Many billions of dollars in food crops grown in the US each year are made possible only through pollinators. We have over 4000 native bees in North America and many are suffering from population declines due to pesticide exposure, habitat losses, and disease. We should all be asking ourselves what we can do to assist struggling pollinators no matter if we live in the countryside or the big city. Gardens and habitats are much needed.
Just think what we could accomplish if every homeowner and condo/apartment dweller added a small container garden, pollinator garden, or a bug habitat to their home.
It’s easy enough to buy a few pots or a standing planter and plant some flowers right? It’s also easy enough to add a bug/bee hotel to the area.
But what should you plant? A simple trip to the garden center may not present you with the best options to attract bees and they may even be tainted with bee killing neonicotinoid pesticides. You want non invasive, native plants that are know to host bees and other pollinators. Local homesteaders and master gardeners are a good place to look and you can also buy organic seeds online or at local seed swaps. Here are some of the…
Best plants to attract and host bees
- Bee balm
- Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
- Coneflower (Echinacea)
- Culver’s root
- Giant hyssop (Agastache)
- Globe thistle (Echinops)
- Lacy phacelia (bottom photo , lower right)
- Meadowsweet (spirea alba)
- Milkweed (top photo)
- Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum)
- Sunflower (Helianthus)
- Tickseed (Coreopsis)