Spring Flowers Favored by Bees

Bee gardens are designed to have a large variety of flowers blooming at one time over a long season. Just as we need to eat a varied diet for health, bees need a variety of pollen and nectar as well. Bees are active as soon as the weather warms and until freezing temperatures cause flowers to cease. They need pollen and nectar during their entire life cycle, so bee gardens are designed to have continuously blooming flowers from early spring to as late as possible.

Some flowers are more attractive to bees than others and there are a number of factors that will influence the bee's choice such as color, flower shape and position of the plant. Bees are unable to see the color red, which just appears as black to them. Blue, white, yellow and purple flowers are the ones that attract the bees. Woundwort, Loosestrife, Thyme, Marjoram, Lavender and Catmint are all very popular plants for bees.

Some flowers are particularly suited for pollination by bumblebees. Modified lower petals serve as sturdy landing pads.

Bees have good noses, and the flowers they pllinate usually have a delicate, sweet scent.

Spotted Loosestrife Lysimachia punctataSpotted Loosestrife Lysimachia punctata woundwortWoundwort Stachys commonly known as hedgenettle, heal-all, self-heal,betony, and lamb's ears CatmintCatmint Nepeta Bluebell Virginia Bluebell Mertensia virginica bugle Bugle Ajuga reptans commonly known as blue bugle, bugleherb, bugleweed, carpetweed, carpet bugleweed, common bugle crab apple Crab apple Malus daffodil Daffodil Narcissus Flowering cherry Cherry blossom Prunus Flowering red currant Red currant Ribes sanguineum forget-me-not Forget-me-not Myosotis hawthorn Hawthorn Crataegus pulmonaria Pulmonaria Pulmonaria officinalis commonly known as common names lungwort, common lungwort or Our Lady's milk drops rhododendron Rhododendron Rhododendron rosemary Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis Sea thrift Sea Thrift Armeria maritima viburnum Viburnum "Common Snowball" Viburnum Goat willow catkins Goat willow catkins Salix caprea Buttercup Buttercup Ranunculus Speedwell Speedwell Veronica Wisteria Wisteria Wisteria floribunda is a valuable spring-blooming nectar plant for hummingbirds and bees.

Bees are one of the most important and busy insects in the countryside as they pollinate so many plants. It has been estimated that they pollinate around 90 percent of all wild plants, which would fail to thrive and ultimately die out without them.



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