British Columbia

How to attract pollinators to your spring garden

Expert gardener Brian Minter has some pollinating advice for a cool spring.

'When you see a bee, notice what they are there for,' says gardener Brian Minter

Bees are coming out a little later than usual, according to Brian Minter, who has some tips for attracting the busy buddies to your garden. (Getty Images)

Whether you live on the 15th floor of an apartment or have a backyard to work with, your garden needs pollination to grow.

Expert gardener Brian Minter shared his tips on attracting pollinators with the host of CBC's BC Almanac, Gloria Mackarenko.

"When you see a bee, notice what they are there for. What are they getting pollen from? Put more of those in your garden," Minter says.

Plants that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies are often beautiful, perfumed flowers.

Minter suggests planting English varieties of lavender, violas and heliotrope.

Bees late this year

He says violas will do well in cooler temperatures, unlike the bees themselves.

"We've been having a little bit of garden colour envy. The bees are in same situation, they're later coming out this year," says Minter. "As they're emerging we need to have not only colour in our garden but fragrance in our garden."

Minter also suggests planting things like kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts which gather shallow pools of water and allow the bees to drink without drowning.

Finally, you may want to consider popping the heads off a certain yellow-flowering weed this season.

"Dandelions get a bad rap, actually they're edible and great for pollinating insects," says Minter.

With files from CBC Radio One's B.C. Almanac.