Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bee Education

Bees are vital to the existence of our food supply and flower reproduction. We need to encourage bees to visit our gardens, and to do that we must have flowers that will attract them.

Bees seem to be very attracted to blue, purple and yellow colours the most.

Some easy-to-grow, bee-attracting flowers that can be started from seeds:
  • Forget-me-nots are spring annuals that produce copious quantities of seed, ensuring that the plants re-appear year after year.
  • Lavender in all its forms is a wonderful bee attractant and, because of its long flowering period and its range of varieties, it’s possible to have lavender in flower for most of the year. Dwarf Lavender Munstead can be grown from seed.
  • Nasturtiums, too, grow readily from seed. Both the bee-attracting flowers and the leaves are edible.
  • Catmint, with its grey foliage and soft mauve blooms, makes a delightful edging for veggie beds.
  • Phacelia is renowned for its appeal to ‘good’ garden insects, including hoverflies and honeybees.
  • Salvia, especially the blue flowering variety, attracts bees.

Herbs are also a good for attracting bees, while also helping to keep other garden pests away. Try:
  • Basil is an annual that grows right through the warmer weather, producing sprays of white, pink or mauve flowers in late summer and autumn. Allowing a few flowers to develop will attract bees.
  • Thyme is a perennial mini shrub that, like basil, flowers in late summer.
  • Sage, the culinary form of the ornamental salvias, does a good job as a bee attractant.
  • Rocket can be classed either as a herb or a salad vegetable. Allowing some rocket to flower and go to seed will encourage friendly insects to visit the garden.
  • Also try borage, chives, garlic chives and coriander.
This handy information came from Yates website.

 Here's some great bee videos:

The Waggle Dance of the Honeybee

Honey Bee (pollination/digestion/honey)

Gardening Tips: Pollinating Trees without Bees

Beekeeping at River Cottage

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