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How to Attract Bees to Your Garden

Bees are essential pollinators of numerous plants, and you can help their declining numbers if you transform your garden into their sanctuary. Here’s what you can do:

Plant flowers native to your area. Bees evolved with wildflowers, and they will respond best to the flowers they "grew up with.”

Stop using pesticides.

Plant flowers with single petals. Flowers with a single row of petals are more attractive to bees because they have more pollen, and its easier to reach. Bees especially love Asters, Calliopsis, Clover, Cosmos, Crocuses, Dahlias, Foxglove, Geraniums, Hollyhocks, Hyacinth, Marigolds, Poppies, Roses, Snowdrops, Sunflowers, Zinnias.

Plant yellow, white, blue & purple flowers because these colors attract bees more than pinks, oranges and reds.

Plant flowers that bloom in sequence. Plant a variety that will bloom throughout spring, summer, and fall to keep the bees fed and happy.

Plant flowering vegetable and fruits. Berries, melons, squash, cucumbers, and fruit trees - especially cherries - produce flowers & fruit attractive to bees. Bees adore Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Cucumbers, Gourds, Cherry trees, Peppers, Pumpkins, Squash, Strawberries, Watermelons

Plant herbs that attract bees. Mints, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Bee balm, Borage, Catnip, Coriander/Cilantro, Fennel, Lavender.

Plant flowering trees

Allow your garden to be a bit wild. Provide some open, meadow-like spaces. Leave an area un-mowed with wild clover grow. Leave a brush pile and leaves lying where they fell.

Make a bee bath. Take a wide, shallow dish and line the edge with flat rocks. Pour water over the rocks and place it near flowers that attract bees. Bees will land on the rocks to access the water.

Provide a bee shelter. If you're serious about attracting bees you can build a small bee "house" (see photo below).

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