Plants tend to be pollinated by insects or the wind. The ones we like are usually
ones pollinated by insects as they attract insects with colourful blooms, which
are usually numerous or large.
A cornfield patch is dominated by a variety of native, accessible plants.
The plants in flower 'rotate' so the flowers change month by month (and obviously the colours
change which we like rather than the pollinators).
The main thing is a constant availability of flowers for the pollinators throughout the
late spring/ summer season.
Unless you tell us otherwise, we will only select pollinator-friendly plants for your garden.
Mention 'pollinators' and honey bees are our first thought - but there are many, many more bees and other
insects which are just as helpful.
Solitary bees - find their food in abundance in a cornfield patch.
There are about 200 species in the UK. They don't live in a hive. They aren't social.
Often we glance at them and think they are a honey bee (although some are clearly
very different such as the mason bee with it's orange back).
Hover flies - easily recognised because they - well - hover. There are about
250 UK species. They also eat aphids so, bonus! Cornfield patches certainly work for them.
Butterflies and moths - the cornfield patch works well for
them (amongst other plants)
Other flies, wasps and most insects that pass from flower to flower are catered for
Honey bees are in crisis after several atypical
winters and poor summers. In addition, they are being attacked by varroa mite, viruses, affected
by pesticides. Plus there is less food available in gardens with our obsession with large, double
bloomed, inaccessible flowers.
Bees can't get into many double blooms. They evolved to access the original, single blooms. Also,
some flowers are so over-bred that they lack in pollen.
The cornfield mix offers simple, accessible, pollen-rich, native flowers.
We can't alter the weather but we can provide a huge banquet of bee-friendly, accessible (single bloom),
The bigger the patch and more abundant the flowers the better, so bees just buzz from one full plate
to the next