Plant These to Feed the Bees
Pollinators typically consist of the following: Bees, beetles, moths, butterflies, wasps, ants, birds, and bats.
By planting flowers and vegetables that attract these pollinators, we can provide them with much needed food. This does not require a lot of space, whether it be a raised bed, flower garden, planter box, or a few pots on your deck or patio.
Some things to consider:
Do not choose hybridized plants or seeds; these produce very little pollen.
Plan for year-round blooming -- plants that bloom at different times throughout all seasons.
Plant at least three different types of flowers to cover several seasons of blooming.
Below is a list of common pollinator-friendly plants to consider adding to your home garden.
Spring Blooms – crocus, daffodils, hyacinth, lilac, pansies, poppies, pussy willow, Siberian squill, snowdrops
Summer Blooms – bee balm, blacked eyed susans, chives, hosta, echinacea, geranium, lavender, marigolds, milkweed, peony, phlox, zinnias
Fall Blooms – borage, coneflower, liatris, mint, goldenrod, oregano, sage, sunflowers, thyme
Herb Garden – chives, lavender, oregano, thyme, sage, mint
Vegetables – cantaloup, cucumber, gourds, melon, pumpkin, squash
Berry Bushes – blackberry, blueberry, raspberry
Trees – linden, elm, apple, apricot, cherry, peach, pear, plum, locust, maple, poplar, willow
Also, rethink your lawn. Do not cut as often, as bees love dandelions and clover. Do not spray with pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides, as even organic options contain substances harmful to pollinators. Ladybugs, spiders, and praying mantises can also be beneficial to keep pest populations controlled.
Use natural fertilizers and leave a patch of lawn or part of the garden uncultivated. Some bees require the soil surface for nesting, and many are attracted to weedy, untended hedgerows. They will soon be buzzing with life. Bees also require a water source, so fill a shallow container with fresh water and pebbles or twigs to act as a landing zone.
Follow these few suggestions, and you will find that there is something powerful about planting for pollinators. Not only is gardening relaxing and fulfilling, but you will be taking a part in creating change for the better. With every pollinator-friendly garden, we take a stand together for these small but essential creatures and the importance they have in our world and its future.