29: Plant flowers for pollinators: Attract bees to your garden by planting flowers

This video looks at how you can attract more bees to your garden using flowers.

Flowers will attract pollinating bees

Around 35% of the world’s food production is reliant on pollinators, and they can do without help. This is day 29 of the 30-day shrink. Hey, this is leaves you drink that footprint, and in today’s video I’m going to talk about planting some flowers that will attract bees to your garden. Planting flowers to attract bees really has nothing much to do with cutting carbon, but with the growing incidence of colony collapse disorder, I think it’s a wonderful thing to do. It’s just something I wanted to add. Bees are pretty much like us in many ways: they need nectar to get their carbs in, and they need pollen to provide a mix of protein. In fact, if you plant flowers that provide a good mix of nectar and pollen, then they’re going to turn up.

First things first, you want to avoid flowers that have been hybridized to create doubles. Things like a double dahlia or hybridized double flowers may look attractive, but they are often ignored by bees because they have very little pollen and nectar to feed them. The second tip is to plant more purple flowers. Bees can see the color purple more clearly than any other color, and they love things like rosemary, lavender, and Buddleja. So it’s a good idea to plant them!

The third tip is to plant flowers with good structure for bees. This means multi-stemmed flowers and also tubular flowers that they can feel safe inside. Although it isn’t much to look at this late in the season, this wild herb garden keeps the front of our house in bees for at least six months. At the start of spring, the rosemary and sage bring the bees in. By mid summer, it’s all about the lavender. And, as the summer goes on, the garden is covered in bees. Elsewhere in the garden, the Lovett area and the Buddleja are also really popular with bees. Good luck attracting some bees and I’ll catch you tomorrow for the final day!

1: Introducing the Shrink

2: Eat plants for a day
3: Shuffle your food
4: Start a vegetable garden
5: Build a compost heap
6: Make a seasonal meal 

7: Take a purposeless walk
8: Cycle somewhere new
9: Let someone else drive
10: Improve your fuel economy
11: Research your motor
12: Plan a flightless holiday

13: Turn off your gadgets
14: Change a light bulb
15: Seal an air leak 
16: Control your heating
17: Control your cooling
18: Research your intensity
19: Research solar power
20: Save some water

21: Declutter a room
22: Upcycle some junk
23: Choose a used product
24: Invest in good design
25: Recycle some waste

26: Pay a person
27: Buy a quality offset
28: Plant a tree that sucks
29: Plant flowers for bees 
30: Support broader change 

Lindsay Wilson
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I founded Shrink That Footprint in November 2012, after a long period of research. For many years I have calculated, studied and worked with carbon footprints, and Shrink That Footprint is that interest come to life.

I have an Economics degree from UCL, have previously worked as an energy efficiency analyst at BNEF and continue to work as a strategy consultant at Maneas.  I have consulted to numerous clients in energy and finance, as well as the World Economic Forum.

When I’m not crunching carbon footprints you’ll often find me helping my two year old son tend to the tomatoes, salad and peppers growing in our upcycled greenhouse.