Not to be confused with the gaudy Pelargonium, geraniums are hardy perennials that come in a broad range of colours, but most are moderately attractive to short-tongued bees. Hills Giant is one of the best varieties for bees. We seldom think of the insects and solitary bees in need of housing. A vibrant summer bedding plant that will greet you with bright, fiery flowers and aromatic leaves. Huge plants, related to thistles, with massive composite flowers that bees flock to in July/August. Readily seeds, and tolerates shade. • Moisture – Well-drained However, the bees to love it. Because they have good color vision, bees flock to flowers that are blue, purple, white, and yellow. University of Sussex Many flowers are attractive to bees, with different types of bee varying in their particular preferences. If you are a multi-millionaire, buy a period stone manor house in the Cotswolds to grow one up :). Flowers July-Sept, up to 3' high. Plants are either male or female. 19/07/16 Series 6, Episode 4 Propagate from seed or root cuttings. My lawn is full of it :), How can you not love wisteria? Trees, some growing to 30' or more. Falmer One important note: Bees are sensitive to chemicals, so opt for organic fertilizers and avoid toxic pesticides and herbicides. Once you’ve chosen the plants to incorporate into your pollinator friendly garden, steer clear of using any pesticides on them whilst they are in bloom. There are many garden strains and species. Use this guide to discover which plants, trees and veg to grow to attract these important pollinators to your patch of the world. • Moisture – Well-drained or moist but well-drained All varieties are good, but some of the crab apples produce particularly profuse flowers and are very attractive. I have found it very hard to get seeds to germinate, and plants have a habit of dying over the winter, so generallty not for the beginner! Great plant for short tongued bumblebees and honeybees, an easy to grow annual that flowers for months and is very rich in sweet nectar. A classic cottage garden plant, giant biennials growing to 10' tall, very popular with male Bombus terrestris. I'd welcoem suggestions for particular varieties that are best for bees. The tall, strong flower heads bear masses of tiny purple blooms from summer to autumn. A great plant for bees, originally from North America. 22 Sweet Williams (Dianthus barbatus) (HB) are fantastic flowers for bees. The spring-flowering garden varieties are particularly popular with early-emerging queen bumblebees, some flowering as early as February when little else is available. Occasionally grown as a fodder crop. You explained everything so well and have made it affordable to get everyone we shall have living in our gardens suitable quarters! Geranium sanguinea also good, and the cultivated forms 'Patricia' and 'Ann Folkard'. A very easy to grow herb, lovely in omlettes and with new potatoes, and much loved by short-tongued bees. Like their relative the foxglove, mainly visited by long-tongued bumblebees such as B. hortorum. In general herbs and cottage garden perennials are good, and annual bedding plants are best avoided (because they have been intensively bred and have often lost their rewards or become so mishapen that insects cannot get in to them - also, many have been drenched in insecticides). Incredibly nectar rich, bees go crazy for it. • Sun – Full sun or partial shade • Position – East, West, North or South facing Flowers July-August, partticularly favoured as drinking posts for male bumblebees. Long flowering and available in loads of different styles and colours, there are many with great scents like the chocolate cosmos. An odd plant in that it flowers almost all year round, including the depths of winter. • Soil – Sand, chalk, clay or loam. Tolerates shade, and usually self-seeds, every garden should have some. A rare perennial wildflower in the UK, I have only seed it on Salisbury Plain. Can be grown instead of grass as an alternative lawn covering. This plant is actually a Mediterranean herb, with lovely star-shaped blue flowers that pollinating insects love. Freely self-seeds. A woody climber, stunning trained along a south-facing wall or over a pergola. Plant it along a pathway so it releases its heavenly scent as you walk by, where you can enjoy it as well as the bees and the butterflies. Hi, is Love your Garden back for a new series in 2016? A succulent herbaceous perennial, flowering in September, and loved by male bumblebees and butterflies. Flowers July-August. Improving access to higher education: widening participation. Comfrey can also be chopped down regularly and used to make excellent compost. Can be a welcome food for early spring queens and also Bombylius bee flies. Bees need 3 things to thrive – food, shelter and water. Lovely meadow perennial, one of my particular favourites. You can of course also harvest and eat the buds, but try to leave some for the bees! Nectar is hidden at the end of very long tubes, so it is visited by long-tongued bees - mainly Bombus hortorum - but also robbed by short-tongued bees such as B. terrestris. A great one for male bumblebees in high summer, this species is not spiny like its wild relatives and is quite at home in a herbaceous border. Doesn't make much of a border plant, but great naturalized in meadow areas. An easy-to-grow annual, flowers in 8-10 weeks from sowing and keeps flowerring for quite a while. Can grow 5' tall or more, and will smother smaller plants nearby. If it is left to grow freely, they produce tiny, delicate flowers in pink or white shades. Note that chives also belong to this genus, but they are mentioned seperately below. I’m thinking form it into a 2″ X whatever the length is and staple it to the ends? • Sun – Full sun or partial shade A great early spring nectar resource for hungry queen bumblebees, visited by long-tongued species, especially Bombus pascuorum. • Sun – Full sun or partial shade Star ratings are from 1 to 5, and reflect my view of how attractive they are to bees.