Tis the season! No no, not for presents and carols, but for the honey bees! If you’ve spent any time looking outside or walking through a garden, you might have noticed the busy little bees jumping from flower to flower collecting pollen. Spring is their prime time for collecting, and there are things we can do to help! Let’s look at what plants the honey bees love the most and which ones you should choose to put in your garden this spring.
The Bodacious Tulips
One of the first beautiful flowers to bloom in the spring is the well-known tulips. There is nothing more eye-catching than their bright, beautiful colors and nothing more alluring to the honey bees than their pollen. Consider grabbing some tulips at your local garden store or stock up on some bulbs for next spring. Fun fact, did you know that some noble families way back when lost all their money trying to buy the rarest Tulips bulbs? The rarest one that everyone wanted was the black tulip!
Keep Calm and Chive On
When we hear chives, we are usually thinking of dinner or garnishes (we might be getting hungry over here) but did you know that the purple flowers that chives produce in spring are some of the most coveted amongst our honey bee friends!? It’s true! Plant some chives and knock out two birds with one stone. Your dinner guests and honey bee friends will thank you!
Sunny with the Sunflowers
Of course, the big and beautiful sunflowers would be on the list of top favorites for honey bees. Their giant flowering heads are a playground for honey bees and their pollen collecting. Did you know that you can choose different heights and colors for your gardening preferences? Honey bees prefer yellow and orange and tend to stay away from red sunflowers. For those that suffer from allergies- you can now get sunflowers that don’t produce pollen. Unfortunately, they won’t attract our busy little bee friends either.
No Heebee Jeebies with the Hebe shrub
Not so much a flower gardener? Not a problem! The Hebe shrub produces a flower that the honey bee can’t get enough of. They produce many flowers per shrub, so plant away! They are also easy to take care of as they enjoy most soils and don’t like being watered too much!
Props of the Pops
Well, poppies that is. Poppies are amazing honey bee flowers that are easy to take care of and a destination spot for any local honey bee. The annual kinds are easy to grow, and a set it and forget it type flower that will come back year after year. Enjoy the pretty flowers while the honeybees enjoy the easy lunch!
Weeds are your Friends
Let the weeds flourish in your newly laid garden! You heard us right- weeds are a bee’s best friend! Put those feet up and grab a nice cool glass of lemonade, because your over-run weed-ridden garden is perfect the way it is. Bees find that clover and dandelions are prime targets for pollen during the season so letting them flourish well also help the bees to flourish. See a dandelion going to seed? Grab it and take yourself back to your younger years by blowing the feather-like seeds into the wind so they can grow more bee-friendly blooms.
No matter what you have in mind for the layout of your garden, make sure to keep bees in the mix by planting bee-friendly flowers that can both have a beautiful and beneficial impact to your community.