Entice Bees to your own Garden

Felicia Parsons

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


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