Copyright Broadacre Garden
When we started up the market garden in 2009 we also decided to keep honey bees. We liked the idea and we had fruit trees that needed pollinating.
From keeping bees we progressed to studying bees. Both honey bees and bumble bees have important roles in the ecosytem and both are fascinating to observe. We are blessed with healthy populations of bumble bees and do our best to provide the best conditions for bees of all types. We do not use pesticides and we plant bee-friendly flowers. Special emphasis is placed on having suitable forage year-round as with the milder winters the bees are becoming more active out of season.
Planting for bees was less easy than I expected. There are lots of lists of suitable flowers but many of them are of questionable usefulness. I suspect that lists get copied uncritically from here and there until just about every flower you can think of is in a bee-flower list somewhere.
Planting for bees
Sometimes when people write about bee-flowers you get a clear sense that it is based on personal experience. Even then there are flowers that don’t seem to be attractive to bees here at Broadacre. I decided to keep records of which flowers were most useful to the bees here. To see the results click on Bee Flower Indexes.