Kendal and South Westmorland Beekeepers’ Association

Attracting bees to your garden

comfrey Bee vision is not sensitive to the red end of the spectrum but is sensitive to UV light. This area of the spectrum is known as ‘bee purple’. Many petals have ‘nectar guides’, patterns and lines that direct bees towards the nectar supply.
This bumblebee is collecting nectar from comfrey.
All the plants in the borage family are highly attractive to bees. This family of plants offer enough varieties to fill the whole flowering season. Pulmonaria flowers in early spring, then forget-me-knot and comfrey and then borage in the summer and early autumn. borage
spring flowers Early spring flowers provide valuable food for bees at a vital time after a long winter when recourses are running short. This is the time of year when bees are beginning to build up their nests and numbers; they have young bees to feed and the adults need to fly to search for food. Planting a small area of your garden with winter and early flowers is one of the most useful things to can do to help bees: hellebores, single snowdrops, aconites, Pulmonaria, Mahonia and willow. Early spring flowers cheer humans up too.
Plant single rather than double flowers. These are more closely related to their original wild ancestors and usually still have pollen and nectar readily accessible to bees. single flower