As an avid gardener, I love the variety of flowers that make their appearance in my yard. Check out this gallery of blue flowers, from earliest spring to last blooms before frost, that’ll attract and feed hosts of bees in your garden. (USDA Zone 3-8), 14. In addition to being deer- and rabbit-resistant, blue globe onion is also unaffected by juglone, the chemical given off by walnut trees. Both honey bees and native bees love this annual flower. However, they are highly attracted to shades of purple, blue and yellow. Dig a shallow trench that’s a foot or more wide to plant a dozen or more of these small bulbs at one time. Bright-orange flowers are a butterfly magnet. Although this salvia is technically a tender perennial, many gardeners grow it as an annual. Bumblebees are typically active during the day, and this is the time when snapdragons release most of their scent. Mason bees (Osmia spp. Blue and yellow flowering plants are the best plants for bees. Grow California lilac in rich, well-drained soil in full sun, choosing a protected, south-facing spot in cooler regions. The blooms aren’t fragrant, but you’ll notice an oniony scent to your hands if you touch the foliage and bulbs. Grape hyacinth – Muscari armeniacum (Hardy Bulb), Being grape-scented, rather than being a true hyacinth, is what gives this little Spring bulb its common name. – Fruit & vegetables Where they’re hardy, the dazzling, blue flowers of California lilac shrubs are bee magnets in Spring. tall, 9 to 24 in. Have you noticed any native bees in your garden? Hyssop honey – pg. (USDA Zone 4-8), 10. Callistemon -- Bottlebrush The abundant bright red flowers of the bottlebrush are attractive to a wide range of native bee species and nectar-feeding birds. (USDA Zone 4-8), Long-blooming and an excellent source of nectar for honey bees and bumble bees, catmint is easily-grown in well-drained, average soil in full sun. An evergreen shrub, the California Lilac offers blue and pinkish or blue flowers known to attract solitary bees, bumblebees, and honeybees. Overwinter this salvia indoors by cutting it back to about 12 inches and setting it in a sunny window. They need pollen and nectar from flowers to power their flight and nourish offspring. (USDA Zone 3-10), 11. Color change – forget-me-not nectar guide: CATCH THE BUZZ- PennDOT Pollinator Gardens, CATCH THE BUZZ – From the Military to Beekeeping, CATCH THE BUZZ – Lawn, ”An ecologist has to wonder, why is this even here?”. Choose old fashioned varieties with an easy to … The earlier bloom times are an excellent option for when food sources are limited for foraging bees. 4. Grape hyacinths flower at the same time as forget-me-nots, below, and they pair well together. It may grow a bit leggy, but will have a head start the following spring. here’s something about shimmering blue flowers that fascinates gardeners – in fact some love them so much that they devote a special section in their garden to blue flowers only. So abundant is the seed that, once planted, you’ll never forget it – thus its common name. While that might be a little somber for you and me (blue flowers, after all, tend to recede in our vision compared to bright yellows and reds), a blue-flowered garden can be a supermarket for honey bees, provided the right plants are grown in quantity and in sequence throughout the foraging season, so there’s always something in bloom. Excellent choices are, ‘Walker’s Low’ and ‘Blue Wonder’, pictured, both about 18-24 inches tall and 18 inches wide. Meadow sage – Salvia nemorosa and Salvia x sylvestris (Perennial), Most of the sages (Salvia species) are good bee plants, but meadow sage and its hybrids come in lovely blues and deep-purples that look beautiful with iris, peony, lupine, catmint and other early-Summer perennials. Though listed as a perennial (it was the 1995 Perennial Plant Association plant of the year), it is technically a subshrub, having woody stems that die back in varying degreeseach Winter. There are many garden strains and species. Borage is grown as a commercial crop in North America for the omega-6 fatty acid GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) contained in the oil of its seeds, and hives brought in by local beekeepers have been shown to increase pollination of the flowers. Borage crop (Saskatchewan): www.usask.ca/soilsncrops/conference-proceedings/previous_years/Files/97/1997docs/364.pdf. Different varieties of the California Lilac provide different blooming times. Often planted near vegetable crops, it helps attract pollinators to your garden, which will boost your yield of tomatoes, squash and more. Even bees are more drawn to it than any other flower colour. All rights reserved. (USDA Zone 3-9), 6. And if you pay attention in the fall, you can hear late-blooming plants “buzzing” with the different types of bees that are racing to get their last food supplies gathered. Those fields are usually overrun with bees who dance between the flowers, along … Italian borage honey: www.apicolturacazzola.it/index.php? Perennial plants are those that survive in the garden for a number of years. Traditionally, an emblem of peace and calm, blue can bring some serenity to your backyard. Sedum spectabile*** A succulent herbaceous perennial, flowering in September, and loved by male bumblebees and butterflies. Plants grow 12-18 inches tall and the seed pods are lovely in dried arrangements. For optimal results, why not try a combination of herbs, annuals, and perennial plants? The following plant lists were compiled from a survey of beekeepers in November 2014. ‘Blue Fortune’ above has all the great qualities of the species, including drought tolerance and deer resistance. Bloom: Summer. In fact, if you stand near a plant on a sunny fall day, the entire plant will buzz and vibrate gently because of all the bees swarming over it. Some plants like borage and lavender will flower for a very long time and the bees love them. I love the powder-puff blue of the flowers, and bees seem pretty keen too! It’s perfect for a vegetable or herb garden or waste places, but a little coarse for a flower border. When I moved into my home, it was largely devoid of any landscaping and was woefully lacking in beautiful blooming flowers. Most of the Australian native bees are known for “buzz pollination”, where pollen is collected by “shaking” the flower. – Flowers Sedum: The nectar-rich flowers of this drought-tolerant succulent are favourites with honeybees and bumblebees. Because they have good color vision, bees flock to flowers that are blue, purple, white, and yellow. Bee Balm: As the name suggests, bees love bee balm as well as other pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds.The flowers of bee balm can come in a variety of colors from purple to red and are also edible. Annual flowers attract bees and other pollinators, of course, but who wouldn’t love less work? You can dedicate a small part of your yard to bee-friendly options, or go all out! Long-tongued bees will be attracted to plants in the mint family, such as nepeta, salvia, oregano, mint and lavender. Native to Europe but naturalized throughout the world, chicory has long been grown as an edible, with the ground-up, roasted roots of one form used as a coffee substitute, and the somewhat bitter Spring leaves of other forms harvested for culinary use. Active Interest Media Holdco, Inc. © Copyright 2020. Choose single, open flowers where you can see the central part of the flower – where the bees can access the nectar and pollen. Note. When I moved into my home, it was largely devoid of any landscaping and was woefully lacking in beautiful blooming flowers. And the bees aren’t the only ones who will enjoy this plant — the leaves and flowers are edible. Flat or shallow blossoms, such as daisies, zinnias, asters and Queen Anne's lace, will attract the largest variety of bees. Chicory – Cichorium intybus (Perennial), Another widespread roadside weed that attracts honey bees and all kinds of native bees with its sky-blue flowers is chicory. Zones: Perennial in zones 9b – 11, annual in all others. 13. Love-in-a-mist adds charm to mixed plantings, where it is considered a ‘filler’ plant. Grows to about 1', can be spread by splitting plants. wide Hardiness Cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8, ‘Blue Glow’ globe thistle (Echinops bannaticus). Here are 17 excellent blue-flowered honey bee plants arranged sequentially from Spring to Fall. Long-tongued bees will be attracted to plants in the mint family, such as nepeta, salvia, oregano, mint and lavender. And have fun planting your bee friendly garden. Russian sage grows best in full sun and average, well-drained soil, reaching a height of three feet and a width of four to five feet. Plants with flat, single blossoms are easiest for the bees to access. For optimal results, why not try a combination of herbs, annuals, and perennial plants? Attract bees by planting blue, purple, violet, white, and yellow flowers. Those fields are usually overrun with bees who dance between the flowers, along … Sidalcea What is it about the color blue that bees love? Bees love this annual flower that’s also used as a cover crop. Flat or shallow blossoms, such as daisies, zinnias, asters and Queen Anne's lace, will attract the largest variety of bees. So if you have a small garden, choose just a few from the list below, but plant lots of them. Bloom time: Summer through fall . Flowers for longer if deadheaded. Butterflies, bees, and flower-feeding birds all have a sweet tooth. Type Tender perennial (often grown as an annual) Blooms Blue from midsummer to frost Light Full sun Soil Average Size 3 to 5 ft. tall and wide Hardiness Cold hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10. Plants will grow in most any soil type as long as it's well-drained — clay soil causes roots to rot. The following is a list of annuals, perennials, and herbs that are beloved by bees. We can really help them by providing nectar-rich plants for them. We can really help them by providing nectar-rich plants for them. And have fun planting your bee friendly garden. Borage is one of my favorite flowers to grow around the garden, and bees love it too! Two of the best are early Summer’s Veronica spicata (one to two feet) and the taller, slightly later-flowering Veronica longifolia (three feet). Purple flowers for Wild Bees – Winter. In milder climates, hyssop is evergreen; in cold regions, it dies back in Winter. This little bulb is so hardy and aggressive, it tends to naturalize over the years into large carpets of azure-blue in early Spring, even in lawns where the foliage can be left to ripen to nurture the bulbs for next year before being mown. Choose blue, purple and yellow: Bees find blue, purple and yellow flowers most appealing. Freeze individual borage blooms into ice cubes to add sparkle to a summertime glass of lemonade! Its aromatic foliage makes it highly deer-resistant. ‘Blue Giant’ glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa forbesii). Sedum spectabile*** A succulent herbaceous perennial, flowering in September, and loved by male bumblebees and butterflies. Type Annual Blooms Downward-facing blue in early to late summer Light Full to part sun Soil Average, well-drained Size 1 to 3 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide. I find the bees love the Robyn Gordan grevilla, and the Mexican orange blossom shrub. Keep an eye out for how many different looking bees you can see both in your garden and in bushland. Different bees are active at different times of the year. A group of blooms is easier for the bees to find. Type Perennial Blooms Blue mid- to late summer Light Full sun Soil Very well-drained Size 2 to 4 ft. tall, 1 to 2 ft. wide Hardiness Cold hardy USDA zones 4 to 8, ‘Black and Blue’ salvia (Salvia guaranitica). The hardiest species and hybrids, including ‘Dark Star’, pictured, ‘Skylark, ‘Wheeler Canyon’ and ‘Henri Desfosse’  should survive Winter provided temperatures do not go lower than  15°F (-9°C). Blue and yellow flowering plants are the best plants for bees. Lavender is a perennial plant, so it makes a great choice for landscaping. It’s leaves can be evergreen down to zone 6, but the best part are the beautiful and fragrant flowers. Unlike bumble bees and other native bees, honey bees are ‘flower-faithful’ or ‘flower-constant’, as Charles Darwin wrote, learning the intricacies of the anthers or nectaries, then working on one type of flower until its pollen or nectar is depleted.
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