To attract more bees to your garden “plant more blue flowers” says local Tory councillor

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To attract more bees to your garden “plant more blue flowers” says local Tory councillor

If you want to encourage more bees and butterflies to your garden, then you should grow more blue flowers.

This was a gardening tip from Bedford Borough councillor Graeme Coombes (Conservative, Wilshamstead Ward) during last week’s Environment & Sustainable Communities Overview & Scrutiny Committee (June 9).

The committee was discussing an update on the council’s Bugs and Bees project. This was launched in 2020 to provide food sources and habitats for pollinators and to other biodiversity in the area.

Members were told that this included relaxed grass cutting and sewing wildflowers.

Councillor Graeme Coombes (Conservative, Wilshamstead Ward) said he was a big fan of bugs and bees.

He added the council should also be encouraging residents to make their gardens more attractive to pollinators

“We’ve got a number of plants in our garden, he said.

“And we seem to have no end of bees, butterflies, and all kinds of things.

“I think it’s because we have a lot of blue plants. I read somewhere that bees have a preference for blue and purple plants.

“[It] was discovered that bees can differentiate between colours and they have a preference for blue and purple.

“So if you’re wanting to encourage bees into your garden, grow blue and purple plants.

“We have a California lilac and there are masses of bees on it,” he added.

Claire Pick, environmental development and viability officer, said she was aware of the colour preferences.

“If you think about lavenders, they’re traditionally what pollinators love and they are those colours aren’t they?”

Committee chair, Labour councillor Kay Burley (Kempston Central & East Ward) said: “I think it’s a very good point that you’ve made councillor Coombes about what people can do in their own garden

“I must say I do think it’s very imaginative of you to say that the bugs and bees like blue plants.

“That surely will focus in your election [campaign] next time.”

“I hadn’t thought of that chair, but now you put the idea in my head,” councillor Coombes replied.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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