An Introduction to Bee Friendly Gardening
Bees play an integral role in the overall health of your garden, as well as in the local environment around you. They are essential for plant and flower cross-pollination, bringing life with them wherever they go.
Scientists have noted over the last several decades that the global bee population seems to be dwindling. It is not known exactly what is responsible for the species’ decline, however, Global Warming, loss of habitat, and wifi and cellular phone radiation could all be playing a part. With their numbers dropping, it is now more important than ever to try and create an environment within your garden that is conducive to their well being and can help to bolster their local population.
In the article below we’ve listed 15 different pollen producing garden plants that are bee friendly and guaranteed to attract large numbers of the beautiful and intriguing insect.
Here is are List of 15 Different Bee Friendly Plants
Lavender plants produce a tremendous amount of nectar and they are a huge hit with pollinating insects. In addition to being one the most bee-friendly plant options, lavender also smells heavenly and can even be added to certain food and beverage recipes. The perennial plant thrives in growing zones 5-10, blooms in midsummer, and can grow up to 3 foot tall and 3 foot wide at full maturity.
Bluebells are a honey bee favorite. The beautiful blue, purple, and violet flower blooms in early spring and is usually immediately overrun with honey bees, hoverflies, butterflies, and hummingbirds. They grow beautifully in zone 5 landscape and require little maintenance to stay healthy.
You can buy 20 healthy Bluebell Roots on Amazon.
3. Viper’s Bugloss
Viper’s Bugloss is the favorite pollen-producing flower of the bumblebee. The bright blue or rose-colored wildflower grows well in landscape zones 3-8 and is also known to attract honey bees. It’s one of the lowest maintenance garden flowers available, it is also extremely hearty and won’t propagate all over your garden.
Viper’s Bugloss is available on Amazon in 200 seed packs.
Mahonia is an evergreen plant, growing year around if the climate is conducive. With bees struggling to maintain an adequate food supply during winter months, this pollen rich plant can come to the rescue. Mahonia grows well in zones 6-8 with full or partial shade and even produces edible fruit.
Mahonia is available on Amazon in 2 plant sizes (1 gallon or 3 gallons)
Rhododendron is one of the most popular garden flowers in the United States. They grow in zones 3-6 and will bloom in mid-spring. The primary color of the flower is bright pink, however, they are available in many other colors. To keep your Rhododendron healthy and attractive to bees, grow the flower in partial to full exposure to sunlight.
Rhododendron is available on Amazon in quart size nursery pots
Heather also known as Calluna, is a beautiful bee-friendly flower to add to any garden or flower box. The flower is available in a large variety of bright and pastel colors and does well in landscaping zones 4-6. Heather is known to bloom in March through November, offering bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds a long lasting supply of food.
Heather (Calluna) is available on Amazon in a variety of package sizes.
Hawthorn is another honeybee garden flower favorite, producing a pollen-rich food supply. Its white and yellow flowers are exceptionally fragrant and the thorny shrub also produces small berries that can be enjoyed by local birds. It usually grows to a maximum height of 3-5 feet at full maturity and does well in partially shaded landscaping zones 4-8.
Hawthorn is available on Amazon and comes as a LIVE plant in a couple of different sizes.
Crocuses are a short purple flower with yellow accents. It’s categorized as a late winter and early spring flower, providing honeybees a huge food supply during the colder part of the year. Crocuses look absolutely beautiful in any garden and will grow easily and maintenance free in landscape zones 3-8. Be sure that their garden location is sunny without much shade.
Rosemary can light up any outdoor garden and fill it with a beautiful fragrance. Covered with small pale purple flowers, rosemary will attract bees from distant locations. The flower grows in zones 6-9 and requires a lot of sunlight and semi-moist soil with adequate drainage. What is also great about rosemary is that it’s edible as well, try sprinkling a little dash of it on fresh made scrambled eggs.
10. Crab Apple Trees
Crab Apple Trees are not only extremely beautiful aesthetic pieces for any garden lot, they’re also a huge source of pollen for local bees. During mid-spring the tree will bloom, producing an unbelievable amount of fragrant pink and white flowers that are certain to attract bees from miles away. The tree grows exceptionally well in zone 4-8 and generally requires a lot of sunlight in order to thrive.
Borage, also known as the star flowers, is a honey bee favorite and one of the most important food supplies in the US for the insect. The purple and blue flower is a lovely addition to any outdoor garden, growing well in any landscape zone. The plant likes a lot of sunshine and produces beautiful pollen rich blooms from May to late September.
Borage is available on Amazon in a variety of sizes.
12. California Lilac
California Lilac also called Ceanothus, is an extremely fragrant and beautiful blue flowering shrub. It’s a bumblebee and honeybee favorite. It grows well in zone 8-10 with an even partial sun and shade combination. The plant at its full maturity will typically reach a height of 6-12 feet.
California Lilac is available on Amazon as a LIVE plant.
Cranesbill or more commonly called the Geranium, is a pink and purple flower that grows nicely in zone 7-10 and is renowned for being both highly decorative and easy to maintain. They thrive in moist well-drained soil, although they typically need to be trimmed back a bit once every year. They have a long bloom session lasting from early spring to late summer, attracting honey bees, butterflies, and bumblebees from far and wide.
Cranesbill is available on Amazon in 60+ seed packages.
14. The English Daisy
The English Daisy also known as Bellis Perennis, is a biennial white and yellow garden flower that can easily be grown in landscape zones 4-10. While the flower enjoys a lot of sunlight, it also needs to be grown in a cooler climate with a bit of shade. Honeybees and hoverflies are especially fond of the English Daisy’s fragrant and rich pollen supply.
English Daisy is available on Amazon in 1gram seed packs.
Contrary to what many people believe, Mint, or Mentha as it’s also called, possesses small lavender colored blooms that are extremely attractive to honey bees. Mint is compatible with many grow zones, with it doing well in zones 5-11. Do bear in mind that mint requires partial shade and a lot of water to stay healthy.
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