3 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Honey Bees

by Susan on September 14, 2010

1. Plant Bee Friendly Flowers and Shrubs

Make it easier for bees to collect pollen and nectar by planting bee friendly plants in your garden. Plant flowers with a long blooming seasons. I try to keep in mind that early Spring and late Fall are important times for honey bees to have an ample supply of nectar and pollen. Strive to have plants in bloom throughout the entire growing season. In my Zone 5 Michigan garden, I have found honey bees are fond of these plants:

Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Black Eyed Susans are native to the U.S.

Image of Anise Hyssop

Anise Hyssop (Agastache) is usually loaded with bees in my garden.

Image of Caryopteris

Caryoperteris has great purple blooms in Fall.

Image of honey bee collecting pollen

Honey bee collecting pollen.

Image of English lavender in the garden

English Lavender blooms mid spring to early summer.

Image of Spirea shrub

Spirea blooms in the Spring and the Fall.

Image of sedum in my garden

Sedum blooms in the Fall garden.

2. Let the Dandelions Grow in Your Lawn

Trust me, your neighbors will survive a few dandelions in your lawn. Dandelions provide an excellent source of food for honey bees. Best of all, dandelions are early bloomers. The flowers of the dandelion can provide a much needed meal for a honey bee early in the season. If your neighbors complain, just tell them that you are doing your part to help the honey bees thrive.

3. Don’t Use Pesticides and Herbicides

This is a no-brainer. You don’t need to be a gardener to understand that using pesticides and herbicides is not good for the long term health of our environment. I realize your roses may get black spot, but in the overall scheme of things, it is far better to garden organically. You will be amazed at how strong and healthy your flowers will be if you promote good soil health. A strong plant is much less likely to become diseased. Sure, you may see some eaten leaves, but removing pesticides and herbicides from your garden is certain to have positive benefits. Not only will the bees thank you, but you will be helping the overall health of the environment. As Martha Stewart would say, “That’s a good thing”!

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