Attention, Flower Lovers! Bee Friendly!
Choose Flowers that Help Endangered Bees & Enhance your Garden
You need flowers among your vegetables. You need not be a bee keeper. You simply need to attract pollinators with flowers.
- Your squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, apples, berries, etc. require visiting pollinators for fruit formation.
- Open pollinated flowers can offer old-fashioned fragrance too.
- You’ll help the endangered honey bee with food and habitat.
- Some bee-attracting flowers double as butterfly and hummingbird attractors.
Who ARE the Pollinators? Honey Bees…certainly, but other bees pollinate too—mason bees, bumble bees, solitary bees, etc. Bees are not the only pollinators. Other pollinators include flies, butterflies, wasps, hornets, beetles, hummingbirds, and bats. Look closely! Syrphid flies, for example, look like bees but hunt aphids, pollinate, hover, and do not bite or sting. Here are delightful, fragrant ways to reverse Colony Collapse Disorder.
When choosing flowers, remember to plant a few varieties that are open-pollinated to help our bees survive. Not all flowers attract pollinators. Not all blooms provide pollen and nectar.
Here’s How To Choose— Look on the seed packet, catalog description, or nursery plant label for these indications. Still unsure? Ask the manager.
Pollinator-Friendly seed is open-pollinated, & perhaps heirloom.
Not pollinator-friendly seed packets say “patented“, “hybrid“, “F1” or “F2“
Plant these open pollinated (=OP) flowers: phlox, salpoglossis, bee balm, poppy, borage, sunflower, alyssum, Rudbeckia or black-eyed Susan, and many more.
Avoid chemical herbicides and insecticides. They harm your beneficial helpers.
Spare the mower, leave a bee sanctuary. Leave a blooming clover patch in your lawn.
Plan for a continual blooming sequence all season.
Come summer…Stroll out to the garden with a warm cuppa and watch the fascinating antics of pollinators. You can almost hear them saying “thank you!” as they hum through their work.
Enjoy attracting pollinators!
“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden”—-Elizabeth Lawrence
This guy is a syphid fly, an important pollinator, and not a hornet, wasp, or bee!
And a terrific new book for you bee keepers that will blow your minds.
The Song of Increase by Jacquelyn Freeman, (whom I met last summer;)
her bees have communicated new info about better care.
©Ellen Vande Visse, Apr 2, 2013, revised 2-8-2016