Reports show that the population of bees has continued to fall, putting at risk food security as they play a crucial role in pollination. The fast population decline can be attributed to the continued use of agricultural chemicals, climate change, and other factors such as urban development.
When landscaping or setting up your garden, don’t only think about how good the flowers will look or how pleasant the smell of your garden will be. Consider creating a bee-friendly environment aimed at supporting honey bees and pollinators for a balanced ecosystem to continue enjoying pure honey and the fruit of their pollination. If you’ve no idea what bee-friendly plants to use in your landscaping, here are a few options that bees love.
Lantana is a drought-resistant plant that can survive in dry areas. It comes in a variety of species with flowers ranging from orange, white and pink. You can add lantana to your garden or plant it against the fence. Since some people may not like the strong scent, be sure to smell it first when buying so that you get one that appeals to you
2. Bee Balm (Monarda)
If you a looking for region-specific plants in North America for your landscaping that ideal for supporting honey bees, bee balm is what you need. It is one of the bee-friendly plants native to North American regions of Ontario, Georgia, and Minnesota. Monarda can grow to 35 inches and has spiky pink, purple, or red flowers that open up like fireworks. Since bee balm can thrive in wet marshy soils and therefore can withstand clay soils.
Bees feed on nectar, and lavender produces a large amount of it. Not only does lavender attract a variety of bees, including bumblebees, mason bees, and leafcutter bees, but its inviting fragrance makes it ideal for adding to your food and drinks. Lavender can grow up to 3 feet tall and wide and thrives in landscape zones 5 – 10. By incorporating it into your landscaping, you can be assured of a beautiful midsummer when they blossom with their purple flowers. The versatility of the lavender plant means you can plant in pots, in the garden or a flowerbed.
Aster is a perennial late-season plant that bees will thank you for when you include it in your landscaping plans. It has daisy-like flowers and blossoms towards the end of summer or early fall, with flowers ranging from whites and pastels to blue and pinks. Asters are bee-friendly plants that are not only tough against disease but deer resistant as well. With over 200 aster species that are native to America, you can find some as short as 6 inches or as tall as 6 feet, although most species range from 1-4 feet. Asters grow well in well-drained soils, full sun and cool temperatures, and a little shade.
When it comes to honeysuckles, you have two options when landscaping; you can go with the climbers, or you can opt for a bush. The honeysuckle, famous for its captivating scent and tubular flowers that are a bee-magnet, can grow too big and take over the garden or space if not controlled. As such, you will want to leave enough space for this plant to flourish. You can grow it around the patio so you can indulge your senses with its fragrance when you are outdoors with your loved ones.
Mahonia is the bees’ winter savior. While it grows all year round, this robust bee-friendly plant blooms with vibrant yellow flowers and produces nectar during winter when bees are having a hard time foraging. You can use mahonia for landscaping in zones 6-8. What’s more, mahonia produces edible fruits. For mahonia to flourish, you need to plant it under full or partial shade.
This short and bulbous plant is among bee-friendly plants that you can incorporate into your landscaping to make a beautiful outdoor space and conserve bees. It needs typically cold temperatures to grow, so plant them in autumn. You can grow hyacinth in a glass bowl hydroponically or in a container, but you can also plant it in well-drained soils. Hyacinth flowers in the spring and winter.
Borage, or the starflower, not only producers’ blue flowers but has edible leaves and a myriad of herbal uses, too. Add Borage to your landscaping plants and you will not only have your health and eyes to please but also bees. They are the pollinators’ favorite because they produce nectar and typically refill two minutes after the bee has had its taste. Borage blooms in June to September and grows in any landscape zone.
When landscaping, consider region-specific plants that thrive in your locality. Go for native plants and mix plants that bloom in different seasons to give bees no reason to leave when the blooming season ends. Likewise, use natural pesticides and fertilizers if you must, and don’t forget to leave spaces for burrowing bees and water baths. In the spirit of supporting honey bees and beekeepers, buy yourself pure and natural honey in Colorado by making your order today!