The Best Wildflowers for Wild Bees

The research paper “The Best Wildflowers for Wild Bees” published in the December 2019 edition of the Journal of Insect Conservation looks at the wildflower mixes available in Governmental agri-environment schemes (AES) aimed at improving pollinator abundance and diversity. The researchers found that the wildflowers in such mixes were not particularly great for wild bees, and suggests which wildflower species should be included in the mixes to improve this.

This is interesting research for those of us trying to help wild bees in our gardens, because we could incorporate these recommended wildflowers into our gardens. Some of these plants are considered weeds, and so we may already be (unwittingly) growing them!

The best wildflowers for Bumblebees and wild bees were found to be as follows:

Bumblebees:

Anthyllis vulneraria –  common kidneyvetch, kidney vetch, woundwort.
Geranium pratense – meadow crane’s-bill or meadow geranium.

Solitary Bees:

Crepis capillaris – Hawksbeard, smooth hawksbeard.
Sinapsis arvensis – charlock mustard, field mustard, wild mustard or charlock.
Convulvulus arvensis – field bindweed.
Chaerophyllum temulum – rough chervil

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