Attracting bees

Wed. Jul. 9, 2014

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Attracting bees

While the arguments as to exactly what the reasons are rage on, let’s you and I talk about planting flowers to attract bees and to learn that we don’t have to be afraid of them.  If you’re allergic, then take the appropriate precautions.

Some flower suggestions include bee balm aka Monarda.  I just bought ‘Jacob’s Cline’ which is a very pretty red that is disease resistant.  It is suggested to plant native species for the best bee attractors.  These 2 monarda are not.  They attract bees, however, you do need to be careful as to WHERE your plants come from.  Has the nursery used certain pesticides?  Neonicitinoids?

Monarda 'Jacob's Cline'

Monarda - Pardon my Purple
Monarda – Pardon my Purple

The native Purple Prairie Clover (Prairie Nursery is out of Wisconsin) has a lot to offer.  A bee attractor that also delivers nitrogen back into the soil and has sweet little purple and yellow flowers that bloom in July and August on 1 to 2 foot stalks.

Purple Prairie Clover from Prairie Nursery

The Cup Plant is also a great native that the birds love too.  It does prefer moister soils and can grow up to 5 feet.

Cup Plant

New England Aster and Giant Hyssop are also good choices.  Be sure to check your local nursery for bee friendly plants and ask them if they use pesticides.  If they do, that defeats the purpose.  The bees MAY ingest the chemical.

Here’s a good article on bee pollinators and nests “A sticky situation for Pollinators” [Minnesota Conservation]  They advocate native species. 

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