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Honesty Thursday 27th March 2008 20:06

Gardening for bees
There seems to be a lot of good advice on here about planting for butterflies but I just wanted to mention gardening to encourage bees.

Bees are generally on the decline in the UK and need all the help they can get. If you start to study these fascinating little creatures by encouraging them into your garden you may appreciate how amazing they really are. =)

Today I bought several saxifrage plants which were attracting a variety of bee species, including Andrena fulva (Tawny Mining Bee) and Apis mellifera (Honey Bee).

For a comprehensive list of plants which provide food for bees please follow the link below.

Kits Thursday 27th March 2008 21:21

What a good idea for a thread, Honesty. =]

I am pleased to see that I have 24 of those plants in my garden already. Buzzy bees are lovely creatures, and do so much. I have already seen several enjoying the spring sunshine.

Honesty Thursday 27th March 2008 23:06

That's good going, Kits, but then you have a smashing garden already. =)

SweetCicely Friday 28th March 2008 09:17

I've also got many of the plants mentioned as they are also good nectar plants for butterflies.
Early nectar for bees which has been very successful in my garden, is the yellow and orange winter flowering pansies that have been flowering since last autumn and will continue to do so until late spring. Another good source is the winter flowering Clematis 'cirrhosa var. balearica, it flowers from late Winter to early Spring. I've noticed the bees here are prefering these flowers to the wild primroses I have, probably because of their very bright colours.
The Cotoneaster I have sprawled across the front of our house can be swarming with bees in Spring making a very loud humming sound when opening the front door, amazing sound!
A few Lavenders in the garden are also very successful at attracting bees, so many plants it's hard to choose but I do know its up to us, the gardeners to do our bit for preserving our wildlife!!

Hostababy Friday 28th March 2008 11:52

My daughter took this photo, not like her to go anywhere near bees or plants !=)

Peewit Friday 28th March 2008 12:12


A couple of links to give further information without getting too technical

The thing is now the Bees are getting rarier now in the UK. They are not discussed in the same way as larger species of animals.

We need to take care of our 'species' and be proud of them. I think just a bee friendly garden, and bee friendly planting of flowers comes into it a lot.

So much to find out yet, not just for gardening but to entice our wildlife to come into our garden and enjoy it, as we do.

Bindweed is one of the bee friendly plants but not to other plants though. If I could leave a strip of Bindweed but sadly not as it is so invasive.

I will take my David Bellany hat off now.


SweetCicely Friday 28th March 2008 12:22

1 Attachment(s)
Don't know if my attempt at attaching a pic is going to work but Lantana is another plant that bees love.

Kits Friday 28th March 2008 15:35

Well done - it worked! Lovely pic.

Honesty Friday 28th March 2008 20:32

That is a lovely photograph, Sweetcicerly. I didn't realise Lantanas grew outside of tropical houses or greenhouses. Does it grow in a conservatory perhaps?

Another good flower for bees, but far more humble that the exotic Lantana, is snapdragon.

snowyowl Saturday 29th March 2008 13:24

Here I know of several bee keepers who are making good money by renting out their colonies to farmers so that proper pollination takes place. We have several colonies of wild bees around the property every year as well has lots of wasp and hornet nests.

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