Bees play a very important role in our ecosystem. Studies have found that it would cost farmers £1.8 billion a year to manually pollinate their crops, while our natural pollinators are helping our plants and flowers to flourish free of charge! Thank you, Bees!
Around 70 crops depend on bee pollination to survive, and with over 250 species of bees native to the UK, it is essential to limit the dangers that are putting our bees at risk.
Why Are Bees at Threat?
Over recent years, many factors have contributed to the high mortality rate for bees. The biggest problem that they face is habitat loss. Since the 1930s, 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost in the UK, reducing a major food source for bees.
Climate change and extreme weather are also disrupting bee nesting behaviour as it alters seasonal timings. When flowers bloom too early or late, bees often miss the chance to pollinate them and gather food.
Actively planting wildflowers can help to provide resources for bees whilst also being visibly appealing in our landscape.
What Wildflowers Do Bees Like?
We can all help out when it comes to rebuilding habitats for bees. No matter how large or small your area of land is, wildflowers are simple to plant. As the number of bees continues to decline, now is the perfect time to get planting. Studies have shown that an array of wildflowers can help increase the survival rate of bees. We have gathered a few of our favourites that bees also love!
Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)
This wildflower produces vibrant purple flowers that attract a wide variety of bees, including honeybees and bumblebees. It blooms from June to September and is a valuable nectar source.
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
Known for its tall spikes of bell-shaped flowers, foxgloves are popular among bumblebees and solitary bees. They provide a good source of nectar and pollen during their flowering period from June to August.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Red clover is a valuable forage plant for bees. Its vibrant pinkish-red flowers are rich in nectar, attracting honeybees and bumblebees. It blooms from May to September.
White Deadnettle (Lamium album)
White deadnettles are perennial wildflowers which can be characterised by their white flowers. However, although they resemble a nettle, they do not sting.
It is an important early-season nectar source for bees, blooming from March to October.
Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
This low-growing wildflower has yellow pea-like flowers that are highly attractive to bees, including bumblebees and solitary bees. It provides a good source of nectar and is particularly beneficial for solitary bee species. It blooms from May to September.
Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)
Wild marjoram produces clusters of small pink or purple flowers that are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. It blooms from July to September and provides a good source of nectar.
We can support bee populations by creating a diverse and wildlife-friendly habitat full of wildflowers. Consult local conservation organisations to find out more about which wildflowers are most suitable for your specific region.
At Grass Science Seeds, we pride ourselves on promoting safe and sustainable planting. We are happy to share our knowledge to help you select the right seeds for you. Get in touch with us today!