Borage, Borago officinalis, also known as the Starflower, is a gorgeous favourite of our friends – flowering in Winter, when bees need our help most.
A favourite of honey bees, it had many uses from Pliny the Elder of Roman times, who believed it to be an anti-depressant; it has long been thought to give courage and comfort to the heart – in one old wives’ tale it is said that if a woman slipped borage into a “promising man’s drink”, it would give him courage to propose. Reported to have been grown to boost honey production, this is a goodie for the garden! Use it in your daily cooking and salads, with health and medicinal value you can’t go wrong. It is a great companion plant as it wards off pests like hornworms and it increases resistance to pests and disease by other plants – great planted with tomatoes, strawberries and squash – it adds to the trace minerals in soil – and thrives in full sun as an annual, self-seeding and needing little attention from anyone but your happy honey bees!
Saving our bees is not just about making less toxic environments for them, but too about focusing on what we feed them. Like us, they need a balanced diet. Pollen and nectar from a diverse choice of flowers; protein from pollen, and carbohydrates, sugars, from nectar. Bee-effective and plant Good Bee Food, for you and your honey bees.