by Katherine Martinko –
Make your garden attractive to bees by planting specific plants, but be sure they’re organic and indigenous to your region.
Plant a bee-friendly garden and the little fuzzy pollinators will come. With populations dwindling dangerously, bees need help more than ever. Scientists attribute bees’ decline – both domesticated honeybees and wild pollinators – to various factors that include pesticides, parasites, stress, and the disappearance of wildflowers. By planting the annual flowers that bees love, you can give them a place to be (pun absolutely intended).
The following infographic lists 10 bee-friendly plants that are easy to grow in gardens, window boxes, and containers, and whose colorful flowers will attract nectar-seeking bees.
It is important, however, to ensure that the plants you choose are local to your region, since plants outside of their native range can cause a lot of damage.
Also, check your source for seeds and seedlings very carefully. A 2014 report found that so-called ‘bee-friendly’ plants sold at 71 Home Depots, Lowe’s, and Walmart stores across the United States and Canada, including daisies, asters, marigolds, lavender, and primrose, contained levels of neonicotinoid insecticides high enough to impair a bee seriously, if not kill it. Shockingly, the manufacturer-recommended doses for gardens and landscapes far exceed those typically found in agricultural settings.
Look for organic plants; ask around for a local provider that has reduced its neonicotinoid use; and be OK with an imperfect garden with a few bugs in it.