Planting flowers for the bees

First coneflower ready for the bees

It’s easy enough to say “Plant flowers” for the bees, until you ask which flowers? If I had to pick one to start with, I would say Purple Coneflower. Bumblebees and honeybees love it. Other native bees, too. As a bonus, the seeds will feed goldfinches. But then, they’re coming into their full color right now, so maybe that’s why they leap to mind.

If you want more, there are places you can look up lists of suggested plants to attract bees and other pollinators. Mostly I looked at what was drawing bees, both in my yard and in the nursery.

So the list I started last year is now:


April: Grape Hyacinth
April: Plum and other fruit trees
May: Catmint
May-August: Red, black, and fall-bearing Raspberries
June: Thyme
July: Liatris
June-July: Coneflower
July: Sunflower
July-  frost: Butterfly bush
May – Sep: Snapdragons
Summer: Squash, pumpkin, melon (Squash bees)
Suptember: Sedum (I see I need to get a picture this year!)

Feed the bees!

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About Pam Phillips

I am a writer and gardener. I never cease to be amazed by the wonder and beauty of bees.
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5 Responses to Planting flowers for the bees

  1. Planting flowers is not an easy job, it needs lots of planning’s, study and plants need lots of care.
    Thanks…………..

  2. Pingback: Wildflower planting for the bees | Bees on the brain

  3. Louise Forrest says:

    Very nice to learn about nativebeeranching. I first noticed small bees in a school yard garden about 4 years ago. They came to the broccoli flowers these tiny yellow flowers from a broccoli plant I let winter over in Cambridge. Here are some plants I have been planting for bees and butterflies. Bergamont monarda lasts well into the fall, so bees and hummingbird some to the blooms even in dense Watertown.
    Borage was a discovery in the community garden on Grove Street.
    Here are some more I bought from New England Wildflower Society: Parlinks Pussytoes, Threadleaf Ironweed, Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Stokes Aster “Blue Danube, Aster laevis ‘Bluebird’ (Smooth Aster), Ruby Star Coneflower, Hybrid Pitcher Plant. , , various kinds of milkweed.

    Look forward to learning more.

  4. Pam Phillips says:

    Like you, I discovered how much bees like mustard family when I let some collards flower. So many plants the bees like!

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