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The Best Flowers for Honeybees: A Comprehensive Guide for Gardeners

by Donna
3 minutes read

The Best Flowers for Honeybees: A Guide for Budding Gardeners

Honeybees are essential pollinators that play a vital role in our ecosystem. By planting the right flowers in your garden, you can attract these busy bees and help them thrive. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best flowering plants for honeybees, organized by bloom time and specific needs.

Spring Blooms: A Sweet Start for Honeybees

As honeybees emerge from their winter slumber, they eagerly seek out early sources of pollen and nectar. These spring-blooming flowers provide a much-needed boost:

  • Willows (Salix species): These trees produce abundant catkins that are a rich source of early nectar.
  • Hellebores: These shade-tolerant plants offer nectar and pollen from late winter to early spring.
  • Spring blossom trees (apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, plums, blackthorn, hawthorn): These trees provide a feast of pollen and nectar for honeybees.

Summer Blooms: A Buzzing Bonanza

As the days lengthen and temperatures rise, a wider variety of flowers burst into bloom, offering a smorgasbord of pollen and nectar for honeybees:

  • Sunflowers: These towering giants produce massive flower heads that are a magnet for honeybees.
  • Comfrey: This vigorous plant is not only a favorite of honeybees but also attracts other pollinators like bumblebees.
  • Catmint: Honeybees and other pollinators flock to the small but numerous blooms of catmint plants.
  • Michaelmas daisies (asters): These late-summer bloomers provide a rich source of pollen and nectar for honeybees.
  • Heathers (Calluna and Erica species): These compact plants offer small but highly rewarding flowers for bees.

Fall Blooms: A Sweet Farewell

As summer transitions into fall, honeybees continue to rely on flowers for sustenance. These late-blooming plants provide a final burst of pollen and nectar before winter:

  • Wallflowers: Honeybees love the easily accessible blooms of wallflowers, which can flower all year if deadheaded regularly.
  • Centaurea species: This genus includes a number of bee-friendly species, such as cornflowers, mountain cornflowers, and common knapweed.

Tips for Creating a Bee-Friendly Garden

  • Choose single flowers over double flowers: Double flowers often have extra petals that block access to pollen and nectar.
  • Plant a variety of flowers: This ensures a continuous supply of pollen and nectar throughout the year.
  • Include blue and purple flowers: Honeybees are particularly attracted to these colors.
  • Avoid using pesticides: Pesticides can harm honeybees and other pollinators.
  • Provide water: Honeybees need access to water to stay hydrated.

By following these tips, you can create a vibrant and welcoming garden that supports honeybees and other pollinators. Remember, every flower you plant makes a difference in the lives of these essential creatures.

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