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Gardener reveals 'secret weapon' for attracting pollinators to your garden: 'The bees are going crazy for them'

"They're rich in nectar and pollen."

“They're rich in nectar and pollen."

Photo Credit: iStock

Most people know that bees rely on pollen to survive, but one Reddit user has found an unlikely source of this valuable food for pollinators — broccoli plants.

In a post to the r/gardening subreddit, the original poster describes how, after working at a research center that intentionally let broccoli plants flower, they decided to grow more broccoli to flower at home. As it turns out, bees love this crop.

"The bees are going crazy for them!" the Redditor shares.

Usually, broccoli is harvested before it blooms. While its yellow flowers are edible for humans, they also taste bitter.

But when it comes to attracting bees, broccoli's yellow blooms can be a "secret weapon." Many bees are drawn to cruciferous vegetables, specifically within the brassica family, of which broccoli is a member. 

Bees are responsible for 80% of pollination worldwide, including for 70 major crops that contribute 90% of our food supply.

But the world's bee population is in decline. In the U.S., the number of bee hives dropped by 60% between 1947 and 2008. According to Greenpeace, this drop is driven by a combination of habitat loss, pesticides in agriculture, air pollution, and drought. 

Growing bee-friendly plants in your garden is one effective way to help boost the shrinking pollinator population. Plants that produce pollen and nectar, like broccoli, cabbage, or lavender, provide much-needed proteins for a healthy diet for bees.

One commenter explains why bees took to the broccoli plants so much. 

"They're rich in nectar and pollen, making them a rich food source for bees," they comment

"I've found that bees really love plants with tiny flowers," another user replies. "The ones here go crazy for the sedum, oregano, lavender, and other plants."

"I had some leeks go to flower and the bees were crazy for them," adds another Redittor. "I am hoping they self sow so I can do it again!"

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