Colony collapse disorder (CCD), Varroa Mites, Nosema Apis and Nosema Ceranae are just some of the diseases and pests affecting Honey bees today. With at least one third of our natural food supply relying on Honey bees for pollination, these diseases and pests are posing a serious threat for bees and humans. Luckily, we can all help the Honey bees by planting more bee friendly gardens that can help nourish Honey bees with nectar and pollen producing flowers. In fact, you may already have some of the Honey bee’s favorite flowers and plants in your garden. If not, it’s easy to add a few!
Select flowers or plants that will bloom from early spring through fall providing nectar and pollen for months. Choose as many native plants as possible. Plant the flowers in groups close to each other for best results and don’t use pesticides or herbicides on the flowers or plants. Some pesticides and herbicides are toxic to bees and many leave toxic residue for days or weeks. Provide a pond, fountain or some other source that can hold fresh water. Bees need nectar, pollen and water for their survival.
Here is a small list of Honey bee attractors:
Asters • Calliopsis • Clover • Marigolds • Poppies • Sunflowers • Zinnias
Buttercup • Clematis • Cosmos • Crocus • Dahlias • Echinacea • English Ivy • Foxglove • Geraniums • Germander • Globe Thistle • Hollyhocks • Hyacinth • Rock Cress • Roses • Sedum • Snowdrops • Squills • Pansy • Tulip • Yellow Hyssop
Blackberries • Blueberry • Cantaloupe • Cucumbers • Gourds • Peppers • Pumpkins • Raspberries • Squash • Strawberries • Watermelons • Wild Garlic
Bee Balm • Borage • Catnip • Cilantro • Fennel • Lavender • Mint • Rosemary • Sage • Thyme • Oregano
Butterfly Bush • Butt on Bush • Honeysuckle • Indigo • Privet
Alder • American Holly • Basswood • Black Gum • Black Locust • Buckeye • Catalpa • Eastern Redbud • Fruit Trees • Golden Rain Tree • Hawthorns • Maple • Hazel Nut