, lavenders, and sedums will also provide a great feast.
If you want to attract bees into your garden the best way to do it is through nectar rich planting. And by providing this vital food source to your bustling and buzzing friends you can ensure that their hives remain fat and fed, and you feel happy in the knowledge that you are doing your part to save the much threatened bee.