Bees are amongst the most important creatures to humans. These amazing insects pollinate over 80% of all flowering plants including 70 of the top 100 human food crops. In fact, one in three bites of food that we eat is derived from plants pollinated by bees. With that said, it’s crucial to take care of bees  and the following plants are the best to cultivate for a healthy bee population.

 

1. Ice Plant
It also has lovely purple flowers that bees love. The succulent leaves of ice plants are no doubt very aesthetically pleasing, and a cutting of any part of the plant will grow wherever you cultivate it. If you’ve got a wall in your garden you want to cover, why not plant something bees will love?

 

2. Nasturtium
Humans love nasturtiums almost as much as bees do! In Bermuda, the peppery flowers are known to show up in more than a few local salad recipes. Though the plant is not native, it has become naturalized to Bermuda and familiar to many locals.

The happy vines will grow over almost anything, and will delight both you and the bees with their electric orange and yellow flowers. If you’ve got nasturtiums growing in the borders of your garden, the Bermuda’s bees say thank you.

 

3. Darrell’s Fleabane
The only endemic plant on our list, Darrell’s Fleabane is a shrub that grows little white flowers with yellow centres. They have specialized to live in Bermuda’s sandy soil and rocky areas, thriving by the sea or out of stone walls.

In rocky flowerbeds and properties near the sea, Darrell’s Fleabane will do well and attract many pollinators. If you want to preserve Bermuda’s endemics and help out our bee populations, fleabane might be perfect for you!

 

4. Pittisporum
Like nasturtium, this plant has become naturalized to Bermuda due to its resistance against living in salt-rich environments. The deep green leaves look smart in any hedgerow, and it sprouts small, white, intoxicating flowers once per year.

Bees love these flowers, which isn’t surprising with their wonderful smell. The flowers are small and numerous, attracting many honeybees.

 

5. Brazil Pepper
This introduced tree is often known as being one of the most invasive species on island. Interestingly, bees adore the small flowers it produces before growing bunches of red berries – some beekeepers cite the abundance of the tree on island for preventing the decimation of bee populations.

Introduced as a garden plant in the 1950’s, Brazil pepper has invaded all parts of the island, often displacing natives and endemics. If you find your own garden inundated with the difficult to remove trees, take solace in the fact that bees are thriving for it.