What Wildflowers Do Bees Like?
They say that if bees were to stop existing on earth, humans would not survive for more than four years! Given how important they are in our ecosystem, we must learn about them and find out ways to nurture their growth. Of course, the added benefit of getting honey from them is not lost on us either. A single bee only produces about 5 grams of honey in her entire life. That is barely one teaspoon. The effort needed to make it is so massive that a kilogram of honey requires the same amount of travel you would do if you went three times around the earth!
The source of their lifeline and the honey that they produce is flowers. While they could do it with any type of flower, wildflowers and the habitat they create are the most suitable for bees. Growing them actively would provide the nurturing that they need to stay alive and grow. You could play your role in this as well by adding wildflowers to your gardens and farms. We are sharing some of the wildflowers that bees like the most, so if you are a beekeeper, this could benefit you a lot. Of course, you could still plant them in your garden and make the entire place look beautiful while supporting them.
Given how particularly plain-looking this plant is compared to some other options, it is surprising how often bees choose them for nourishment while ignoring much prettier and attractive flowers. You can find them flowering for a long time, starting in late spring and going as far as early autumn.
Did you know that clovers had a commercial level growth at one time for honey production? The English relied on it exclusively and it was also a cash crop. However, these days you can only find them as wildflowers, but they still provide plenty of nourishment for bees during the entire summer season.
This is one of the most dependable sources of food for bees during summers. Most plants have their nectars flowing only during the daytime which could mean no food for any bees looking for food late. This plant’s thick blue spires can be benefitted from any time of the day.
As far as rich food sources are concerned for bees, the rosebay willowherb is one of the favorites. This plant is commonly found in wastelands and abandoned structures and buildings as well. It is also known as ‘fireweed’ for growing in areas that have been burnt off due to fires.
Belonging to the climbing group of wild roses, this plant is a particularly favorite plant for both bees and birds. The flowers carry plenty of nectar and have abundant growth, whereas the rosehip on these flowers is also a source of nourishment for birds and is rich in Vitamin C.
One of the best food sources for bees is also one of the most popular flowers among humans. Daisies provide you with a soothing sight every time you see them on roadsides or in your lawns during early summers. Ox-Eyes are also another common type that you can find growing everywhere and regardless of which one you choose, they are loved by bees.
Considered to be one of the best food sources for bees. They start flowering in late spring and continue into early summer, providing plenty of feasting opportunities for the bees. They are quite beneficial for the natural ecosystem as well since the bees provide pollination for them which creates food for birds and other animals as well.
Bird’s Foot Trefoil
This is a plant that belongs to the pea family and you can find it easily in most seed mixes for wildflower growth. These have both nectar and pollen present in them in abundance when they are in full bloom during summer, providing plenty of nourishment for the bees.
This is another plant that you can immediately tell is a key nourishment source for bees. The almost flat and upright position of this flower provides easy landing for the bees and the large size means there is plenty of sweet nectar to feed many bees.
This is a plant that has evolved itself to become a key source of nourishment for bees and other pollinators. The nectar spurs of this flower protrude outward, immediately enticing any bees that may be going by. It is the perfect example of nature adapting to its needs.
Creating Wildflower Meadows
Unless you are literally living on a mountain or a wild meadow, you will need to create one to harbor the perfect environment for bees to feed on. A wildflower meadow may seem like an uncontrolled growth of plants, but it needs to be managed properly for the environment to work. You would still need to mow the plants regularly or get animals grazing on them occasionally. Not doing so would simply wipe off your wildflowers because dominant plants like nettles and tall wild grass would take everything over.
This process also allows us to learn about the many differences between wildflowers which are mistaken for weeds and actual weeds. As a beekeeper, you can also learn to make your bee population thrive by providing them with the optimal feeding sources. A lot of people often end up doing exactly the opposite of what they are doing just because they do not give proper time towards learning how the plantation of different flowers impacts the bee population.
While you may think that the flowering season only exists in spring and summer, that is not the case at all. In fact, the bees need to feed regularly, especially if they are to produce honey constantly. Be sure to create a mix of the plantation that provides flowers during winters as well. Also, opt for self-seeding flowers as much as possible to reduce your effort in keeping your meadow alive. Are there any plants that you have had a great experience with so far? Let us know in the comments below.
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Let’s grow the rainbow together!
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