Bees require two components in their habitat: somewhere to nest and flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. Native plants are undoubtedly the best source of food for native bees-because plants and their pollinators have coevolved-and they serve honeybees well too.
Use local native plants or heirloom varieties of cultivated forms.
Choose several colors of flowers.
Plant in clumps.
Include flowers of different shapes.
Have a diversity of plants flowering all season.
Listed below are some plants that are good sources of nectar or pollen:
swamp milkweed Asclepias incarnata
New England aster Aster novae-angliae
anise hyssop Agastache foeniculum
wild columbine Aquilegia canadensis
blue false indigo Baptisia australis
turtlehead Chelone glabra
purple prairie clover Dalea purpurea
purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea
Joe Pye weed Eupatorium purpureum
showy sunflower Helianthus laetiflorus
blue flag Iris versicolor
blazing star Liatris spp
wild lupine Lupinus perennis
spotted bee balm Monarda punctata
wild plum Prunus americana
gray-headed coneflower Ratibida pinnata
black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
pussy willow Salix discolor
meadowsweet Spirea alba
blue vervain Verbena hastate
Culver’s root Veronicastrum virginicum