With a garden comes a certain amount of power over our natural world. You can choose to plant bee-friendly plants that will support our pollinators, create rich habitat for wildlife and look beautiful, or you can pave over the lot and park your car! We're hoping that because you're on our website and looking at bee friendly plants that you're choosing the first option!
We wanted to put together a super useful guide to bee-friendly planting for you, inspiration for your garden plant choice and so we started with the wonderful Rosybee, a company who specialise in plants for bees and who are passionate about helping everyone make a difference to the future of UK pollinating insects.
Over on the Rosybee website, you can find a summary of findings from a long term study investigating the best plants for bees and other pollinators. It's certainly the most well researched and trusted guide we have found and if you're planning bee-friendly planting for your whole garden then we thoroughly recommend you start with the Rosybee research.
BEE FRIENDLY PLANTING IDEAS
Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (or Cranesbill)
The Geranium 'Rozanne', or Cranesbill as it is commonly known, was rated as the top plant for solitary bees whilst also having benefit for honeybees and bumblebees. With a long flowering period, this will attract solitary bees and other pollinators for months on end.
Garden herbs like Thyme and Calamint
Kitchen garden herbs can have a great duel benefit, good for pollinators, and good for you too! In particular, from the Rosybee studies, Thymus serpyllum, or creeping thyme, and calamint were found to be particularly beneficial to bees.
A bee-friendly lavender variety
Lavender is always a popular choice when it comes to planting for pollinators. According to the Rosybee study, there are a few varieties that are most popular with bees, with lavandula eidelweis, lavandula grosso and lavandula sawyers all appearing in the top 30 bee plants list.
Borage, also known as a starflower, is another herb that, whilst being great for bees and other pollinators, can also be used as a garnish, herb, or even for skincare!
There are a vast number of different varieties of salvia, many of which will look beautiful for months and be great for pollinators. Top of the list though is salvia nemorosa, which will bear violet-blue flowers from May to July.
Again there are many varieties of echium with varying heights and flowering periods. According to the Rosybee research, the echium vulgare, or vipers bugloss, is one of the most beneficial for bees, and in particular for bumblebees, providing nectar all day long whilst most plants dry up at around lunchtime!
So there you have it, six ideas to get you started with your bee-friendly planting. We'd love to know what you have growing in your bee friendly garden that seems to be attracting the bees, let us know in the comments below.