Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Blooms For Bees

A while ago I signed up for the Blooms For Bees project.  I did not expect to be lucky enough to be chosen so imagine my surprise and delight when I opened a mysterious brown envelope last Saturday and found that I was on board!  You can read all about the project here but in a nutshell it is about discovering whether a new bedding plant (a compact habit dahlia) is attractive to bumble bees, and which color flowers they prefer.

This is something near to my heart that I am always going on about.  As it says in the accompanying leaflet there is a discrepancy between the flowers bees and other pollinators will visit for nectar and pollen and the flowers people grow in their gardens these days.  Garden centers and catalogs are going for flowers that are ever showier, brighter and more artificial looking that appeal to humans (although not usually to this human) but not to anything else in nature.  Thankfully the RHS has put helpful "Perfect For Pollinators" symbols on some plants but not everything has been tested and there are new cultivars out all the time, hence this project.

I planted my seeds out in seed trays last Sunday according to the instructions and now have to wait and see what comes up.  The dahlias are going to be white, purple and red so it will be interesting to see which colors the bees like best and what bees visit my garden.  I imagine honey bees will like them too and who knows what else?  I will keep you all posted.

Until then here is what they look like now!

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