5 bee-friendly perennials that support bees and add blooms to the garden
Bees are dying! Unfortunately, that is absolutely certain. So much depends on the hard-working insects, more than a third of our food, for example. Bees pollinate more than 80% of all plants in Germany. This includes not only all fruit trees and berry varieties, but also very important herbs, shrubs and other trees. It would be a real catastrophe for the entire ecosystem if bees died out any further. Fortunately, each of us can do something about it to promote and save these useful little animals. One of the simplest measures is to plant bee-friendly perennials and flowers in the garden or on the balcony. Today we present five of our favorites. Take a look at these and look for other pretty plants that serve as a source of food for the bees.
Bee-friendly perennials are mainly native plants
Why are bees actually dying out?
Not only are bees hardworking and useful, they are also quite sensitive. Unfortunately, these important insects have many natural enemies, such as the varroa mite, which cause them problems. The real causes of the extinction of bees are actually caused by human activities. The huge amount of pesticides and herbicides used in conventional agriculture has serious consequences for bees. Above all, neonicotinoids prove to be fatal for the insects. And as if that weren’t enough, the areas of monocultures are constantly growing, which are no or only short-term sources of food for the bees. A glaring example of this is rapeseed. This monoculture is partly suitable as bee food, but only flowers from April to May. Afterwards, the huge rapeseed fields are just empty territory for the bees, which has also been sprayed with plenty of pesticides.
Bees, on the other hand, need more biodiversity and not sprayed
Five bee-friendly perennials that bloom from March to October
If you are creating a bee-friendly garden, you should definitely make sure that it has beautiful flowers from early spring to mid-autumn. This means that the perennials and flowers should generally have staggered flowering times and in this way be able to offer the bees the vital nectar from March to October. At the same time, it is a win-win situation, because not only the bees benefit from it. In this way you ensure sufficient pollination for your fruit trees and vegetables and thus a richer harvest in summer and autumn. The following five bee-friendly perennials have been selected by us to flower in different months, just as explained above.
#1 Winterling (Eranthis hyemalis)
It is a fabulous early bloomer. The plant shows its delicate, yellow flowers as early as February and is not called Winterling for nothing. This bee-friendly plant is native to southern Europe and is a rich, early food source for bees, bumblebees, and wasps. However, you have to consider that the winter agaric is by no means suitable for consumption, because the plant is poisonous to humans.
#2 Seed Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia)
At the beginning of May, the flowering splendor of the seed sainfoin can also be seen. The soft pink flowers then remain until mid-June and offer the bees plenty of nectar and pollen. The plant is particularly suitable for very sunny gardens, even if they are relatively dry. It is fairly easy to care for while improving soil quality.
#3 Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
This beautiful perennial plant is related to other bee-friendly perennials such as Indian nettle, bee balsam, horsemint or wild bergamot. Its flowers are red or pink and appear from June to September. The bee balm is hardy and likes sunny to partially shaded places. The soil is said to be rich in humus, but as a type it can be sandy or loamy. Bee balm can even be used as a cut flower and its leaves can be used as a substitute for thyme in the kitchen.
#4 Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea)
Also from June to September, the goldenrod adorns your garden with wonderful, golden accents. The panicle-shaped flowers not only attract busy bees, but also a host of other beneficial pollinators such as bumblebees, wasps and butterflies. For goldenrod, the sunnier the better. It likes nutrient-poor, sandy soil and is very easy to care for.
Be careful when buying! Always look at the variety of goldenrod. Never buy the so-called Canadian or giant goldenrod, as these plants are considered invasive and can crowd out native plants.
#5 Tickseed (Coreopsis)
This delicate flower beauty originally comes from North and South America. Of our favorites here, it flowers the longest, well into October. Maiden eyes feel most comfortable in a lot of sun and in nutrient-rich soil. They also tolerate drought relatively well, but hardly waterlogging. The ideal planting time is right now in spring, but you can also use the plants later in the summer to fill in empty spaces in the garden bed.
Below you will find some more bee-friendly perennials that will enrich your garden even more and turn it into a real bee paradise.
Magnificent Candle (Gaura)
Almost all domestic herbs are bee-friendly perennials