Bees are dying at an alarming rate—seriously—and we need them on our planet more than you might think. These insects 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—the flying insects actually can't see reddish tinged colors, so sticking with yellow, blue, white, and purple flowers are especially helpful.
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.
One thing to know before planting these pollinator-attracting flowers: bees prefer when their favorite blooms are grouped together, because they gather nectar from flower to flower. So make sure you're not growing just a couple—you'll need a whole group of them to please the bees!
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