There are many different pollinators and they need different flowers to get their nectar and pollen.
For example, some bumblebees have long faces and tongues so they can reach into deep, tubular flowers. That’s why you can see the long-faced carder and garden bumblebees on comfrey flowers and the short-faced early bumblebees on raspberry flowers.
Butterflies and moths need flowers with lots of nectar: such as butterfly bush or wallflower. Those flowers form long narrow tube with the nectar at the bottom which is perfect for the butterflies’ very long tongues. Beetles on the other hand prefer open flowers with lots of pollen – such as the rapeseed plant.
Hoverflies need small shallow flowers to be able to reach the nectar – the carrot family is perfect for them.
Some insects have a ‘secret handshake’ with one or just a few plant species. One example of this is buzz pollination by bumblebees – click below to watch the video and find out more:
Check out the Bee Kind online interactive tool to check if your garden flowers are bumblebee friendly and get specific advice on how to improve your garden’s friendliness even further.