We are all aware that we have to do our bit for bees. I sowed a large bed, that was empty, with annuals with the idea of creating a tempting buffet for bees. As is always the way, things did not quite go to plan. I used a box of mixed annuals and topped this up with phacelia (for green manure) and home-saved calendulas. I grew some sunflowers in cells along with some cosmos and scabious and these were planted in early May the same day as the seeds were sown.
Although I hoed the soil twice before sowing to attempt to eliminate the majority of weed seeds, sow thistles are as abundant as any other plant – but I guess they are good for bees too. The phacelia has grown so strongly that it has swamped out most other plants, apart from the sunflowers. But phacelia is a good bee and butterfly plant so I am not too devastated.
I have found that bumblebees favour phacelia and probe the flowers for nectar. Honey bees though, seem to visit the flower only to collect pollen and I rarely see them searching for nectar.
Honey bees are much more fussy than bumble bees but they do love borage.
It has mot worked out quite as expected but at least it should keep down the chickweed.
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