The Bee-Friendly Garden
Nectar and pollen are vital for the honeybees’ all year round life-cycle, from March to September.
If you are considering making plants and flowers available in your own garden for your bees, It’s a good idea to have at least two nectar- or pollen-rich plants in flower at any one time during this period. The nectar feeds the adult bee, while the pollen is collected to feed the young. Of course, the more flowers you have, the more attractive your garden is to bees, so you can never have too many!
The flowers and the arrangement of flowers in your garden are what attract honey bees and native bees. Bees like a diversity of bee-friendly flowers, with large patches of each kind of flower. They prefer a less manicured, more random garden—with weeds.
Here’s what you can do to make your garden more bee-friendly:
- Plant 10 or more types of plants that attract bees.
- Plant several of each type of plant close together, rather than planting them singly or spread out in the garden.
- Plant flowers that bloom at different times so you have pollen and nectar sources during the spring, summer, and fall.
- Do not use pesticides in or near your garden.
- Allow weeds like dandelion and white clover to flower. You can pull them up before they go to seed.
- Sink shallow pans of water in your garden. Bees need clean water, but birdbaths and pools are too deep for them.
- Leave dead tree branches for bees to colonize.
- Plant a combination of native and non-native plants.
March – May
Rosemary Pussy willow
Lungwort Winter flowering heather
June – July
|Aquilegia FoxgloveLaburnum ComfreyGeranium Lupin
Ceanothus Birds foot trefoil
Cotoneaster Everlasting pea
Honeysuckle Everlasting wallflower
Sage Vipers bugloss
August – September
|Buddleia LavenderCornflower Rock-roseCentaurea Scabious
Escallonia Sea Holly
Bluebell, bugle, crab apple, daffodil, flowering cherry and currant, forget-me-not (Myosotis), hawthorn, hellebore (Helleborus corsicus,
H. foetidus), pulmonaria, pussy willow, rhododendron, rosemary, viburnum, thrift (Armeria maritima).
Aquilegia, astilbe, campanula, comfrey, everlasting sweet pea (Lathyrus latifolius), fennel, foxglove, geranium, potentilla, snapdragon, stachys, teasel, thyme, verbascum.
Angelica, aster, buddleia, cardoon, cornflower (Centaurea), dahlia (single-flowered), delphinium, eryngium, fuchsia, globe thistle (Echinops), heather, ivy, lavender, penstemon, scabious, sedum, Verbena bonariensis