Zandvlei Trust 

Gardening with Bees 

Some facts about bees, is that they need nectar and pollen as food for their young and themselves and therefore are solely dependant on plant products. Their carbohydrate requirements are derived from the sugars in nectar and honeydew, whereas the pollen provides protein, minerals, vitamins and fats.

The fynbos is not rich in nectar, apart from the protea and erica families.
Home gardeners can greatly improve the situation by planting more nectar rich plants to help feed our bee colonies in the south– western Cape.
Protea repens
(Sugarbush) and Protea nitida (Waboom) are the better producers of nectar.
Erica cerinthoides, Erica mammosa, Erica versicolor
and Erica bauera are reccommended, producing nectar mainly from December to May. Erica honey has a beautiful reddish–amber colour.
Aloes are very important pollen producers. Aloe ferrox and Aloe arborescens grow well in the south–western Cape. These are very important winter flowering plants.
Vygies are good producers of nectar. The following families are native to the south–western Cape; Carpobrotus, Drosanthenum and Lampranthus they produce dazzling colours mainly in the spring.

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