We cannot feed ourselves without pollinators, so it’s essential we provide an environment in which they can thrive
Did you know that much of our food production depends on plants being pollinated by various insects? We need to be providing spaces and places in which they can thrive.
It is, quite literally, essential for our own continued existence.
Bees and other pollinators are vitally important for pollinating hundreds of plant species, including our crops. But they are under threat from the loss and degradation of habitats due to pressures such as housing development, agriculture and climate change. There are 24 species of bee in the UK alone, and they are all struggling.
You can really help by planting flowers in your garden – or in wild places – that are attractive to bees and provide the nectar they need.
What do they need?
Bees look for certain types of flowers. Species with shorter tongues need short, open flowers, with nectar within easy reach, like flowers from the daisy family and alliums, which have a number of small flowers on one stalk. Bees with long tongues can enjoy deeper flowers like honeysuckle, which have significantly more nectar per flower.
What can I do?
You can really help by planting the right flowers in your garden; according to The Wildlife Trusts, you should aim to have some early and late flowers in the mix to prolong the nectar season.
Planting them in drifts will help bees recognise them and allows them to visit repeatedly; this will result in beautiful floral displays in your garden or community space too!
What to plant
You can see a list of 30 flowers attractive to bees, and notes on when they can be planted, at The Wildlife Trusts website at https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/how-attract-bumblebees-your-garden.
If you are not in the UK, check for seasonal flowers that are good for supporting pollinators with an internet search or contact a local wildlife or plant charity.
This simple action – just a careful choice of what flowers to plant in your garden – can really help. It will:
- make your garden attractive to bees and other pollinators
- help to ensure the various species survive
- protect our own food security
- arrest the decline in habitat affecting our pollinators
- produce some beautiful floral displays