Encouraging bees to your garden, by planting their favourite flowers, not only helps the pollination of your edibles, as well as those of your neighbourhood, but also helps protect one of our most valuable global resources.
There really is very little to fear. Male bees have no sting, only female bees. The males are often the protectors of the hive, and not the workers. The males or drones, which make up only about 15% of the bees in a hive, don’t work at all and are only really present in the hive to mate with the new queen when the colony needs to replace the old one. Female worker bees, distracted by the job of collecting pollen, can in fact be so docile, you are actually able to pat them. Apiarists (Bee Keepers) will often use smoke to distract their bees. The smoke causes an instinctual self preservation in the Bee. Forgetting everything else going on around it, the smell of smoke, means incoming fire. To save the hive, they begin gorging on the honey collected, in hopes of carrying away enough to recolonise somewhere else, out of harm’s way. During this distracted period, the beekeeper is able to extract the honey from the hive, without getting stung.
Plants Bees Love:
Salvia and Lavender are two crowd favourites. Long flowering periods, as well as aromatic flowers and foliage. Purple is an attractive colour to a bee, and they will often seek this flower over others. As a result, plants heavily reliant on bees have evolved to suit this habit.