Having re-established part of the garden following building work, I’ve done my best to help out the bees with well-known nectar sources: Salvia; Echium; Artichoke; Echinacea; Helenium; knapweed; Scabious… And what are they visiting? These self-set globe thistle that have spread from my neighbours and the feral oregano that has escaped the herb-garden. I feel under-appreciated
Even if we plant loads for our bees and they choose to go somewhere else we are at least providing for bumble bees. If they are foraging elsewhere it is probably a good sign – – -meaning that they are finding something better, and in more quantity, elsewhere. Our honey bees love to find a good, reliable and abundant source for all those hungry mouths in the colony.
There is nothing like observation (at home or at the garden centre) to tell you which plants honey bees prefer. But if you are going to lash out on plants for your bees it is best to do some good research first. Most ‘bee friendly’ plants suit bumble bees better and honey bees which have shorter tongues and therefore find them difficult to access. For example I read that Salvia was really good for honeybees. so I bought and planted some- – – but I have only ever seen bumbles on them. Worse than that they really stink!
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