Bee Friendly Plants

Not everyone can or wants to be a beekeeper, but most people want to help bees out.  One of the best ways to do that is to plant bee friendly gardens around your house.

There are tons of flowers that can be planted around your home that will add beauty and provide nectar to bees.  Generally, any plant that has a lot of little flowers is great for bees and here are a few of the best:

Hyssop is a perennial plant that has a minty scent that can attract bees.  It is also great for you too.  Hyssop has been used for centuries to treat for nose, throat, and lung afflictions.  There are many types of hyssop and all of them are great for bees.

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Borage is an annual plant that is also great for bees and you.  Pliny the elder said that is was the courage plant, noting its antidepressant properties.  Its leaves and flowers can be used for salad greens as well. Bees love the plentiful flowers that it produces too.

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Sunflower is also an annual that is good for bees, butterflies, and birds.  In the summer it is an excellent nectar plant with its head filled with tiny flowers.  When it matures all those little flowers produce bird seed for our other flying friends. Plus, its huge flowers head makes any garden or flower bed brighten up.

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Butterfly Bush is a beautiful perennial flowering bush that becomes filled with tiny flowers perfect for honeybees and as the name implies butterflies.

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Coneflower and Black-eyed Susan are two very similar flowers that can produce abundant amounts of nectar if planted in thick patches.  They also make any flower bed you plant them in pop with color.

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Lavender has so many uses around your home that every garden should have some.  First, it has such a great fragrance with or without flowers on it.  It can be used as a cut flower that smells great in your house, it can be used as a herb in cooking, it is beautiful when in bloom, it can fill a yard with its pleasant scent, and last but certainly not least, bees love it.  They only question is, if you don’t have some growing in your yard why not?

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Pesticide Free Plants

When selecting plants, make sure they are not treated with any form of pesticide that will harm bees or other pollinators.  Today’s GMO seeds can be treated with pesticides that are systemic, meaning that the whole plant is filled with bee killing poison.  Most major plant stores are now labeling them, if there isn’t a label make sure you ask. You wouldn’t want to think you are doing bees a favor only to find out that the plants you bought are treated with neonicotinoids.

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Trees Are Good Nectar Sources Too

Let’s not forget the trees too. There are plenty of trees that can produce nectar and pollen. Black locust, Basswood, Wild Cherry, Catalpa, Sourwood, Magnolia, Crabapple, and any fruit trees will provide abundant amounts of nectar for bees.

Most Yard Sprays Damage Bees

To complete your now bee friendly yard also try to stop or at least reduce the amount of chemical sprays you use around your yard.  Researchers are finding that chemicals once thought to be benign to bees are causing issues with their gut biome and reproductive capabilities.  The truth is that most chemicals sprays are meant to change life in your yard and home, but they can have far more reaching power beyond that too.

Imagine if everyone your neighborhood chose to plant a bee friendly space instead of a bland mono-culture yard that is chemically treated to keep flowering “weeds” out and is void of all other colorful life. Bees would have huge landscapes to spread their wings and take in natures goodness and thrive. If we all band together and choose what is good for our environment instead of what would impress our neighbors the bees might just stand a chance.