Honeybees are disappearing. The problem with this is many plants rely on bees to pollinate them. Trees, flowers, leaf crops – almost everything we eat needs bees to pollinate and thrive.
It is not yet completely known why bee numbers are declining around the world. Many are debating and pointing the finger at the climate crisis, monocrop agricultural practices, pesticide use, genetically modified seeds, urbanization, and other factors. The fact remains, that bees are in trouble and even if you just have a small plot of land for a garden or a few clay pots on your balcony, you can help bring bees back with the choice of flowers and plants you put in your eco organic garden.
Wild flowers that are native to your area should be your first choice when planting pollinator-attracting blooms in your outdoor nature space. They are easier to establish and will generally not require pesticides. Always follow nature's way and plant a wide variety of flowers to attract a wide variety of species of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds into your garden.
Additionally, provide rocks, man-made nesting sites, flowing water features, tree stumps, and insect hotels as safe havens and natural place for your friendly visitors to rest and re-energize in while they are in your garden to establish a truly diverse and thriving ecosystem.
Most importantly, do not use pesticides and other chemicals in a garden or outdoor play spaces that is meant to attract bees and pollinators.
Here are some suggested plants you may include to attract bees and beneficial pollinators into your garden:
Perennials for Pollinators
Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum
This easy to care for plant is easy to grow from seed. Many suggest to sow it in a biodegradable plant pot in a nursery before transferring it outdoors. It will thrive in full sun in well-drained soil. Its leaves may be used in tea and its flowers add a tang twist to salads.
Milkweed Asclepias syriaca
Milkweed is the sole host plant for Monarch Butterfly eggs and caterpillars to it is absolutely vital to their life cycle. Its leaves and roots are toxic to humans if consumed raw but the First Nations and Native Americans traditionally ate it as a food source after careful preparation and cooking.
Bee Balm aka Wild Bergamot Monarda fistulosa
Not only does a wide variety of bees go wild for this herb, it also has a multitude of medicinal qualities and has been used to treat colds, insomnia, skin problems, and headaches. Hummingbirds and butterflies also collect nectar from these flowers, making them a popular ornamental plant in gardens and bouquets. Dry them for potpourri for natural room fragrance and eco-friendly gifts.
Written by Jan Dizon
About the Author
Jan is a travelling yoga teacher and writer who advocates spiritual growth while leading a conscious, earth-centered lifestyle, as close to nature as possible. She currently lives on an island in the Philippines surrounded by tropical jungles and white sand beaches. She and her partner conduct sound meditations and journeys while advocating sustainable and organic gardening practices.