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Bee Month!


 

Bee Aware!

They've stung us, buzzed about and generallly caused a nuisance. But then there was the honey. Not to mention the fact that they are unbelievable important to our existence. According to a study by Cornell University, the economic value of Bees in the US is estimated to be around $29 Billion as they help pollinatate vast swathes of plants, including many that we rely on.

 

 

Though amidst the hype around honey bees it's easy to forget that there are other bees (native bees, bumble bees and various solitary bees) and other beneficial insects. Sadly some of these insects are struggling due to factors such as: habitat loss and the at times less than judicious use of pesticides. But thankfully we, as gardeners, can help! 

 

How to Help

Spray with pesticides only when necessary.

Spray in the evening as this minimises the harm to bees and other beneficial insects.

Where possible use sprays less likely to harm Bees and Beneficial insects when used correctly (such as Bactur, Neem, Bugtrol or Mavrik).

Plant a wide range of flowers to help provide them with food.

  

 

Did you Know?

There are 25 000 different bee species world wide. Only 7 of these species are Honey Bees.

To try and help bees, Australian scientist attached microchips to them. Younger Bees need to be shaved for this to work.

An average worker bee will only make between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon of Honey in their life.

Due to the high level of fructose, honey is 25% sweeter than table sugar

 

 

 

Planting for Bees

Click here to see to see our online range of plants for bees

 

Lavender

 

Deliciously scented, hardy plant that attracts a wide range of nectar feeder, including bees, hoverflies, and butterflies. Looks stunning alone, as a standard, hedge, or as part of a cottage garden.

Growing Tips

Prefers full sun.

Grow in fertile, free draining soil, rich in organic matter.

Prune by around a third in winter to stop them going woody.

Feed with Kings Sheep Pellets and Ocean Grow liquid fertiliser once at the start of spring to promote healthy growth.

 

Cosmos

 

Available instore in our potted colour range 

Beautiful, easy to grow annual that'll add a burst of colour while providing beneficial insects with a feed.

Growing Tips

Prefers full sun.

Grow in fertile, free draining soil, rich in organic matter.

Deadhead periodically to ensure they look their best.

Water regularly and  liquid feed with Ocean Grow liquid fertiliser every 3-4 weeks to ensure they thrive.

 

Alyssum

Available instore in our potted colour range and in punnets

Sweet scented, delightful plant that forms gorgeous mounds. Looks great when planted around larger plants in pots, on the edge of hanging baskets, or just about anywhere in the vege garden. Brings in a wide range of beneficial insects, including many that will help deal to a wide range of annoying pests.

Growing Tips

 Prefers full sun.

Grow in fertile, free draining soil, rich in organic matter.

Water regularly and feed occasionally with Ocean Grow liquid fertiliser.

 

Nepeta

 

Generally Catnip is available in small herbs. Other nepeta varieties are also often available.

The Nepeta family contains an array of plants that are sure to be familiar, including catnip and catmint. With their understated beauty they look delicately delightful whilst pulling in an array of useful insects. And of course many of the plants are great for cats.

Growing Tips

 Prefers full sun.

Grow in fertile, free draining soil, rich in organic matter.

While they look great alone, they look their best in cottage gardens when mixed in with other plants such as Delphiniums, Foxgloves, Pineapple Sage, Echinaceas, Heliotropes, and whatever other flowering plants take your fancy.

Water regularly and feed occasionally with Ocean Grow liquid fertiliser.

 

Thyme

 

 

Look stunning and tastes great! They produce a profusion of small dainty flowers that are great for bees. Groundcover and mounding types are available.

Growing Tips

 Prefers full sun.

Grow in fertile, free draining soil, rich in organic matter.

Water regularly when they're planted in summer and feed occasionally with Ocean Grow liquid fertiliser.

 

Rosemary

 

 Add flavour to your meals and help the bees. Easy to grow and relatively hardy

Growing Tips

 Prefers full sun.

Grow in fertile, free draining soil, rich in organic matter.

Water regularly when planting in summer and feed occasionally with Ocean Grow liquid fertiliser.

 

Echinacea

 

 Lovely perennial with truly beautiful flowers that are clearly loved by a whole range of interesting and useful beasties.

Growing Tips

 Prefers full sun.

Grow in fertile, free draining soil, rich in organic matter.

Deadhead periodically to ensure they look their best.

Water regularly and  liquid feed with Ocean Grow liquid fertiliser every 3-4 weeks to ensure they thrive.

 

Borage

 

Readily self seeds, great for bees and other beneficial insects.The leaves can be crushed and added to gin and tonic to make a truly delightful drink (the leaves taste like a hairy, leafy cucumber).

Growing Tips

Once you have them they're sure to come back. However when finding a spot to plant them they prefer:

Full sun.

Free draining soil rich in organic matter.

Water plants to keep them nice and healthy.

Regularly harvest leaves and flowers to ensure they don't get too big.