Whether you’re a serious gardener, beekeeper, land owner or simply wish to assist struggling local bees, planting or growing flowers for bees will definitely be one of your best all-around do-it-yourself ways to assist struggling bee colonies. On top of that, many of these flowers share here are also good flowers for butterflies. Why not? Let’s explore the reasons.
First, by planting or growing flowers for bees you provide a source of food for them and of refuge in which they can retreat to get away from aggressive predators or other insects that may wish to take them off of their plants. This way the bees are doing you a favor by pollinating your garden and your neighborhood’s garden and backyard. In addition to this, by planting or growing flowers for bees you assist the environment by preventing erosion and increasing habitat for indigenous wildlife and plants, in addition to decreasing crop damage by eliminating habitats for insects. By planting or growing flowers for bees you’re helping to save the environment and the future of wild bees. Who knows, someday those flowers may be grown and sold by humans for their sweet taste!
Second, planting or growing flowers for bees will attract bees to your garden much easier than trying to encourage the bees to go somewhere else. For example, some plants and flowers have pheromones that attract bees. This is why cotton is such a popular choice for beekeepers. Yet, if cotton were listed as a “noise plant” the bees would not be attracted to it.
There are several types of no-mite and non-needy plants that have pheromone-attracting properties. The list includes popular flowers like roses, chrysanthemums, sunflowers, marigolds, tulips, honeysuckle, lavender, honeysuckle, bee balm, bee pollen, beeswax, bee pollen wreath, and bee propolis. All of these are used to attract bees to your garden by creating pathways in which the bees can deposit their pollen. However, while all of these flowers are very attractive and attract bees, none of them are a good choice for bee-attracting gardens and flowerbeds because each one creates pathways for the bees to travel through which could create another hazard for the bee population.
Third, some plants are toxic to bees. This is not always a problem when growing flowers for bees, but if you grow other plants beside your bee-lover then you run the risk of introducing toxins into your garden. One plant that is toxic to bees and other insects is echinacea. Echinacea can make your skin dry up and is very toxic to caterpillars, so be sure to keep the following plants away from your garden: lemon grass, cacti, milkweed, skullcap, rattleweed, and the likes. Other plants to avoid are fennel, thyme, ragweed, poleflower, and scabies.
Fourth, bees love certain types of flowers but some are toxic to them. A good example of this is milkweed. You might have to relocate your garden plants from time to time if you want to grow any of your flowers without causing harm to the bees. The best flower to attract bees to your yard is the hibiscus. These flowers have toxic effects on bees that make them stop laying there. However, there are many other types of flowers that will do just as nicely.
Fifth, you may want to consider mixing different colored flowers to entice the bees to your yard. For example, orange flowers, such as the anthurium, attract bees the most. The anthurium alone is actually safe for the bees and can be mixed with other flowers. For a completely safe option though, try mixing white and colored flowers. This works best if you want the bees to see the flowers while they are visiting your yard.
Now that you know all about what attracts bees to your garden, all you need to do is plant whatever flowers you choose to attract the bees. You can plant them in the spring and just watch them come. The flowers are going to provide them with both food and nectar so when you get that perfect sunny day, you’re sure to have that bee hive right there at your fingertips! Happy harvesting!