Pol­li­na­tor-friendly ed­i­ble plants


As you gear up to plant, plant, plant this spring, pack these bee­and but­ter­fly-friendly plants into your gar­den. In­deed, don’t hes­i­tate to put them in pots, con­tain­ers and ev­ery spare strip of space you have! Some plants pro­vide both nec­tar and pollen; oth­ers only one or the other.


1. Beans:

Good early food source that pro­vides both pollen and nec­tar. Beans, in­clud­ing broad beans, flower from mid­sum­mer through au­tumn.

These in­clude mus­tard, broc­coli, cab­bage and cau­li­flower that can be planted suc­ces­sively all year round. They pro­vide both nec­tar and pollen from spring to au­tumn.

Plant cu­cum­ber, zuc­chini, melon and pump­kin in full sun. They flower from spring to au­tumn, to pro­vide both nec­tar and pollen.

2. Bras­si­cas: 3. Cu­cur­bits:

Bees love this hardy peren­nial though it pro­vides only pollen. It flow­ers in late summer to au­tumn.

4. Fen­nel:

Just as we have learnt to love the flavour of the flow­ers, bees love the nec­tar and

5. Bor­age:

pollen in them.


1. Chives:

A peren­nial that does well in the sun. It flow­ers in summer to pro­vide nec­tar and pollen.

An­other summer favourite, it pro­vides only nec­tar for pollinators. An an­nual that self-seeds, though you can sow reg­u­larly if you like.

Great for feed­ing pollinators as it flow­ers from win­ter to summer. Nec­tar in win­ter is par­tic­u­larly pre­cious as there are far fewer food sources for pollinators then. Rose­mary is a peren­nial that likes full sun and well-drained soil.

You can plant dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties for ex­tended flow­er­ing to pro­vide nec­tar and pollen in spring or summer. Thyme is a hardy peren­nial that likes sun and free-drain­ing soil.

A peren­nial that re­quires a well-drained, sunny sit­u­a­tion. It flow­ers in summer to pro­vide nec­tar for pollinators.

2. Co­rian­der: 3. Rose­mary: 4. Thyme: 5. Win­ter sa­vory: FRUIT TREES & SHRUBS THAT ALSO FEED POLLINATORS

Ber­ries: Blue­ber­ries flower in spring and summer to pro­vide nec­tar for pollinators. Rasp­berry and black­berry pro­vide both nec­tar and pollen in spring to mid­sum­mer.

Citrus: You can plan your citrus va­ri­eties to flower for most of the year, pro­vid­ing your­self with juicy and nu­tri­tious fruit, and at the same time, nec­tar and pollen for the pollinators.

Pas­sion­fruit: Ex­tremely use­ful as to can flower twice a year (Fe­bru­ary-April and July-

3 things to do right nowto help pollinators

1. Sign the pe­ti­tion call­ing for a ban on bee-harm­ing pes­ti­cides that con­tain neon­i­coti­noids. Neon­i­coti­noids are a group of in­sec­ti­cides that act on the ner­vous sys­tem of in­sects. They are sys­temic in­sec­ti­cides, which means they en­ter into the plant’s tis­sue and­move around the whole plant to protect it from pests and preda­tors. That means bees and pollinators do not have to have con­tactwith the spray residue, they can ab­sorb the neuro-tox­ins via the plants pollen and nec­tar. You can sign the pe­ti­tion here. 2. Take part in The GreatKiwi Bee Count. It is a cit­i­zen sci­ence project in­tended to pro­vide a base line for gen­er­a­tions of re­search into the bees that are re­spon­si­ble for pol­li­nat­ing a third of ev­ery­thing we eat and drink. Ki­wis young and old are en­cour­aged to get into their gar­dens, parks or neigh­bour­hood – prefer­ably on a sunny day – pick a plant, and count how­many bees they see. The data gath­ered from across NewZealand over the month will help sci­en­tists work out the state of bee health and num­bers in the coun­try, and pro­vide a base­line fig­ure for a fu­ture ‘‘bee cen­sus’’. It takes two min­utes and you’ll learn about dif­fer­ent pollinators. Go to The Great Kiwi Bee Count now! 3. Regis­ter your bee-friendly gar­den. Ev­ery copy of the Septem­ber is­sue of NZ Gar­dener comes with a free packet of bee-friendly wild­flower seeds. Just sowthese seeds in your own gar­den, at your school or in your neigh­bour­hood and then add your ad­dress to our in­ter­ac­tive Plan Bee map. Once you have added your de­tails, a lit­tle bee icon will pop up on the to mark your place. Over the course of the month, we’ll be able to see NewZealand be­com­ing more friendly to bees and ben­e­fi­cial pollinators... one gar­den at a time! En­ter your Plan Bee plant­ing site now! Novem­ber) to pro­vide nec­tar and pollen. Pas­sion­fruit needs a warm, frost-free lo­ca­tion in full sun.

Ap­ple, pear, peach and plum trees are all fan­tas­tic for pro­duc­ing not just fruit for us, but also nec­tar and pollen for the pollinators in late win­ter and spring.

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