Gardener’s Supply — Planting pollen- and nectar-rich flowers is a very important way to help counter the decline in pollinator populations. Most bees are attracted to flowers for their pollen as well as their nectar.
How Gardeners Can Help
Imagine if every home gardener nationwide took steps to increase food and habitat for pollinators. Collectively, we would add tens of thousands of acres for pollinators to call home! Best of all, it’s easy and rewarding to make your landscape a pollinator haven. Here’s how:
Create diverse plantings: Different pollinators are active at different times of year, so include a variety of plants that bloom from early spring through late fall. To attract the full spectrum of pollinators, choose plants of various heights, including flowering trees and shrubs, and those with a range of flower shapes and sizes.
Flowers that Bees Love
- Agastache (anise hyssop)
- Asclepias (butterfly weed)
- Echinacea (coneflower)
- Geranium (cranesbill)
- Monarda (bee balm)
- Papaver (poppies)
- Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan)
- Trifolium (clover)
More information: Attracting Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Other Pollinators.
Plant wildflowers and native species: Because wild bees and wildflowers evolved together, you can be pretty confident that native wildflowers will provide bees with an excellent source of both pollen and nectar.
Create habitat: Perfectly neat yards do not provide the raw materials wild bees need to construct their nests. Provide good nesting habitat by preserving a small brush pile, areas with dry grasses and reeds, and dead wood. A muddy area will provide essential nesting material for mason bees.
Single flowers are best: Single flowers — those with one ring of petals — provide more nectar and pollen than double flowers, in which extra petals have replaced pollen-laden anthers. Double flowers also make it more difficult for bees to reach the inner flower parts.