In case you were not already aware, the UK bee population is in crisis and declining every year. Of all creatures on Earth the bee is definitely one we don’t want to lose as they are largely responsible for the pollination of our crops and food sources, and as one of my most worn t-shirts says on the front; if they die, they’ll take us all with them. The bees get a tough time these days with our widespread pesticide use and sudden distaste for flowery country gardens it seems all odds are against them. But with just 5 minutes and a tiny amount of cash we can all do our bit to help them and it’s oh-so simple and effective.
Flowers. Bees need flowers, and lots of them. Simply plant some bee friendly flowers in your garden and you’ll have done your bit to help these busy pollinators on their way. It doesn’t even have to be a lot of flowers, just a square metre of garden space or a large container filled with the right seeds can be just the boost the bees need. There are so many lists online that state which flowers are a bees favourite and there’ll be something on the list for everyone to love and squeeze into their garden. As a general rule bees love purple flowers such as lavender and buddleia because they can see the colour purple clearest of all. Another thing they love are tubular shaped flowers such as foxgloves. These are a personal favourite of mine and are great for showing kids the way bees use flowers as it’s great fun to watch the bees sneak in and out of them for nectar. If you want top marks from the bee brigade then you can’t do better than planting a mixture of flowers that bloom at different times throughout the year so there is always something available. A mix of forget-me-nots, aquilegias and fuchsias in the garden could easily do the trick.
Here is my little patch of cornflowers I grew from seed this year to help the bees. It’s not much but I also have buddleia bushes, lavenders and foxgloves planted in my flower beds and have patches of wildflowers here and there too. In Spring my garden comes alive with daffodils and early flowering plants to help those first few bees out after winter. Just this one box of cornflowers makes a difference though and it’s always alive with bees and butterflies as you can see from my photos. For the price of a packet of seeds, some soil from the end of the garden and an old box scavenged from a skip, I made a difference to the lives of Britain’s bees and you can too. Please plant for our pollinators, they need us now more than ever!
Thanks for reading,
Emily The Forest Dweller.