In late summer the flowering gums turn fiery red and hot pink in our garden. They drip with flowers and the bees think it's the greatest show in town.
ABC TV's 2019 show The Great Australian Bee Challenge gave another look at the world of bees, an insect so important to the planet's survival. Different people living in regional and city areas of Australia tried owning a hive. It was surprising to learn about the various challenges each group worked on as they learnt to be apiarists.
One thing is certain. Whether you live in an apartment, a suburban house or a farm, it's great to choose plants that bees find attractive. These are some of our favourites:
Sunflowers - an annual and one of our favourite flowers. The bees love them. Their tall splendour
makes them one of the happiest flowers in the garden but if you live near cockatoos be prepared for a seed attack that shortens the time you enjoy them!
Basil - when you plant delicious edible plants like basil, let them go to seed a little. The bees will thank you for this extra treat as summer starts to end.
Agapanthus - people sometimes scoff at the common agapanthus, but this plant just gives and gives. Great greenery in winter, huge flowers in summer and the bees love it. Plus it survives on pretty much no water and in terrible soil conditions.
Flowering gums and other Australian natives - we couldn't resist showing you another image of our flowering gum. The noise from the bees is deafening. Native bees are exceptionally important so think about grevilleas, tea-tree, hakea, native rosemary and bottlebrush for starters.
Sage - all our herbs attract pollen gatherers. There are bees buzzing about our sages, thyme, rosemary when they are in flower. It makes our kitchen garden feel healthily busy.
Lavender - our lavender wasn't in flower when we took this photo, but it is a perfect plant for all locations as it grows so well in pots or open spaces. It is a magnet for bees.
Bees are threatened by chemicals and natural habitats that are destroyed. They pollinate our food crops and provide delicious honey. Numerous fruits and vegetables we consume need pollination to succeed.
Love a bee today and add a plant they appreciate to your life.