Month: June 2015

Gardening for bumble bees

It is well known that the bumble bee population in the UK has been in decline for the last 50 or 60 years.  This is mainly due to more efficient farming methods demanding increased productivity and the destruction of wild flower meadows.  Two species of bumble bee; the short haired bumble bee and Cullem’s bumble bee, have become extinct during the second half of the 20th century. Bees require nectar and pollen from flowers for food and, seeing as 97% of our wild flower habitats have been destroyed since the 1930s, it is not surprising that bumble bees are struggling to survive.  However, it is estimated that British gardens cover over one million acres of land and there is plenty that the gardener can do to help preserve the humble bumble bee. Bees like flowers that they can crawl into, like foxgloves, though they also like open flowers too.  Apparently, they are especially attracted to blue flowers and yellow ones (which they “see” as blue).  Bees like herbs, including oregano and chives.  Spring flowering flowers which are favourites of bees include alliums and bluebells, passiflora and foxgloves.  To encourage bees to stay in your garden for the Summer months then… Read more »