Borage and strawberries make excellent companions

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Beautiful healing borage is a hot favourite for the bees in our garden and a great companion plant to strawberries, tomatoes and squash. Apparently it increases the resistance of bees to pests and diseases and is also a great addition to your compost heap. It has the highest known plant source of gamma-linolenic acid )an Omega 6 fatty acid) and is a good source of B vitamins, beta carotene, choline and trace minerals. For the bees it refills with nectar every 2 minutes, so no wonder the bees keep returning again and again to the flowers. Its interesting to see what flowers in our gardens the bees keep returning to and those that are enjoyed for a few days, then apparently have run out of nectar. The brassicas which had gone to flower were a favourite with the native bees as well for a few days and the activity was almost frenetic, but now although there are still blooms, there are few visitors.

The Callistemons (Bottlebrush) which have high nectar and medium pollen have really come into bloom as there are now the white, pink and crimson flowering. The honey bees need  a good source of pollen to feed the brood as the numbers are being built up very rapidly in the hives. Bottle brush is also enjoyed by native bees, beneficial wasps, butterflies, moths and birds. There have been many swarms this past month and the local Canberra beekeepers are being kept busy catching them and rescuing bees from difficult places! I’ve had a few messages from people with bees in their walls. Oh dear….

The pink Manuka tea trees are very busy with bees harvesting mainly the nectar source of  food for all species. It a good Spring with rain and not yet too hot, so a good time to get into the garden and enjoy planning and planting for the Summer. Happy Gardening!

 


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