Bees have been in decline as much of their natural habitat has been destroyed over the past few decades by intense farming practices. Farmers have now come to realise that leaving a margin around some of their fields and sowing nectar rich native plants brings rich rewards as better pollination increases the harvest of their crops.
By planting nectar and pollen rich flowers in our gardens we can also do our bit for the local bee population. Bumblebee Margin Mix can be planted inareas near your vegetable plot, where they can have a huge effect on improving pollination and crop yields. This mix contains Borage, Phacelia and Essex Red Clover – a real magnet for bees and a superb mix to grow in your flower border too.
Hardy annuals such as Calendula, Scabious, Larkspur, Nasturtium and Cornflowers will also attract beneficial insects to your garden. You can simply scatter the seed evenly over the area you want them to grow and just cover them with a thin layer of soil. With this method it may be difficult to tell the emerging flower seedlings from weeds, which can create problems when hoeing or weeding.
A better way is to mark out your area and divide it up into a series of drills which you can mark at each end making it easier to thin out the seedlings to the desired spacing for each plant and also making it much easier to weed. These plants will provide lots of pollen and nectar encouraging bees and many other beneficial insects to your garden.