Bees are important to pollinate our crops, and because many of our pollinators are now scarce, we are totally dependent on the honey bee to do this job. So what is pollination? Well it starts when a bee crawls around plants and enters the blossom this is when the honey bee is dusted with pollen.
The bee will fly over to another blossom with the pollen in its hair, and when it lands, the pollen falls onto this blossoms stigma. Bearing in mind other insects pollinate crops too, but without the pollination from the honey bee there would be one third less crops in the world than there is now.
We should care about attracting bees to our gardens simply because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees. The bee is looking for two things when they visit your garden, Nectar, this is loaded with sugars, and is a bees main source of energy, and pollen which provides a balanced diet of proteins and fats.
The bee is attracted to the colours blue, purple, violet, white and yellow, and if you plant your garden with all kinds of nectar-rich plants this will go a long way to stop the decline of bees. Why not use different kinds of perennials this ensures there is something in flower every month.
The best outdoor plant you can use is lavender. But there are many other outdoor plants that provide plenty of pollen and nectar, like most herbs such as sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme, mint, poppy, verbena, weigela, and many more.
The scented geranium is also a wonderful outdoor plant to have in the garden to encourage bees, but one should be careful about sprays of insecticides or pesticides, and if you must use a pesticide use one that does not affect bees and spray in the evening after bees have returned to their hives.
Think of vibrant colours on plants such as the begonia, rose, and honeysuckle, jasmine a brilliant white with wonderful scents that will draw the honey bee to its flower. Many gardeners create gardens for the butterfly, so it makes sense to create one for the honey bee, thus we are doing our bit.