Bees are far more important than we think. They are the most important insect pollinators in the ecosystem. With around 20,000 species worldwide, these flying insects are responsible for cross-pollination and diversity in flowering plants. They also pollinate about one-third of our food supply.
But unfortunately, due to the widespread use of herbicides, pesticides and global warming, the population of bees is declining worldwide. If all the bees in the world died, the ripple effect caused on all species would be devastating.
With these creatures starting to become endangered, we can all help preserve the bees by keeping them well fed. One way of doing this is by planting flowers that attract bees and provide them with food. Many gardeners these days are starting bee-friendly gardens to help do their part in keeping these busy bees from going extinct.
If you’re looking to start a bee-friendly garden, then you’ve come to the right place; in this article, we will be talking about the ten best flowers for bees. These flowers attract bees and are good for them, and if you plant them, you will be doing your part in preserving bee life.
So let’s take a look at the ten best flowers for bees.
Flowers Loved By Bees
1. Bee Balm: Bee balms are flowers that are loved by bees. They are called bee balms because they were used to treat bee stings. But the flower attracts bees like a moth to a flame. They are perennial flowers, which means they live up to two years and bloom for about eight weeks. Bee balm can be found in many colors; red, lavender, pink, white, and purple. The plant grows up to 1 to 3 feet tall. Bee balms are native to North Carolina and are known to be aromatic. Bee Balms are at the top of this list because bees love them.
2. Oriental Poppy: These flowers are loved by bees, not for their sweet nectar but the protein-rich pollen waiting for the bees in the cup-shaped flower. Oriental poppies are June to July bloomers and are known to grow up to 4 feet tall. Oriental poppies are available in different colors like; red, orange, pink, or lavender. They are also perennial plants, so you can expect them to live up to two years. If you plant these flowers, you’ll be doing a favor to the bees because of all the nutrition they get from the pollen of Oriental poppies.
3. White Wild Indigo: Another bee favorite is the White Wild Indigo. These flowers can grow in any condition and tolerate poor soil, gravel, and clay. They can also grow in moist and dry conditions, so they’re easy to manage for gardeners. They are also perennial plants and can be expected to grow up to 4 feet tall. Since they’re easy to manage, you can opt to grow White Wild Indigo if you want to help the bees and not put in too much effort.
4. Purple Coneflower: If you’re looking for a flower that will keep the bees well-fed for a longer period, then the Purple Coneflower is for you. They have a long bloom period, keeping the bees fed for longer. These flowers are perennial plants that can grow up to 5 feet tall. They don’t survive in dry conditions, so you will have to provide moist soil for these flowers. Purple Coneflowers are available in many different colors other than purple; white, orange, yellow and pink. New gardeners shouldn’t grow the flowers as they require some effort.
5. Lavender: These sweet-smelling flowers are a bee’s favorite food. Their sweet fragrance attracts them to the tiny spikes of flowers where they feast on lavender nectar. These flowers are perennial flowers that can grow up to 3 feet tall. Their bloom period is June through August. Lavenders are available in; pink, purple and white colors.
6. Joe-Pye Weed: These flowers are extremely aromatic, so they attract bees instantly to their vanilla-scented flower heads. They bloom around fall, so the fall season is taken care of for the bees by the Joe-Pye weed. They are perennial plants that can survive in both dry and moist conditions. The Joe-Pye weed doesn’t need too much sunlight either so that it can survive in areas with a little bit of shade.
7. Sunflower: One of the most popular and well-known flowers is the sunflower. These bright yellow beauties can be spotted in most gardens and are a bee specialty. Bees love sunflowers for their sweet nectar and rich pollen. Another reason for sunflowers being a bee favorite is because of the healing properties of sunflowers. It is said that bees will self-medicate using sunflower pollen when they are diseased. No wonder bees love sunflowers. These flowers can grow up to 16 feet tall. They have a bright yellow color. They’re perennial plants and bloom from summer through fall.
8. Zinnia: A very colorful flower that attracts bees to its sweet nectar-rich central disk. The disk has tiny flowers that allow even small species of bees to collect food easily. They are a great annual plant and can grow up to 4 feet tall. The colors of Zinnia are; white, red, purple, pink and yellow. The season for Zinnia is late spring till wintertime. If you plant these in your bee-friendly garden, you’re surely going to be doing the bees a favor.
9. Black-Eyed Susan: Black-Eyed Susan are low-maintenance flowers. They are the best kind for new growers. They have rich pollen for the bees and can survive rocky soil, clay, heat and drought. They’re completely hassle-free plants.
10. New England Aster: One of the last flowers on our list is the New England Aster. This flower is an important source of nectar for bees as it blooms late in the fall. It is a perennial plant that can grow up to 5 feet tall. If you plant the New England Aster, you’ll be ensuring food for the bees during fall when flowers don’t bloom.
So that is the end of the list of the best flowers for bees; we hope this article has helped get you started on planting a bee-friendly garden of your own. The flowers in our list are all bee favorites, and you would be helping an entire species out by planting even one of these flowers in the garden.
Frequently Asked Questions
What flower produces the most nectar for bees?
The sunflower is the flower that provides the most nectar for bees. It produces much more nectar than all other flowers.
Are marigolds good for bees?
Yes, marigolds are great for bees. They produce a lot of nectar and the flowers attract them well.