Bees love flowers packed with nectar and pollen for them to collect and bring back to their hive. But did you know bees also have their favourites amongst the meadow of colour and sweet-smelling flowers? Keep reading for helpful tips on choosing the best wildflowers for bees, and ensure they get all they need when they’re out buzzing around, looking for food.
Using wildflowers for bees helps us too!
As members of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and lovers of wildflowers ourselves – we know it’s worth the extra effort to give bees the habitat they need since it benefits us, too! Knowing the best wildflowers for bees will help them even more with their busy lifestyles.
Bees pollinate a wide range of wildflowers during their busy working routine, dusting everything they touch with pollen as they travel from flower to flower. And while they buzz back and forth between daisies, foxgloves and white and red clover, they tend to pick certain flowers over others when they can.
Our buzzing friends’ top choices are tubular, tunnel-shaped and bell-like flowers with flat petals. The flat petals serve as landing pads, while the tubular, tunnel and bell-like blooms encourage the bees to climb in and cover themselves in their sought-after pollen.
Wildflowers for bees that they love!
The wildflowers in our Bees & Pollinators Wildflowers seed mix are included in the RHS Plants for Pollinators list. We have carefully selected our seed mix’s wildflowers and meadow grasses to ensure they get coated in their favourite pollen and nectar. As a bonus, the addition of meadow grass helps create a rich habitat for local wildlife.
You will notice that these flowers look pretty different at first glance, but they all do the same job well – they cover bees and pollinators in a thick coating of pollen to pass around between other flowers in the area.
Foxgloves are biennial wildflowers that, when sown, provide blooms for two years. Their bright pink/purple bells attract bees and pollinators who climb inside to feed on its nectar while covering themselves in its pollen.
Dark Mullein has large petals for bees to land on, and the long tubular central sections encourage bees to dig deep between them while covering the bees in a thick pollen coating.
Red and White Clover
Red and white clover are popular perennial wildflowers with dome-shaped flowers that offer a wide landing platform for bees, and the multiple petals blush bees all over with pollen while they feed on the clover’s sweet nectar.
Yarrow has a wide platform comprising clusters of small white flowers that cover bees in pollen while they walk around on the surface collecting nectar. This aromatic flower has a pleasing, sweet smell that attracts bees and pollinators drawn to its scent.
Probably the most common wildflower you will see, dandelions are a superb pollen source for bees. And much like yarrow, bees get covered in pollen when they land on the large landing pad a dandelion offers.
ECO: Clover Lawn – an alternative to a traditional grass lawn
We know the benefits that clover wildflowers give bees and other pollinators, but did you know clover also acts as a natural fertiliser plant when added to your garden lawn? Clover takes nitrogen from the air and releases it into the soil, feeding your grass and giving you a healthier lawn overall.
While it’s doing all this, its flowers are feeding the local wildlife, who are, in turn, helping everything around them thrive. Adding ECO: Clover Lawn to your garden will encourage the natural circle of life to flourish, so there has never been a better time to add clover to your lawn!
Adding wildflowers for bees to your garden
If you’re new to wildflowers, we have an easy-to-follow guide that offers tips to help you prepare the perfect seed bed and sow the seed to get your wildflower meadow blooming. We also have a guide to help you choose the right wildflowers for your garden.
If you have any questions on wildflowers for bees, or maybe there are unique challenges that your garden is giving you, please get in touch, and we will be happy to help.