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. Learn which flowers in Minnesota provide vital nutrition for bees (.pdf). If you are outside of MN, the Xerces Society provides great reources to learn which flowers provide vital nutrition for bees in your region. Visit Pollinators of Native Plants to get plants list for native pollinators and native plants fir a wide range of growing conditions.
The number of choices for plants to support pollinators can be overwhelming. 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.
Here are some resources to help you narrow down your choices.
|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.