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I would like to ask which are the best wildflowers to plant for bees.
Victoria

     
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Joined 2013-01-30

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atkinson - 05 April 2013 09:53 AM

I would like to ask which are the best wildflowers to plant for bees.
Victoria

Hi Victoria,

The key thing to think about with bees is to ensure there are a range of wildflowers available throughout the season to provide both pollen and nectar , and also a range of flower shapes and types to suit short, medium and long tongued bees. 

In the spring good flowers include bluebell, primrose, white and red dead nettle, bugle, ground ivy and selfheal. In the summer good wildflowers are red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, yellow rattle, tufted vetch, wild thyme and vipers bugloss. In later summer good flowers are knapweed, scabious, mallow and marjoram.

The other thing to think about is the soil conditions you will be planting into - some species are adapted to specific soil types eg, chalk, neutral or damp.  There is lots of information on the habitat aid website regarding mixes for different soil types

http://www.habitataid.co.uk/

The RHS also does an excellent list of wildflowers for pollinators - which can be found here
http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening/Plants-for-pollinators

There is also a good book called ’ Plants for Bees’ by WDJ Kirk & FN Howes which is a comprehensive review of all bee friendly plants. http://www.plantsforbees.org/

Good luck with the planting ! Thanks

Jo