Our little honey-making friends are in trouble! The Honey Bee population has been on the decline over the past few years through decreasing crop diversity, loss of habitats, and the use of certain pesticides, but the good news is that you can help just by planting a few key flowers in your garden!
There are two things that bees need from flowers: nectar and pollen. Nectar is the bee’s primary energy source and when they bring it back to the hive, this is what gets packed into combs and becomes that gooey substance we all love so much! On the other hand, pollen is combined with this honey to create something called “bee bread” which is eaten by nurse bees who provide royal jelly for larvae.
Here are a few of the things you could add to your garden that will not only help our little yellow buddies but will also make your garden look even better for National Honey Bee Awareness Day (August 21)!
Black Eyed Susan
While it’s not the most exotic flower on the list, if it still manages to stay beautiful the 500th time you’ve seen it, it must be doing something right! These flowers also bloom in the late summer and into fall so now is the perfect time to plant a few.
Marigolds not only wards off other pests from your garden (a real benefit if you’re also growing food) but it’s a bright and vivid orange, red, and yellow colours quickly attract honey bees when it blooms.
Another dual benefit plant, Mint will attract bees and give you some extra homemade ingredients for your next meal. A word of warning though, make sure to plant Mint in its own pot so it doesn’t spread and choke out nearby plants!
They may only attract bees in the warmer months, but there’s a reason you see these flowers more often than not; with proper care, Pansys can last all year-round.
If you’re the type of gardener who prefers a plant and forget method, Snowdrops are an excellent low-maintenance choice with a unique look and they also provide a fresh source of nectar for local bees.
Silvery leaves and bright purple petals help Lavender give your garden a fantastic pop of colour. The bees might be sharing this one with you though because you can also pick these guys to make shortbread cookies!
How can you make a list of flowers for bees and not include Bee Balm? Not only will it attract bees, but will also bring out the local hummingbirds and butterflies too. As a final bonus, you can also steep this plant to make tea!
Featured image courtesy of Anton Atanasov via pexels.com