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Design project on helping bees through gardening


I am a student studying design and for my minor project in third year I am looking at helping the bees by planting bee friendly flowers in your gardens. I was wondering how many of you knew about being able to plant bee friendly flowers and whether you do or not?




  • I would guess that practically all of the regular users of this forum are very aware of the benefits of providing for wildlife in its myriad forms.  It is a regular topic, either in the form of a wildlife post or as a result of a specific enquiry about what plants to use to aid pollinating insects.  Have a 'listen in' over the next few weeks and I think you'll get to know just how knowledgeable are the participants and users of Gardeners' World Forum.


  • Bright starBright star Wrea GreenPosts: 1,121

    i am vey aware that bees are struggling at the moment and my new build garden is being planted with bees and other pollinators very much at the forefront of every plant I buy and grow. I'm trying to get as many new neighbours to buy bee friendly plants as possible. One of my friends had a beehive bought for Xmas and hes asked me to grow some plants for them too. 

    Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

  • I think people are pretty clued up about pollinator friendly flowers. What I find surprising is just how many double flower species are still around.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,567

    The RHS lists pollinator friendly plants and most seed companies and live plant companies also have designations for pollinator friendly plants.

    However, it isn't enough just to provide pollen and nectar for bees and other pollinator.   They need shelter such as insect hotels and also windbreaks of some sort so they can fly between food sources and nest sites without battling against strong breezes.    Using noxious chemicals such as nicotinoids that can disorient navigation systems and flight patterns is also to be avoided.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,777

    Bee-friendly planting is very trendy at the moment. Some local councils even create 'bee-highways' on verges and roundabouts. 

    Most plant suppliers and garden centres actively promote pollinator/bee-friendly plants and there are recognised symbols to help you choose.


    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • Thank you everyone for your help, it's been really eye-opening! 

  • RedwingRedwing SussexPosts: 1,309

    I agree with what others have said.  I plant with all wildlife in mind, especially birds, in my case as I am a serious birder.  It's all interconnected and I will, with few exceptions choose the most wildlife friendly plants.  Especially important for bees are the early spring and autumn flowering plants as that's when there is little for them to feed on.  I have old ivy growing up a hawthorn tree that is festooned with berries now.  Flowering ivy in autumn is a really good plant for bees; sadly most people cut it back. Winter flowering shrubs are good for the early bumbles.

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • TigrahTigrah Posts: 125

    Virtually every plant I grow has the RHS sticker for pollinating insects on it. Last year I didn't grow anything but those, and I'm only introducing a few doubles flowers this year in between the others in my mixed border to jazz things up a bit, as well as more bird friendly plants. I also put up bird boxes and bug hotels and log piles for wildlife. I feel like all wildlife comes as a little package and does better when all is present - except slugs, I don't need any of those. But I refrain from using slug pellets or other nasties as I feel it does more damage than good, especially to bees. Shrubs can also be good windbreakers between plants for pollinators, reducing the amount of energy they need to travel to and from any given food source, especially in large, open gardens.

  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    Bee's need all the help they can get in this country and as you probably know, without their pollination, we will lose many of our much loved fruit & veg. Every single plant I buy and plant in our garden is bee friendly, we have many bee hotels as well. Plants, shrubs and flowering trees like verbena bonariensis, geraniums, lavender, agastache, geums, agapanthus, iris, poppies, weigela, cherry, crab apple, white beam, rowan etc are all perfect, like someone has said above, I just avoid double flowers. The only one that still stands is a Darcy Bussell rose. I also try to avoid pesticides and use more 'organic' natural methods of control for things like greenfly, I grow plants that encourage ladybirds etc. When mowing, I try to avoid the areas of small holes in the mud where honeybee's have laid their larvae or bumblebee's have hibernated. 

    Last edited: 02 February 2017 18:06:40

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