The best way to attract bees to your garden is to plant wildflowers that are native to your area. One thing to remember is that the honey produced from one swarm of bees is directly related to the types of flowers that they are helping to pollinate in that specific geographic area. What’s interesting is that even a bee hive located a few miles down the road will have honey that tastes different. Happy bees have a diversity of plants and flowers to choose from. Make sure to not only to plant native wildflowers but go ahead and mix in other gardening favorites.
Flowers that have a single row of petals are more attractive to bees as they are easier for them to get the nectar from. Many layers of petals are harder for the honeybees and they don’t visit them as often. The single petal flowers also have more pollen than other flowers, which provides more food for the honeybees.
Bees are naturally attracted to certain colors more than others. They gravitate towards yellow, white, blue, and purple flowers. Of course they will pollinate others, but these colors are their favorites. Another thing to remember is to plant flowers that bloom at different times of the year so the bees will have a reason to come back to your garden all year long. Bees are hungry and spend the majority of their time in search for nectar.
If you live in the colder regions of Canada & the US, a happy bee garden would include flowers like Crocuses, Foxglove, Geraniums, Hyacinths, Roses, and Lilacs. Bees love to pollinate fruits and vegetable plants as well and will visit blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, and peas.
In areas where there are milder winters with warm summers, these bees prefer Asters, Black-Eyed Susans, Clovers, Cosmos, Crocuses, Daylilies, Foxglove, Geraniums, Marigolds, Roses, and Zinnias. Make the bees happy by also planting strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, and cherry trees.
The hottest zones in the southern US states also have a great collection of native bees. The bees in the south like the nectar from Cosmos, Dahlias, Geraniums, Hibiscus, Hollyhocks, Marigolds, Poppies, Roses, Sunflowers, and Zinnias and even most cacti. Don’t forget to plant watermelons, squash plants, pumpkins, cucumbers, and their absolute favorite are citrus trees!