This article discusses how to grow plants that bees are attracted to. The article also gives a little bit of background between plants and bee and the critical relationship that they share.
Cultivating Pollinators: How To Grow A Bee Friendly Garden:
Pollinators are incredibly important to most life on earth. This articles focuses on attracting pollinators by growing a bee friendly garden.
Attracting Bees To Your Garden:
Bumblebee and Sunflower:
Bumblebee and Sunflower
Most Bees Are Not Aggressive:
Understanding the Nature of Bees:
Most bees are not aggressive. They get that bad reputation from a few species such as yellow jackets, hornets, and the Africanized honeybee. Those species are highly aggressive and very protective of their nesting area. In general, most bees are not interested in stinging people. The fact of the matter is that only female bees can sting. This is because the females adapt their ovipositor into a stinger when they are not laying eggs or if they are not mating which occurs in most honeybees that are not the queen. Already, your chances of getting stung by a bee have been reduced by 50%. Its either female or male and if it is a male it can not sting you. Aside from the three species that I listed above as being aggressive most bee stings happen when we come into contact with a bee either on purpose or by accident. Walking barefoot on the lawn and stepping on a honey bee is likely going to result in a sting. Picking up a bumblebee is likely going to result in a sting. The truth of the matter is bee's could care less about us, unless we provoke them.
Why Bees Are Important:
Not all plant blossoms that we grow contain both male and female reproductive parts. In squash plants, the blossom is either male or female but not both. This means that a bee, and usually a bumblebee or carpenter bee, must serve as the go between to pollinate squash plants. Without the help of the bee, squash would not likely be pollinated nor would it likely produce fruit. Flowers that have both male and female reproductive parts, such as sunflowers, need only be visited by one bee. This makes pollination easier.
How To Attract Bees To Your Garden:
Bee's love flowers and especially flowers that are fragrant, but smell is not the only thing that attracts bees. Sometimes they are attracted by specific shades of ultra violet. Flowering plants and bees have long worked out a method by which bees can find flowers. Sometimes the attraction is scent based in which the flower uses pheromones to attract bees and flies. Other times the attraction is based on color, or rather ultraviolet. To humans, it may appear as white stripes or spots on a flower but to bees, flies and butterflies that white pigmentation is is like a beacon.
My best advice is to plant a variety of flowering plants that have a wide range of flower coloration. Flowers do not have to be overpowering in scent to attract bees. Their antenna are much more adapt at picking up chemical trails then are human noses. Bees and other insects mostly smell using their antenna, and flower scents are chemical based.
Some popular plants for both bees and humans include Sunflowers, flowering herbs such as Basil, Lilac, Daisy, Snap Dragons, all of the plants in the Salvia family, Daliah, Yarrow, Day Lilies, Asters, Collengula, Marigolds, Pansy, Viola, Cone Flowers (echinacea) and Goldenrod.
Daisy Like Flowers Work Well for Bee: