You’ve probably heard by now that bees in the U.S are disappearing. Forty-Four Percent of bee colonies in the U.S. collapsed in 2016. There’s plenty you can do in your own garden to help local bee populations survive and thrive. The following tips will help you create a beautiful garden that is helpful to bees and other beneficial insects. Cheerios partnered with Veseys Seeds with a goal of giving away 100 million seeds and exceeded that 10 times over! After giving away 1.5 billion seeds they are all out but you can still show your support by planting seeds or plants, educating others and posting your photos on social media and using the hastag #bringbackthebees!
- Bees prefer sunny, protected areas where they won’t be bombarded by wind. Sunny spots produce the most abundance of flowers as well.
- Plant some flowers that bloom in spring, some in summer, and some in fall. That will provide food for the bees over a long period of the year.
- Bees in your area will be most attracted to native plants that they are familiar with. Contact your local nursery or garden center for native plants in your area.
- Bees are not color blind. The more color and the wider variety of flowers in your garden, the better. They are particularly fond of blue, purple, yellow, and white flowers.
- If you intersperse some flowers that bees love with your veggies, it will help increase pollination of your vegetables for a better crop.
- Leave a few vegetables and herbs in the garden in the fall will allow them to flower and provide late season food for bees.
- Use non-toxic forms of pest control. Traditional pesticides may kill beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
- Larger groupings of flowers attract more bees. Even if you only have a small garden area or a few containers to plant in, it will be beneficial to local bees.
There are seed mixes you can purchase or you can buy plants in containers. Here are a few bee loving flowers you can plant.
- Crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and wild lilac provide enticing spring blooms.
- Bees feast on bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons foxglove, and hosta in the summer.
- For fall, zinnias, sedum, asters, witch hazel and goldenrod are late bloomers that will tempt foragers.