Bees are busy little workers that don’t get enough credit. They pollinate the crops that feed us, and we would starve without them.
We should be excited to share our gardens with them because they will help keep our plants healthy and happy.
What a wonderful relationship!
Nectar and pollen
Bees need multiple sources of each from spring to fall. Flowering trees, bushes, and native grasses can provide a good foundation for your yard and garden. Add some perennials and annuals that bloom at different times in the year.
Here are a few flowers you can grow from seed to attract bees. Plant them in patches that are at least 3’ square to make sure the bees notice them and visit.
- Wildflowers that are appropriate to your area
- Mint and plants in the mint family
A birdbath is an excellent addition to your garden. Make sure there’s a stand or a piece of wood floating for the bee to safely perch on and drink water without drowning.
Change the water frequently to keep it clean and to keep mosquito populations down.
Bees need shade, protection from the wind and rain, and habitat. Don’t worry – you don’t have to become a beekeeper with an apiary to bring some bees to your garden!
Different kinds of bees have different sorts of homes.
Bunch grasses can attract bumblebees, and bare patches of dirt can attract ground-dwelling bees. A bee hotel adds some visual interest to your garden as well as providing a home for wild bee species without the commitment of caring for a honeybee apiary.
Insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides all can endanger bee populations. Neonicotinoids are especially devastating and can have effects that last long after their application.
Be mindful of any chemical agents being used in your neighborhood and do your best to avoid them yourself.
With a little resourcefulness, you can bring more bees to buzz about in your garden. They do so much for us humans, and it can feel really great to do something nice for them, too. Your plants will love you for it, too!
Planting a Bee Garden for Pollinators (PDF)
How to Create a Bee-Friendly Landscape – Cooperative Extension: Garden & Yard
Growing landscapes to help bees and other pollinators
Attracting Native Bees to Your Landscape – 5.615 – Extension
Neonicotinoids | Pollinator Network @ Cornell
Building and Managing Bee Hotels for Wild Bees