Want to help save the bees? Start planting sunflowers in your yard.
Bees are responsible for pollinating around 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of the world’s wild plants, according to the National Resources Defense Council, and they’re a vital asset to our global food production. So how can we help these flying pollinators out and finally save the bees?
Planting bee-friendly flowers is definitely an easy way to help keep our buzzing friends alive, and the sunflower is the perfect option for a summertime plant. They’re rich in nectar, and are the perfect color to attract bees.
Sunflowers need optimal sunlight—around six to eight hours a day—and thrive when they grow in hot summer climates. According to The Farmer’s Almanc, the bright yellow blooms prefer well-dug, loose, well-draining soil, and they thrive in slightly acidic to somewhat alkaline soil. The plants also need plenty of room—they can grow to be up to 12 feet tall, after all.
The bright, large flower heads of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus and cultivars) present a nectar and pollen mother lode for their pollinators, which are bees of all kinds. … Bees go from flower to flower within the disc, becoming covered with pollen. They then pollinate other sunflowers as they go from plant to plant.
There are many excellent varieties for bees, but if you want the best, go with the Lemon Queen. What makes this sunflower different is its tendency to branch. From one seed, a Lemon Queen can produce as many as twenty flowers!
Printhousedesign.com also carries sunflower seed packets to help you start your sunflower garden for the bees.