There are literally hundreds of plants that honey bees like. However, some of them are such bee magnets that’s they’re a cut above the rest. So if you can’t stand having bees around, you might want to watch out for the plants in this list.
If there’s one plant that pairs with bees tremendously, it’s definitely the sunflower.
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Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are giants that are often used for their seeds and oil. These tall flowers can measure up to 5 to 10 feet with massive blooms that can reach 8 inches in diameter. The biggest one ever recorded was raised in Germany. It reached a humongous 30 feet.
With its height and bright yellow color, the sunflower is like a lighthouse for pollinating bees, specially on a bright sunny day. However, hope’s not lost for bee allergic gardeners who really want to have this flower. That’s because there are pollen-free varieties that you can try out.
In our previous post, we talked about how marigolds can repel mosquitoes. But did you know that it’s actually a bee magnet?
Bees are as attracted to marigolds (Tagetes) as they are to sunflowers. That’s because the two blooms are related. They have roughly the same facilities that always keep the bees interested.
However, if you still plan on having marigolds in your yard, bear in mind that single flower varieties attract more bees than the multiple layered ones.
Just by hearing its name, it becomes incredible obvious what kind of audience this plant appeals to – the buzzing kind.
The Monarda is a genus of flowering plants abundantly found in North America. It has many other names including horsemint, begamot and oswego tea.
Bee balms are a not only a favorite pit stop for bees. Because of its rich nectar, it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds too. You’ll recognize it over its aromatic leaves which smell like bergamot orange. It also has bracted flowers that can come in red, pink, purple or white.
Flowers from the genus Lavandula are great to have around. In fact, their uses might even outweigh their habit of attracting bees. Not only will they turn your yard into an aromatic paradise; they’re useful for keeping other pests out, specially ants and fleas.
Huge flowers aren’t the only plants that can lure bees to your yard. Mints (Mentha) have that same effect on them too, even if they’re mostly covered with leaves. Long-tongued bees, for example, love hovering over salvia and oregano.
Apples, plum, peach and cherry trees
If you don’t raise flowers but wonder about the bees in your home, there may be a fruit tree nearby.
Apple, plum, cherry and peach trees (Malus and Prunus) often get insect visitors all year round. Their flowers have plenty of nectar and pollen for winged insects like hornets and bees, and their fruits offer nourishment for other foraging bugs.
Another herb that’s very bee-friendly is parsley (Petroselinum crispum). Not only is this plant a culinary must-have, putting it on your yard and letting it grow flowers can attract many pollinators. They can pull in butterflies, hoverflies and of course, bees. So if you have a lot of parsley lying around your property, don’t be surprised to spot these bugs near you.
Finally, we have chives. The Allium schoenoprasum is basically a cousin to onions, but its flower heads are a potent bee attractant. If you haven’t seen a growing chive before, you can recognize it through its stringy leaves and globe-shaped light purple flowers.
Chives only make up an extremely tiny percentage of the plants that honey bees like. In reality, there’s a vast number of flowers and other fauna that they visit, so vast that the world has become totally dependent on them to carry out countless environmental and agricultural processes.
However, having a green yard that has less bees isn’t completely impossible. It will take a lot of time, a huge deal of research and a good dose of trial and error, but it’s a thousand times better than having a barren wasteland for a front lawn.