Bees need the right type of flowers to obtain pollen and nectar and we wanted to get an idea as to what plants we should think about for our gardens to optimise the potential to help bees do what we need them to do. We spoke to Hannah Powell from family owned garden centres Perrywood to find out.
As Hannah explains, "Opt for single flowers over intricate double flower heads such as double cactus dahlias as these can be inaccessible for pollinators to reach the nectar."
"The key to maintaining a good population of pollinators within your garden is to plan for a succession of flowers. By providing a constant supply of pollen and nectar for pollinators to feed on you’ll keep them on site all year round. Native wild flowers and many of the traditional ‘cottage garden’ style plants are ideal choices for pollinators," continues Hannah.
"It is also important to not just stick to perennials, a wide range of trees and shrubs also make great choices and attract a wide range of insects that are good for the roles they play within the broader ecosystem too," concludes Hannah.
Plants that are the best for bees by season:
Plants that bloom early in the year and throughout spring will offer food for bees and other pollinators emerging from hibernation. Suitable plants include Hawthorn, fruit blossom (apples, cherries and plums), Aquilegia, Bergenia, Erysimum and Pieris.
Excellent summer bloomers include Achillea, Buddleja, Campanula, Calendula, Cosmos, Digitalis, Geranium, Lavender, Lavatera, Scabious and Verbena.
Towards the end of the year make sure there are plenty of late season flowers available such as Asters, Echinacea, Hebes, Sedums and Common Ivy.