GREAT FOR BEES & INSECTS

These Wildflower mixes contain the perfect species to attract bees and butterflies, as well as all kinds of other insects and small animals on the search for food and shelter.

Bee Friendly Wild Flowers

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Honey Bee & Butterfly Mix

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Billy Buttons Seeds

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Low Growing Flowers for Bees

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Swan River Daisy Seeds

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Beneficial Insect Mix

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Honey Bee and Butterfly Mix (WA)

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Flowers for Bees & Company

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As we get further into spring, the question of which plants are the best for bees and insects in Australia is a natural one. There are a few important things that you must consider when selecting plants for your garden.

 

What Are the Best Plants For Bees and Insects?

Flowering Herbs

Adding flowering herbs to your garden can attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. Many herbs are excellent for bees as they provide rich nectar and pollen sources. Choose purple, blue or yellow flowers because bees cannot see red. Honeybees, on the other hand, can see reddish wavelengths. Single-flowering flowers attract bees and make it easier for them to access pollen and nectar.

While most flowering herbs are good for bees and other pollinators, some lose their beneficial qualities when they bloom. Beekeepers love to plant flowers that attract pollinators in their garden. Dill, cilantro, and fennel are plants that have small, fragrant blossoms and can be grown in a pot or container. They also serve as host plants for black swallowtail caterpillars.

For native honey, try Dryland Tea Tree, also known as Rottnest Island tea-tree. Its spikes are dense and resemble bottlebrushes, which honeybees love. The plant is hardy and is a good windbreak and ornamental garden plant. Though the plant has traditionally been considered a pollutant, its honey is high quality and very desirable. Although this plant grows best in hot/arid regions, it's best to avoid planting it in a sheltered spot, as some varieties bolt when it gets hotter.

 

Bushes

In Australia, the most important family of flowering plants is the Myrtaceae. These include the iconic eucalypts, bottlebrushes, tea trees, and melaleucas. Many native bee species can be found in these plants. Some have specific plant preferences. Leaf cutter bees, for instance, prefer plants in the pea family. These plants produce nutritious pollen, which is highly regarded by bees.

One of the most beneficial plants for bees and other insects is the blueberry bush. Blueberries have small dark berries that can last for three weeks, so they're good for bees and fruit lovers. The flowers on this plant are white or pink and produce a false berry fruit when fully ripe. The honey made from these flowers has a delicate aftertaste with hints of lemon. However, it needs full sun to flourish.

Other Australian plants that are beneficial for bees and insects include the bottlebrush and wattle. Bottlebrush is a shrub with cylindrical red flower heads that is low-maintenance and a good home for nectar-eating insects. Wattle, a fast-growing tree, has yellow flower balls. Acacia species are also good plants for native bees and are excellent sources of pollen.

 

Trees

There are many different types of Australian native plants that are good for pollinating your garden. Many species of these flowers have large, showy flowers, and other insects love them too. Some plants, like the blue banded bee, grow three to four metres tall. The nectar they produce is highly attractive to bees. They also need fresh water. An old pot plant saucer can act as a source of water. Insect hotels are also available and can help you attract a variety of beneficial insects.

Native bees and other insects prefer warmer weather. The reed bee and the sugarbag bee are common in Australia, but are rarely found south of Sydney. In the winter, hoverflies and other bees thrive in areas where there is undisturbed bare soil and dead plant matter. Unlike honeybees, they are beneficial to humans because they feed on both pollen and nectar.

Pincushion hakeas are another plant that attracts bees. They have large, papery flowers and a long flowering period. These plants attract bees from around the world and produce nectar and pollen that bees need to survive. They are also very easy to grow and require little maintenance. Just make sure they get full sun, as it is vulnerable to root rot fungus.

 

Garden Sundries

Native Australian plants like bottlebrush and grevillea are great bee-friendly garden items. Their small-flowered flowers are loaded with nectar. Swan River daisies are also good choices. Their daisy-like blooms and ferny foliage make them a great bee-friendly plant. If you're looking for a more low-maintenance plant, consider an annual such as a clematis or an azure blue.

Bottlebrush, or cactus, has fragrant, elongated red flowers in early summer. Its essential oils are used to produce soaps and candles. Grevillea, also known as the "native bee plant", grows in a wide range of sizes and provides a rich supply of nectar. It attracts a variety of birds and is also good for pollination. The Pink Surprise variety of grevillea produces large peach-pink flowers. Grevilleas are fast-growing and require minimal care, and the flowers attract a variety of bees.

Native and tropical flowers are the best bee-friendly flowers to plant in your garden. Bees are attracted to bright colours such as blue, purple, and white. Adding these to your garden can boost their population. Native bees prefer native flower varieties, such as Swan River daisies, while herbs like basil, mint, and marigolds are also good choices. If you're not a keen gardener, you can always purchase special "Insect Hotels".

 

Blueberry bushes

Among the most popular fruit trees in Australia and New Zealand, blueberry bushes are a favorite choice for backyard gardens. These bushes produce clusters of beautiful flowers with bell-shaped petals that face the ground. The flowers contain a central stigma and ten shorter anthers that release pollen and nectar. Blueberry bushes also attract many types of insects and bees.

There are two kinds of bees that visit blueberry bushes. Both miner and sweat bees nest underground, and the female bee tunnels into the soil to prepare her brood cells. Pollen, shaped into balls, is then placed in the cells. The eggs are laid on the balls of pollen and provide food for the growing larva. For large farms, it's worth renting hives to ensure good pollination.

Blueberry bushes need high concentrations of calcium and trace minerals for pollination. If the plants do not receive sufficient amounts of calcium and trace minerals, the blueberry crop will suffer. Not only is this unhealthy for the crops, it attracts diseases and insects. Calcium is the main mineral associated with the quality of the blueberry fruit. Fortunately, there are products available that help blueberry growers add calcium to their crops.

For more information on how to sow Australian seeds be sure to check out our guide.