Do your bit by planting pollinator-friendly beauties
World Honey Bee Day is a special conservation and awareness day held on the third Saturday of August to remind people across the globe about the importance, value, and beauty, of honey bees.
It is a well-known issue that bee populations are decreasing, which will have a disastrous impact on food production if left unresolved.
Efforts are consistently being made to protect our buzzing friends from the dangers they face, with this day being particularly important for bringing this issue to the forefront of people’s attention.
This year’s spectacle is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 19.
It is well-known that flowers are the primary source of food for honey bees, as they collect nectar and pollen to make honey, which feeds and strengthens their young – starting the cycle again.
So, if you are looking to plant some flowers to mark World Honey Bee Day, we have a hatful of suggestions for you.
Salvia is a very popular flower that is beautiful and particularly attractive to bees.
Varieties, such as ‘Amethyst Lips’, boast a long blooming period, while the wide choice of colours available ensure they fit the overall scheme of your garden.
One to remember for next year’s planting schedule – Asters are another great choice as they attract a whole host of beneficial pollinating insects to your garden, including the all-important honey bees.
This is a late-blooming flower, typically bursting to life in autumn, and need to be planted between March and May for best results.
When it comes to cheery flowers that attract bees and butterflies, most people will straight away think about glorious Marigolds – and we completely understand why.
This is known as a strong performer and produces an abundance of pom-pom shaped blooms to draw pollinators to your garden and leave the area buzzing with life.
The aromatic foliage makes a wonderful environment for wildlife to thrive and would be a welcome addition to any garden.
Yet another colourful flower you could plant is the ever-delightful Zinnia.
It is very easy to grow, so is ideal for gardeners of all abilities
One outstanding variety, Zinnia ‘Jazz’, boasts bi-coloured blooms, including striking shades of pinks and oranges.
These large flowers need to be planted in May and June, but will burst to life from July to October.
What else can you do to make your garden honey bee friendly?
As we have outlined, one of the best ways for you to help bees in your garden is to plant and care for a variety of flowers throughout the year to provide them with a continuous source of food.
Make sure you plant these flowers in the sunniest sections of your garden, as bees need direct sunlight to activate the nectar in the flowers.
Scatter dead wood and other debris in your garden where you spot bees starting to appear, as this will provide them with much-needed shelter.
Bees absolutely love wildflowers, so try to mow your lawn infrequently to encourage a sea of varieties to grow.
You could also provide a water source for the bees, such as a partially-filled shallow dish, or by making a birdbath shallow enough for bees to land and drink from it.
If you have a working greenhouse, leave the door or a window open on warm days, particularly in the summer, so bees can buzz inside, access your plants for pollen and nectar, and leave as they please.