29: Plant Flowers For Pollinators: Attract Bees To Your Garden By Planting Flowers

Introduction – Plant For Pollinators

This article looks at how you can attract more bees to your garden using flowers. Around 35% of the world’s food production is reliant on pollinators, and they can do without help. In today’s article I’m going to talk about planting some flowers that will attract bees to your garden. Bees are amazing creatures and they provide many more products than honey.

Planting flowers to attract bees really has nothing much to do with cutting carbon, but with the growing incidence of colony collapse disorder, I think it’s a wonderful thing to do. It’s just something I wanted to add.

Flowers will attract pollinating bees

Since the early 2000s the phenomenon of colony collapse disorder has alarmed everyone. Even as of today (after 2023), the decreased bee winter survival persists and we’re not out of the woods. Whatever you can do to bolster your garden environment foster wild-bee welfare goes to help beekeepers replenish their stocks. We don’t want to be alarmist so emphasize here that endangered bees are not a problem, rather we’re proposing good, sustainable practices for your garden farm.

Focus on Flowers With Nectar and Pollen

Bees are pretty much like us in many ways: they need nectar to get their carbs in, and they need pollen to provide a mix of protein. In fact, if you plant flowers that provide a good mix of nectar and pollen, then they’re going to turn up.

First things first, you want to avoid flowers that have been hybridized to create doubles. Things like a double dahlia or hybridized double flowers may look attractive, but they are often ignored by bees because they have very little pollen and nectar to feed them.

The second tip is to plant more purple flowers. Bees can see the color purple more clearly than any other color, and they love things like rosemary, lavender, and Buddleja. So it’s a good idea to plant them!

The third tip is to plant flowers with good structure for bees. This means multi-stemmed flowers and also tubular flowers that they can feel safe inside. Although it isn’t much to look at this late in the season, this wild herb garden keeps the front of our house in bees for at least six months.

At the start of spring, the rosemary and sage bring the bees in. By mid summer, it’s all about the lavender. And, as the summer goes on, the garden is covered in bees. Elsewhere in the garden, the Lovett area and the Buddleja are also really popular with bees. Good luck attracting some bees and I’ll catch you tomorrow for the final day!

Plant Flowers That Bloom At Different Times

When planting flowers that attract bees, it’s important to choose plants that bloom at different times of the year. That way, bees will have a consistent food source throughout the year.

In the spring, some of the best plants to attract bees are dandelions, violets, and clovers.

In the summer, some of the best plants are lavender, coneflowers, and sunflowers. In the fall, goldenrod and asters are great choices.

In the winter, hardy evergreen plants can provide some food for bees. By planting a variety of flowers that bloom at different times of the year, you can keep your bee population thriving and healthy.

Plant Flowers In Clusters To Make It Easier For Bees

When planting flowers that attract bees, it’s important to group them together in clumps or groups. Bees are more likely to find flowers when they’re grouped together, rather than when they’re spread out individually. Grouping flowers together also creates a more attractive garden, as the clumps of colorful flowers will be more eye-catching than single plants.

When planting flowers, aim to group at least three to five of the same type of flower together in one area. This will make it easier for bees to find the flowers and pollinate them.

Avoid Pesticides Because Of Bee Sensitivities

When planting flowers that attract bees, it’s important to avoid using pesticides or other chemicals in your garden. Bees are very sensitive to the chemicals found in many pesticides, and can be harmed by them.

If you’re having a problem with pests, try to find an organic or natural solution. There are many organic or natural pest control methods that are effective, and don’t harm bees or other beneficial insects.

Provide A Water Source For Thirsty Bees

You might not know this. When planting flowers that attract bees, it’s important to provide a water source for the bees. Bees need water to stay hydrated, especially during hot summer days. A shallow dish of water, such as a birdbath, can provide the bees with a source of water.

Place the dish in a sunny spot, as bees prefer warm water. If you’re worried about mosquitoes breeding in the water, add a few drops of vegetable oil to the water, as this will create a film on top that will prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.

Back To The Shrink GuideIntroducing the Shrink

Lindsay Wilson
+ posts

I founded Shrink That Footprint in November 2012, after a long period of research. For many years I have calculated, studied and worked with carbon footprints, and Shrink That Footprint is that interest come to life.

I have an Economics degree from UCL, have previously worked as an energy efficiency analyst at BNEF and continue to work as a strategy consultant at Maneas.  I have consulted to numerous clients in energy and finance, as well as the World Economic Forum.

When I’m not crunching carbon footprints you’ll often find me helping my two year old son tend to the tomatoes, salad and peppers growing in our upcycled greenhouse.