Bees are tiny environmental warriors who are responsible for aiding around 90% of our wild plants survive. They navigate great distances, build elaborate homes, and pollinate our world to give us nutrients. It’s no surprise that there are several documentaries dedicated to educating people on the value of bees and their deep intelligence. While most people associate them with the opportunity to get stung, bees are generally mild natured, and deserve respect like all other animals.
Bees have been dying at alarming rates lately, and they can only survive with our active help. If you’re not ready to become a beekeeper just yet, you can still play a crucial role by offering bees shallow water sources, eliminating any non-natural pesticides and fertilizers, and planting flowers that will give them a constant source of food. Even if you do not have a garden, a small container on your windowsill or rooftop can go a long way in offering aid to worn out bees. It is time for us to give back to the sweet friends that have done so much for us! Unless you have an allergy to them, it’s best to invite them to your outdoor space and watch as the bees go about their important tasks.
Bees are known to love lavender, and with its unique shape and stunning hues, you’ll also enjoy having this plant around. Plus, lavender is great for a variety of purposes. Drops of lavender oil are exceptional for healing burns, and lavender plants do not require insecticides, which lead to death in various insect communities. This is also a drought tolerant plant, which is important if you live somewhere that cannot afford to water the plants constantly. Lavender actually flowers from spring until the end of fall, which means that bees will be able to enjoy their nectar for months.
These flowers are highly fragrant and come in a variety of shades that can fit any outdoor decorating scheme. Hyacinths are easy to grow and are beloved by the bees that are sure to liven up your garden when they come across these plants. There are common hyacinths, which open up to look like stars, and grape hyacinths that resemble bundles of grapes, as their name suggests. Their bloom time is from March to April, making them perfect choices to watch during spring. However, they can be planted in the fall, with a hole that is six to eight inches deep to prepare them for the cold.
Often referred to as marigolds, the calendula is a vibrant flower that mimics the shades of the sun. Bees, birds, and butterflies are all attracted to this plant that grows up to 20 inches tall. Bees can see color much more quickly than humans can, so this plant is easily recognizable by our winged friends. Planting them will send a signal to bees that they will find an oasis in your bee-friendly space. These flowers also have purposes beyond aesthetics, which make them a great option to plant. You might have had marigold florets in salads, and although they might not be delicious, they are edible.
If you like instant results, these flowers are perfect for you! Zinnias grow quickly. They will give you seedlings within just a few days and flowers will appear in a couple of weeks. Bees have no time to waste, so this is a good option with which to start. You can turn your garden into a sea of rainbow with the color options of zinnias, and bees will flock to you. Other friends such as butterflies will also follow suit when they head to these flowers for nectar. Similarly to the calendulas, you can also serve organically grown zinnias as a side decoration on dishes, or throw them into some tea!
6 Witch Hazel
The witch hazel plant has been used in many beauty products and can reduce oil levels in the skin. It has astringent and antioxidant properties and can be used for reducing eye bag puffiness, moisturizing skin, minimizing the appearance of scars and stretch marks, and even works at resolving dandruff issues. This amazing plant is also beloved by bees, who will nourish this plant so that it can heal your skin ailments for total symbiosis! It might look odd up close, but witch hazel’s unique look and name that’s perfect for the fall is a great addition to any garden.
There’s never a wrong time to work on boosting your immune system! Echinacea actually reduces cold and flu symptoms as well, and can be put to the test as a natural aid if you have an illness or infection. There is research that shows Echinacea increases your number of white blood cells, which are crucial in fighting infections. This plant is also effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and hydrating skin. In order to consume this bee-friendly plant, you can use petals, roots, and leaves, and prepare a tea. However, you should be cautious when utilizing this herb, as it has caused reactions in rare cases.
These flowers are typically snapped shut, which means that heavier bumblebees have better chances of opening them for pollination than honeybees. However, they aim to attract the bees with their purposeful hues. Bees cannot see red, but they are able to view yellow, blue, and ultraviolet shades. Snapdragon colors mimic the vision of bees, which attract these friends right to the flowers. Most snapdragons are yellow and have ultraviolet nectar guides that will help bees in their landing. If you’re looking to signal them over, this is a great choice. Planting snapdragons will add flair to your garden, and they have an overall amazing name.
These flowers are primarily purple, yellow, and white which will create an effortless color scheme in your garden. However, if you have pets such as cats and dogs, you should beware of these flowers, as ingesting them can cause upset stomachs and induce drooling. However, the Autumn Crocus, which is probably best to leave out of your garden, can be fatal if ingested. These flowers are stunning. They are sure to attract bees that will not suffer fatalities from gathering their nectar. However, it is best to double check that you know what plant you are getting if you decide on this one.
This plant, also referred to as a starflower, looks like it’s watching over everything in the garden. It has been used to treat arthritis and inflammation by regulating immune systems. It is a great companion plant if you’re looking to grow produce such as tomatoes and squash because it reduces the amount of leaf-eating caterpillars that will enter your garden. This benefits bees in more than one way, as it will provide you with a natural pesticide that won’t cause bees any unnecessary pain—they’ve struggled enough as it is! The flowers will bloom for several weeks as long as you continuously trim the older flowers.
If you’re not sure about the quality of your soil and want a flower that won’t wilt in hot, dry weather, cosmos work great! They can tolerate a vast array of different soil types and can take in the sun in hot regions. Bees are everywhere, and although the extreme heat hurts them, it’s important that they have resources like cosmos in these environments. You can also begin by growing cosmos indoors if you want to get an early start with them. Grow this plant in groups so that the bees can easily gather their pollen collection all in one spot.