I still think the best way to “save the bees” is not to bother with packs of wild flower seeds. Just take a pile of dirt, leave it alone and let whatever wants to grow in it grow in it. The flowering plants — like wild mustard — that grow in exposed soil are usually more attractive to honey bees and native pollinators than anything I’ve seen come out of seed packets.
Iâ€™ve spotted honey bees on this yellow weed that has 10 billion names including wild mustard and Yellow Rocket.
People who know these things refer to it as Barbarea vulgaris.
I’ve added it to my causal list of Honey Bee Friendly Flowers in Newfoundland.
Postscript (comments copied from a Facebook version of this post):
Joe: Our gravel field (i.e., front yard) became a wildflower paradise without us planting a single seed. The goats built up a soil base throughout the gravel yard, the seeds found the soil, and it’s now a wildflower paradise for bees and butterflies alike — no planting or sowing required. I definitely agree that bees do best with what they find in nature (but they sure do enjoy our poppies).
Blow: Letting it go wild will ensure a large variety of species (not a monoculture) essential for optimal feeding and pollinator health. There will also be a great seasonal succession of species and colour from early spring late into the autumn freeze up.
Moe: If you look at a patch of dirt that’s been allowed to grow wild (for example, a ditch), you’ll find a wide variety of flowering plants blooming at different times of the spring and summer.
Wintercress is technically not wild mustard, and the two are often confused.