Flowers for Bees
What are bee flowers?
Bee flowers provide abundant nectar and pollen for bees. Bees obtain all of their carbohydrates from floral nectar, and all of their protein from floral pollen. The most important pieces of planning any pollinator garden are to provide a diverse array of blooming flowers, make sure to have something blooming through the whole growing season, and to keep your plants free of pesticides, including fungicides and insecticides. Observe flowering plants in your area to see which plants are attracting the most pollinators and the most different types of pollinators. Prepare your garden for future climate uncertainties by planting drought tolerant plant as well as early and late season plants.
Flowering lawns can be great way to increase your postive impact on pollinators. The UMN Bee Lab in partnership with the UMN Turf Lab have discovered some great ways for you create bee lawns. A flowering lawn differs from a traditional lawn in having flowering plants as well as turfgrasses. Benefits of a flowering lawn include: increased lawn resilience to environmental pressures, natural diversity that benefits bees and other pollinators and insects, and the beauty of the flowers themselves. Learn more here.
The number of choices for plants to support pollinators can be overwhelming. Below are some resources we have produced to help you narrow down your choices. In addition, we highly recommend these plant lists and pollinator habitat resources: Xerces Society, Pollinators of Native Plants, and the Board of Water and Soil Resources.
|Find out more about how bees use prairie restorations
with Prairie Reconstructions for Pollinators
|Expanding Floral Palette for Bees in Prairie Reconstructions
Pollinator Tea Garden
Pollinator gardens in yards and parks
Evaluate your garden and see how you can increase your impact to conserve pollinators with this habitat assessment guide from the Xerces Society and the UMN Bee Lab.
Where do I buy native plants?
Native plants can be difficult to find at plant nurseries, and the actual sources of the plants are difficult to determine. Using a supplier that specializes in native plants can help ensure you are creating habitat with native plants. Here are some native plant producers working in Minnesota.