11 Incredible Flowers That Attract Bees to Your Garden
The US bee population has been declining at an alarming rate. Other than beekeeping, you can help boost their numbers through gardening. This provides them with a vital food source. To determine whether your location is suitable for such flowers, visit your nearest gardening center or refer to your USDA hardiness zone.
Common Bee-Friendly Flowers
It’s advisable to plant flowers that blossom across different seasons. This helps the bees stay active especially before winter. Avoid using insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides. When buying plants, make sure the nursery gives you non-treated ones. Depending on the season, the following are the most common bee-friendly plants:
Suitable for USDA zones 4-7, these wetland shrubs grow well in full to partial sun. Their beautiful greyish color and furry blooms signal the start of spring. This makes them an ideal choice for early honey bees foraging for pollen and nectar.
They perform well in USDA zones 3-9, and partial to full sun. Snowdrops bloom in late winter or early spring. They do so by pushing out of the snow. They’re convenient for gardening in moderate to cold winter climates because they become dormant by summertime.
Blooming in early spring to fall, Pansies grow best in USDA zones 4-8, under full sun. Bees love them for their colorful, joyful appearance. The various types of pansies bred from the wild pansy can blossom in early spring to late autumn.
Convenient for USDA zones 2-8 and partial to full sun, these stunning blue blooms have a beautiful presence. Planting Siberian squill on your grass lawn will make it stand out, especially in early spring. They’ll also have receded by late spring when you begin mowing.
Spring and Summer
It’s suitable for USDA zones 5-9 and partial to full sun. Bees love these flowers for their nectar, while humans enjoy their sweet scent and flavor. Lavender exist in different varieties, but grows best in well-drained soil and warm climates.
Other than providing food to bees, milkweed also acts as the sole host to monarch butterflies. However, their complicated flower structure has been known to trap bees. Most types are resistant to drought, and prefer the sun. Milkweed grows well in USDA zones 4-10.
As the name implies, these prairie flowers are a favorite of bees. Their blooms come in energetic shades and almost look like little fireworks. They grow in USDA zones 4-9 in partial to full sun, although they are also shade-tolerant. Under favorable conditions, they bloom year after year, which is suitable for bees.
It grows well in USDA zones 2-8 under partial to full sun, and blooms in spring. Other than bees, their sweet scent and vibrant colors also attract hummingbirds and other winged creatures. Their buds form during winter, preferably in a loamy soil. Try your best to shield them from the wind.
Late Summer and Fall
Also referred to as starflower, borage prefers partial to full sun. While gardening, you can plant them next to tomatoes. Although they’re annuals, they reseed quickly.
Oregano’s late-blooming works well for bees. It’s also hardy and provides perfect ground cover. Its leaves are also good for cooking and medicinal uses. If you dry them, you can enjoy their immune-enhancing features even during winter.
Suitable for USDA zones 5-9, Liatris blooms in late summer. Its white, purple and pink flowers grow on spiky, grass-like leaves up to 5 feet tall. Other than being low maintenance, they’re resistant to drought, cold weather, and pests. Apart from honey bees, butterflies also love these flowers.
This list is far from exhaustive. Other flowers that attract bees include zinnias, phlox, marigolds, chives, goldenrod, sage, mint, nasturtium, Black-eyed Susans, and thyme. Gardening isn’t just a relaxing hobby, you can also use it for a greater good. By increasing the bee population you’ll be protecting these majestic creatures that work so hard to give us delicious honey.