Here are two bees, enjoying some phacelia:
We’re huge fans of this delightful, fronded bee-booster, and we’re certainly not the only ones. Here’s a quick round-up of phacelia praise from the web…
On the blog Wayward Spark, phacelia flowers are described as:
“…a great nectar source for honey bees both because they often bloom after other major nectar sources and because they offer healthy nectar and pollen diversity.”
According to Rosybee, a company that sells bee-friendly plants, phacelia is “a great one for bees and so easy to grow in really rough ground” – which makes it great for urban planting. We’ve just bought some end-of-season bargains from Rosybee so that we can get ahead of the game for the 2014 bee-season. Rosybee conducted growing trials with phacelia, and concluded:
“My observations are that the bees of all types love it and this is a fabulous ‘June gap’ filler. However, being an annual, you do need to sow it in freshly prepared ground every year.”
A small price to pay for such a gorgeous bee-feeder!
Mark Diacono effuses about phacelia in the Daily Telegraph:
To enjoy phacelia in all its glory, stand completely immobile next to a patch of it. If you are entirely still and perfectly quiet a fabulous world reveals, starting with a peculiarly loud, deep hum like an approaching Lancaster. It seems impossible to have missed it when walking past. The hum belongs to the bees and other winged insects busying themselves in the flowers. Hoverflies, lacewings and numerous bee species couldn’t be more at home. On a summer’s day don’t be surprised to see 50 or more honey bees to every square metre. They come in such profusion that you can’t help but wonder where they’d be if the phacelia wasn’t there.
Meanwhile, over on Twitter, @helpthebees puts phacelia at the very top of its bee-friendly list:
Plants for #bees: phacelia, borage, alliums, lavendar, rosemary, ivy, crocus, bluebell, lupin, foxglove, thyme, sedum, sain foin, cornflower
Finally, a word from the blog ‘Urban Pollinators‘:
The flowers produce lots of nectar and will attract countless honeybees, bumblebees and other pollinators (the German name for this plant is quite aptly Friend-of-the-bees or Bee-feast). It is amazing to see how many bees are actually visiting on a sunny day; I often counted up to 30 bees per 1m2 at a time.
You can’t argue with numbers like that.