Top 10 Plants To Encourage Bees To Your Garden

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Top 10 Plants To Encourage Bees To Your Garden Photo – Fir0002/Flagstaffotos (Wikimedia) – lic. under CC-BY-3.0

The tragic decline of bee populations has been very prominent in the news recently – and we featured a detailed article about the legal battle over the pesticides which many believe are responsible. However today we bring some good news, which is that you can help bee populations by choosing plants that they love!

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Top 10 Plants To Encourage Bees To Your Garden
Graphic – Images – Pixabay (PD)

It’s not only honey that bees can give us – we rely on pollinators for growing many of our common fruit and vegetable crops worldwide. There are in fact many factors that have caused bee populations to decline. As mentioned, it’s believed partly due to the widespread use of pesticides (some garden plant suppliers, particularly in the US, still use neonicotinoids routinely so please check that your plants are pesticide-free before buying. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to try somewhere else – we need bees!). Choosing organic produce in the stores or growing your own will make a difference too.

Another big factor in the bees decline is the destruction of wild habitats and, while we’re on the subject, please resist tidying up dead hollow plant stems until the spring – they can provide a good over-wintering place for solitary bees and other beneficial insects.

Some species of bumble bee are becoming rare due to a massive reduction of wildflower meadows in modern agriculture. Each species has a different size of tongue so they will visit different types of flower but occasionally a short-tongued species will bite through a deep flower to reach the nectar! Generally speaking they also prefer single flowering native species.

It’s now really important that all of us think about the bees when we choose plants for the garden. Thankfully we’re in luck as many of them are attractive plants and some have all sorts of other beneficial uses, as you’ll see! Here’s our top 10 list of favorites:

1. Lavender (Lavandula spp.) – A very popular flower (it’s the one in the image above) for bees and humans alike, this perennial will flower all summer long. Lavender is ideal to grow next to a path so you can enjoy the scent and watch the bees every time you walk past it.

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  • By Jorge, November 24, 2013 @ 10:45 am


  • By JoseJardim, November 24, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

    Nice article, thanks.

  • By Tammy, December 27, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

    As a caveat, people should be reminded to plant what is native to their area to discourage the spread of invasive species. Thanks!

  • By Stacey, December 27, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

    I grew broccoli this year and didn’t harvest it in time, the flowerettes opened, and the bees really seemed to love it, especially the bumble bees. I left it until the fall, full bloom, and the bees came daily until I cleaned out the garden befor the frost.

  • By C. J., December 28, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

    Caryopteris “Dark Knight”
    All lavenders, but especially “Malissa”

  • By Angela, January 12, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    I have comfrey growing already because I love the flowers and I know the bees love it. I plan to put in more. I was wondering where there was more information on making that compost/liquid fertilizer metioned in the listing. I’d like to try that.

  • By Polly, February 4, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

    Here in Las Vegas, the bees love my bottlebrush trees (a type of melaleuca alternafolia) rosemary and lavender bushes.

  • By Mary, April 21, 2014 @ 9:06 pm

    I have a huge avocado tree which is abuzz with bees this time of year. Harvest time is Aug/Sept. They are easy to grow if you live south of central Florida.

  • By Caz Owens, January 23, 2016 @ 6:02 am

    So glad to find this information and know I am going well as an organic rose and flower farmer. Roses, lavender, rosemary and basil keep my bees very happy but so much more to plant. My first year of Organic Rose Honey 🍯 happy bees happy me 💐

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