Which bulbs should you plant to attract bees and butterflies?

One of the questions which we have been asked most in the last couple years is which varieties of bulbs are the most suitable for attracting bees.

This is because the bee is endangered, and people are becoming more and more aware of this fact, and also of the extremely serious implications of this.

We therefore feel that it is very important to encourage people to create at least a small area in the garden where they can plant varieties that are extremely popular for attracting bees.

It is also important to note that there should be bulbs that flower not just in the summer, but also from the early parts of winter through to the summer, because bees and insects need a food source for times when the weather conditions aren't good either. We have a lot of varieties on our site which have the bee symbol displayed which take you to the RHS site, which says they are great for pollinators.

Many of our allium bulbs are perfect for pollinators. These are the Aflatunense, Atropurpureum, Azureum (Caeruleum), Christophii, Gigantium, Gladiator, Mount Everest, Nectarscordum, Nigrum, Purple Sensation, Sphaerocephalon and Ursinum (Wild Garlic) bulbs. Allium bulbs look spectacular in garden settings or in landscaped beds and borders. For those who aren't familiar with Alliums, they are tall, graceful, colour flowers with a garlic scent which attract all types of pollinating bees and insects.

Other flowers perfect for pollinators are our bluebells (English cultivated bluebells and native English bluebells), our Galanthus Nivalis (Snowdrops) and almost all of our vibrant, colourful crocuses. Crocuses can be planted in containers for patio areas or at the front of beds, and larger flowering crocuses are ideal for any garden setting. They can even be planted in lawns to add a splash of colour in the early months of the year before you can get out to cut the lawn. Different crocus species flower at different times of the year, allowing you to provide colourful sustenance for bees and insects in both the autumn and the early spring.

Eratnthis Hyemalis (also known as Winter Aconite), are bright yellow, buttercup-like flowers that flower in January and February, so are ideal for both brightening up the garden in the winter months and helping the bees and insects to survive the winter. Muscari Armeniacum (Grape Hyacinth) flower from February through to April and have long lasting blooms of intense violet blue that look spectacular under trees, along pathways or in a bed. They look particular spectacular when planted in drifts as they create a sea of colour. Finally, Ornithogalum Umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem) flower from April through to June and have starry white flowers that are striped green on the outside. A mixture of all of these bulbs in the garden should help bees and insects all year round.

For more details on the risk of the bumblebee dying out and information about what this might mean, please read our article about the Plight of the Bumblebee. If you need more help or information about planting or looking after bulbs, then please contact us. Boston Bulbs Wholesale is a privately owned business with over 35 years experience of importing only the finest quality horticultural products throughout Europe and from farmers and growers all over the UK. Whether you're a landscaper, nursery, local authority, wholesaler, retailer, private business or individual gardener, just give us a call on 01775 769 333 or visit / for help with flower bulbs, grass seed and more. 

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