Planting flowers that attract honey bees is a great way to help boost the population of these beneficial insects. Flowering plants that bees love is also essential to have if you keep bees for honey. Brightly colored flowers such as asters, marigolds, lavender, and crocus are some of the best flowers to plant in your garden.
One of the joys about planting flowers for bees is that bees give as much back as you give them. Without bees and butterflies pollinating flowers, you will find it impossible to grow fruit, vegetables, and seeds in your garden.
In fact, the journal Pharmacognosy Research reported that pure bee’s honey has antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. Honey is also useful in treating gastrointestinal upset, improving cardiovascular health, and lowering the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Why do we plant flowers for bees?
There is a mutual “relationship” between flowering plants and bees. It would be difficult or even impossible for one to exist without the other.
Bees benefit from flowers as they feed on pollen and nectar of flowers. Research has shown that bees collect nectar and pollen as they buzz from one flower to another. Pollen is also an important source of vitamins and minerals for bees. When bees return to the hive, they regurgitate the nectar and this mixes with pollen to create honey.
Why Flowers need Bees to Bloom
Because they rely on bees to reproduce. As the bees’ land on one flower after another, they spread pollen between flowers that allow reproduction to happen. This results in the plant producing seeds, fruit, and vegetables. Without the relentless hard work of bees, butterflies, and some birds, some species of plants can’t reproduce and would eventually die off.
It is also clear, that without the work that bees do, our lives would be very different. Some scientists are concerned about dwindling bee populations and the effect this could have on our ecosystem.
Flowers to Plant in your Garden to Attract Bees
Planting a wide range of flowers in your garden can attract bees and also help sustain bee populations. Just as humans need a varied diet to be healthy, so do bees need to feed on a variety of different flowers to stay healthy.
The best way to develop your bee garden is to plant a wide range of plants that bloom at various times of the year. In this way, you can have flowers to attract bees from early spring until the end of autumn.
Best Spring Flowers to Plant
Scientists say that bees start pollinating flowers when the weather becomes warmer in the spring. Here are some spring flowers to attract honey bees early in the season.
Crocuses are some of the first flowers to bloom and they can attract the first bees to your garden. The variety in color of crocuses is attractive to them and will keep them busy in your garden. Plant crocuses in clusters where they get full sun and in well-drained soil.
Apple blossom. If you have an apple tree, or any other fruit tree, you will notice a hub of bee activity when they blossom. Bees are essential to pollinate apple blossoms in order to have a bumper crop. In fact, without bees, we would not have apples or fruit from any other trees.
Primroses are low-growing brightly colored flowers that bloom early in the season. These perennial plants start flowering in mid-spring and can help boost the number of bees in your garden.
Best Summer Flowers
Bees enjoy a “hive” of activity during the warm summer months. Of course, most flowers will attract bees, but here are some of the best ones.
Purple coneflowers are commonly known as echinacea and they are usually top of the list for the best flowers to attract honey bees. Coneflowers grow to about 90 cm (3 ft.) high and bloom throughout the summer.
Sunflowers. These tall majestic plants are a magnet for large numbers of bees in the summer. The large flowers provide plenty of nectar and pollen for them to feed on. They will also look stunning as they grow very high.
Black-eyed Susan flowers will not only give you gorgeous yellow colors in your garden from summer until autumn, but you will also attract plenty of bees.
Best Fall Flowers for Your Garden
Planting autumn flowering plants will also make sure that bees have enough food before they hibernate for the winter.
Asters contain a diverse variety of flowering plant species that are perfect for a garden. The simple shape of the flowerheads means that bees can easily pollinate them late in the season.
Goldenrods are the perfect autumn flowering plant. Their bright yellow colors attract bees and they seem to love feasting on their nectar.