The importance of bees in our eco system is parallel to no other species. They are integral to pollinating the food that we eat and the plants that millions of animals call their home. Vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and cucumber rely on the pollination of bees, as do raspberries, blueberries, apples, watermelon, cherries and basically any healthy snack you can think of.
Typically, humans are invading bees homes and our agricultural methods are disturbing bees diets. A lot of places bees once called home no longer exist. No bees mean no pears, peaches, plums, pumpkins and you get the gist.
With so many of us living in urban surroundings you’re probably thinking, 'I don’t have a garden, there’s no way I can help out our furry black and yellow friends from the comfort of my home'. You thought wrong.
Fill your windowsill with flowers, plant on your roof, don’t mow your lawn (if you have one) and enjoy what’s naturally around you, weeds and all.
Here is a small guide to some good looking and low maintenance plants that will make a bees day and turn global warming away.
Choose a sheltered spot that sees some sun, place each plant in groups so the colour and scents are easy to detect and select an array of plants that flower from early spring to late autumn (see below):
Verbena (June - September)
Long blooming purple clusters of small flowers and tall stems. They’re a favourite for bees and butterflies throughout summer and into autumn. Perfect if you want some continuous colour.
Foxgloves (June - September)
My personal favourite, a beautiful flower that is easy to grow. Its deep flowers can often be found buzzing with bees. There is an old belief in Ireland that when a fairy passes by, foxglove bow their heads in respect. So if you ever see one with its spire bent over, you will know there is a fairy close by!
Very popular option, Asters boast a long flowering season, come in loads of shapes and sizes and are rich in both nectar and pollen, also delicious for the bees and the butterflies.
Happy planting, and remember to buy from your local garden centres rather than Amazon. All Jeff Bezos cares about is money, not honey.