Ask any entomologist what they think about bees, and they’ll have the same answer: bees are essential to any healthy ecosystem! They pollinate dozens of crops, and without them, mankind would go extinct in about four years. Since around 80% of the world’s plants would not be pollinated without bees, this would not only remove a vital food source for humans, but for thousands of animal species as well.
Sadly, bee populations all over the world have been in decline for years due to factors such as increased pesticide usage, disease, and climate change. That is why it is imperative that even home gardeners make their gardens as attractive as possible to bees to encourage them to pollinate.
Here are 5 plants that will attract bees to your garden AND make your home look beautiful!
Lavender is one of the best plants for attracting bees because of its sweet smell and vibrant color. The flowers are rich in nectar as well, giving bees an ample supply of food. Speaking of food, you can also use lavender for tea and bread, as well as soap and potpourri. You can also propagate lavender and grow more plants. It’s a win-win plant for everyone!
Mahonia is an evergreen shrub, which means that it blooms and produces flowers even during the winter. Plant these in your garden so that your bee friends could have a steady supply of food during the colder months, as it is often a struggle to find flowers or plants.
If you love cooking with herbs, then plant some rosemary in your garden! Not only will you have fresh rosemary for your cooking, but you’ll also be giving bees a great source of good! Rosemary’s strong and distinct odor will serve as a strong attractant to bees, and your garden will flourish because of the added number of insects.
Another evergreen shrub, the abelia, is another great plant to put in your garden in preparation for the winter months. This plant produces small clusters of white flowers with a strong and pleasant smell that attracts bees for miles around.
Crocus flowers are one of the best flowering plants that you can place in your garden to attract bees! They bloom in the early spring, making them the perfect food source for bees that are coming out of hibernation. They also produce abundant pollen, which is why it’s not uncommon to see bees covered in crocus pollen after they gather nectar from the plant. The oversized flowers also give shelter to the bees during harsh weather.
These five plants are only a small fraction of the many different types of plants that you can grow in your garden to attract bees! When possible, try to plant as many evergreen species as you can, or plant species that will bloom at different times of the year. This way, you can be sure that your bees will have a steady and reliable source of food throughout the year.