Did you know that 1 in 3 bee hives were lost over the last winter alone? The reasons are not clearly understood although bad weather, the use of insecticides, a lack of wildflowers and the varroa mite, which has spread rapidly since arriving in Britain in 1992, are thought to be partly to blame. Britain's honeybee population has fallen by 30 per cent in recent years.
Bees play a key role in pollinating many crops and are estimated to be worth anything from £165 million to more than £850 million to the UK economy. Some 35 per cent of our diet depends on pollination of crops by bees and it is often said that if bees died out, humans would follow just four years later, a view sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein.
Bees also play a key role in our gardens. Great flowers start with pollination and for that you need bees. Gardeners can play a key role to encourage bees by planting bee-friendly plants in their garden, along with flowering trees and shrubs to plant throughout the year to provide a constant supply of food.
Why not encourage bees by proving bee houses in your garden? You can buy these or make your own simple bee house with a flower pot or wooden box and some bamboo sticks or pieces of wood or provide a wood pile in your garden. But consider where you site your bee house, bees like warmth and shelter, so fix their home in a south-facing spot but not in direct sunlight. Also make sure the entrance points downwards so that rain does not get in. Now for some food for the bees.
Below is a list of plants that are attractive to bees - and also look out for the RHS 'Perfect for Pollinators' icon throughout our product pages. . If you only have limited space, time or budget and are looking for just one or two varieties to do you bit to protect our bee population then go for a packet of scabious seeds or a wild flower mixture of seeds. Do your bit to help save the bee, and don't forget you could also get lots of delicious honey from a hive!
Bees are essential for pollination so plant bee-friendly varieties to attract them into your garden.
Lavender is easy to grow and has nectar-rich flowers which are particularly attractive to bees.
Scattering wildflower seeds in your flower beds is an easy way to attract bees to your garden.
Vegetables such as runner beans are also a great way to attract bees, plus they will reward you by pollinating and giving you a bumper crop!
|Cosmos||bipinnatus||Sonata Series Mixed||Cosmos|
|Eupatorium||maculatum||Atropurpureum||Joe Pye weed|
|Hypericum||perforatum||St John's Wort|
|Limnanthes||douglasii||Poached Egg plants|
|Polemonium||boreale||Heavenly Habit||Jacob's Ladder|
|Potentilla||thurberi amorubens||Monarch's Velvet||Cinquefoil|
|Scabiosa||caucasica||House's Novelty Mixed||Scabious|
|Malus||Red Sentinel||Crab Apple|
|Malus||Cox's Orange Pippin||Apple|
|Vicia||Masterpiece Green||Broad Bean|