How to Attract Bees and Why Bees Need Help

Melissa Roberts

Any outdoor space or collection of pots can become a much-needed home for bees with a few simple ideas.

Learn about the importance of a bee garden and explore suggestions for beginning a bee friendly garden in any space.

Why Plant a Bee Garden?

Bees increase the overall health and productivity of a garden. Literally, bees help plants reproduce. As bees gather nectar from the flower of a plant, their bodies become covered with pollen, a plant’s reproductive dust. As bees move between plants, they share the pollen and ensure plants’ survival.

Bees not only pollinate ornamental flowers such as daisies, but also the flowers of many fruits and vegetables humans enjoy eating. Most plants in a garden can benefit from a bee’s touch.

Why Bees Need Gardens

Bee populations are suffering unexplained losses. Disease, loss of habitat, and the effects of pesticides are a few factors in bees’ decline.

Recent losses in bee populations have many concerned about the future of commercial agriculture, as bees pollinate many plants frequenting grocery store shelves.

How to Plant a Bee Garden

The following garden ideas, inspired by Haagen-Daz’s “Save the Bees” compaign can transform an existing garden, new piece of earth, or collection of pots into a bee-friendly garden.

  1. Bees need plants that produce nectar and pollen. Bee-friendly flowers include sunflowers, daisies, cosmos, zinnias, dahlias, asters, marigolds, and hyacinths, to name a few. Use a local flower guide book, visit a gardening shop, or use an online resource, such as the University of California at Berkley’s Bee Friendly Garden Builder for suggestions.
  2. Native bees are attracted to native flowers. Notice wild flowers in the area or nurture part of the garden in flowering weeds such as wild clover and dandelions. Bees do not discriminate against any flowers that offer them food.
  3. Include flowering herbs, such as basil, sage, mint or chives, to add a variety of food for bees.
  4. Place flowering plants close together, so bees can register the area as a continual food source.
  5. Bees are attracted to brightly colored flowers. Select flowers in a variety of bright colors.
  6. Many wild bees do not live in swarms or hives, so attracting wild bees will not mean an invasion of stinging insects. Still, choosing a location away from human traffic minimizes the potential for bees and humans harming each other.
  7. Bees need a constant supply of flowering plants throughout the spring, summer, and winter. Choose plants that bloom in every season so the bees have a supply of food year round. The following list includes ornamental flowers that bloom in Ontario:
  • Spring- crocus, narcissus, tulip, hollyhocks, daffodil, lilac
  • Summer- daisy, sunflower, geraniums, zinnias, marigold
  • Autumn- aster, coneflower, black-eyed susan, bluebells

Whether beginning a bee garden for better fruits and vegetables or to save the bees, planting a bee garden adds color, variety, and a friendly buzz to any outdoor space.

2 Responsesto “Bees”

  1. Scrapbooking says:

    Brownie points for creating content on this particular topic. There isn’t enough content published about it (not particularly good anyway). It is pleasing to see it getting slighlty more coverage. Thanks again!

  2. Your blog is outstanding!