The Flowers that Draw Bees to Your Garden Space
If you want to get your garden humming with the busy activity of bees this summer, consider planting some flowers that will keep them coming back for more. Bees love certain kinds of flowers, so here is a guide to help you choose the most appealing blooms for our pollinating pals:
Bees pay attention to color
Bees are attracted to flowers that have blossoms of blue, purple and yellow. Flowers such as daisies, zinnias, Queen Anne's lace and asters have flat or shallow buds. Those attract the largest variety of bees because their pollen is the most accessible. Bees with long tongues will be attracted to plants in the fragrant mint family, like nepeta, salvia, oregano, mint and lavender. Long-tongued bees are also attracted to flowers with hidden nectar spurs, such as snapdragons, larkspur, monkshood and columbine. Bluebells are another great choice that will attract butterflies too. Be sure to checkout our flower glossary with names and pictures of flowers.
Go native with your flower choices
Wildflowers and blooms that are native to your area will always appeal to your local bee population. Wildflowers tend to provide an excellent source of both nectar and pollen, which is heaven for a bee. Plant some aster, goldenrod, huckleberry, sunflowers and wild lilacs for a gorgeous display. Mix up your selection of exotic and colorful plants with some beautiful native species, and watch the bees fly in.
Provide a pollen buffet
Adding variety to your garden will invite more bees all season. Certain kinds of bees are active all season long while others, like the orchard mason bee, are only active in the springtime. If you design a garden that has a diverse variety of plants in bloom from early spring through late fall, you are more likely to see those little bees buzzing around more often.
Go wild for bees!
A serious problem for bees is the loss of a nesting habitat. Wild bees need raw materials to construct their nests, so let your garden get a little wild. Preserve a small pile of brush or partition off an area to leave dry reeds, grasses or deadwood that bees will love. Mason bees prefer a muddy area to find their essential nesting materials.
Avoid toxic chemicals
Stay away from pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals in your garden. Most of these chemicals are toxic to bees and have widespread effects that can be detrimental to plants, beneficial insects and other native pollinators.