Pollen and nectar
Delighting in the dazzling colours of butterfly wings and listening to the heavenly hum of bees: you could imagine yourself far away in the woods somewhere. Actually, however, bees and butterflies are hard at work everywhere in search of more flowers with pollen and nectar. Yet many of these plants are disappearing as towns and cities spread. By filling your garden or balcony with lots of flowers, you’ll enjoy the buzzing and fluttering of insects and serve them up the food they need.
How can you attract butterflies to your garden? It’s not so difficult. First of all, butterflies need the heat of the sun to warm up their body and wings. And they also need flowers that produce syrupy nectar that they can reach by uncurling their long tongue called a proboscis. This nectar contains not only sugar but small quantities of proteins and vitamins that the females in particular need to produce their eggs. With lots of high-nectar flowers in your garden, butterflies will be attracted in no time.
Bees are essential for biodiversity. Did you know that insects pollinate more than 75% of our food crops? Honeybees, solitary bees and bumblebees are major pollinators that need good sources of pollen and nectar. So why wait? Feed the bees by adding summer bulbs to your garden or balcony. The ones that produce the most pollen and nectar are Crocosmia, Dahlias, Blazing Star (Liatris) and gladioli. Plant them and you’ll soon be attracting both bees and butterflies.