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Thread: Flowers for bees

  1. #1

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    Jul 2007
    Houston, Tx
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    Flowers for bees

    I am looking for some flowers that are good for attracting bees. I have no idea what bees like, so any help would be great.

  2. #2
    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    South Dakota
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    Bees are fantastically diverse, and there are some that are attracted by different flowers. Short -tongued species need plants with the nectar close to the surface, long-tongued like bumblebees and honey bees prefer deeper flowers. And flowers can provide one or two things, nectar and pollen. Both are vital for bees.

    Here is a list of plants that I own that attract bees.

    Partridge Pea, Chamaechrista fasciculata (cassia fasciculata) –native prairie annual, blooms for ages, interesting seedpods, nitrogen fixer. Butterfly host plant. Reseeds itself well. I use it in my meadow planting and I love it, but it only will get established in a disturbed setting. This is neat because it has 2 kinds of pollen, food pollen for bees and reproductive pollen. I recommend it highly.

    Aster sp. Attracts all sorts bees in droves in the fall. I have some very nice types of these that look great in flower gardens, but I have no idea what your growing conditions are. Any aster is good, you should look and see what does good in your area.

    Goldenrod, these are nice.

    I cant list everything cause there are too many, so im gonna list the genus names.

    , sp great attractors.

    Ratibida sp, plants that attract the most bees in my planting

    Silphium sp

    Salvia , short tubed species

    Physostegia sp

    Gaillardia sp also big attractors

    Nepeta sp and cv- Some of the best bumblebee plants in the business!

    Coreopsis sp

    Almost anything in the pea family, see clovers and prairie-clovers, wild indigo, milkvetch etc.

    Agastache, short tubed species.

    Roses, single forms

    These are hardy for me, you might have to finds species that do well in your area. Remember, MOST flowers are bee pollinated, and short tubular flowers, flat flowers, flowers with lots of pollen are often tell-tale bee plants. Cp's are bee plants! In time you will be able to tell a bee flower just by looking at it.
    that makes no logic

  3. #3
    RL7836's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    New Jersey, USA
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    My favorite 'Bee' flower is Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). It grows best in somewhat wet areas (but will do fine in 'normal' soil) and attracts the widest variety of bees of any flower I grow. The most common bees are the tiny 'sweat' bees which are usually flying around and on the flowers in swarms. There are also many other bees, including one iridescent green species about 3/8" long (usually a few around at any one time), an iridescent blue species of similar size (quite rare), wasps of unusual shapes & sizes and many other varieties of different bees. Bumblebees will sometimes visit but they typically prefer other flowers. In addition to the clouds of bees, this flower attracts more hairstreak species (butterflies), blues and azures than other flowers. The only snout butterfly I've had in my yard was nectaring on this flower.

    Good luck w/ your gardens.
    All the best,
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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