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Bees are so important for our gardens.  Not only do they help to pollinate flowers and crops, but they also work tirelessly to make one of the tastiest and natural sweeteners in the world, honey.

Did you know there are plants that are great for attracting bees?  Make sure the plants get to the flowering stage as it’s the flowers that attract bees.

Bees play such a vital role in the ecology of our environment. yet the bee population is continuously at risk and it is important for us to plant flowers in our gardens to help our friendly bees.

Growing plants for bees in your backyard not only helps bees but also various butterflies and insects too.

There are many different bees that are good to attract to your garden.  Beneficial bees to have in your garden include honeybees, mason bees, and the leafcutter bee.

Let’s explore some of the best flowers for bees that you can plant in your backyard.

Bee Balm

Bee balm is also known as bergamot and when it comes to choosing the best flowers for bees, bee balm tops the list.

The flowers from bee balm are edible and allow the bees easy access to forage their food.

Bees aren’t the only creature that likes these flowers, but various other pollinators such as humming birds like bee balm flowers a lot as well.

There are many varieties of bee balm and it is popular with people looking to create a beautiful garden in their backyard.

Bee balm is also medicinal in nature and can be used in your daily tea to treat cold symptoms.

You can find more info on bee balm here.

Borage

Borage is another popular flower among bee gardens and for good reason as bees like them a lot.

All kinds of pollinators are attracted to borage including bees, hummingbirds and beneficial insects as well.

If you like companion planting, Borage is great for planting near tomatoes, strawberries, cabbage or squash.

The reason why it is good to plant borage near these plants is not only because borage attracts bees, but the bees (and tiny wasps that are also attracted to borage) repels tomato worms and cabbage worms.

It is also rumored that borage helps strawberries grow better as well as makes strawberries taste better.

I don’t know how strawberries could taste any better than they already do, but it might be worth planting some borage near some to see if you can taste a difference.

Borage flowers are most commonly found in an attractive blue color, but you can also find these flowers in other colors including white and pink.

These flowers are largely edible and you can even use these flowers as a topping on your desserts and salads. Borage flowers are also used for medicinal purposes to treat for respiratory and cardio problems.

You can find borage here.

Calendula


Calendula flowers have very bright orange and yellow flowers.  They are very easy to grow and as a bonus – they self seed.

Calendulas tend to bloom in the spring.  If you make sure to deadhead these flowers regularly, depending on your climate they may bloom from spring until fall.

If you live somewhere with a lot of heat, then calendulas may bloom in the spring, stop during the summer and then continue to bloom again during the fall.

Calendulas are another edible flower, so you can also use them as an edible garnish or in your salads.

They also have many medicinal properties and are used in salves and tinctures as well as in various skin care products.

You can find calendula here.

Chives


Chive flowers are so pretty and they are also super simple to grow in your backyard.

After planting chives, they grow back each year with pretty pink or purple blossoms.  When chives are in full bloom you might see lots of bees surrounding these flowers.

Keeping a lot of chives in your garden is a great food source for bees.

Chives are also a great culinary herb that you can use to garnish on your snacks when they are in season.  They also contain some medicinal properties as well.

Find out more about chives here.

Lavender

English Lavender

Some of the berry fields near me have lavender planted at the ends of each row to help feed and attract bees to their fields.

The purple flowers of lavender are so pretty and not only do us humans love lavender, but bees do as well especially bumblebees.

Lavender has a long blooming season – pretty much throughout the summer.

Did you know that lavender is edible?  The flavor of lavender is very strong (in my opinion) so a little goes a long way.

Lavender has a lovely smell (again, in my opinion.  I have a sister who doesn’t like the scent.)  It is known to have a calming effect and help with anxiety.

I will warn you that lavender seeds can be tricky to germinate.  If you are an experienced gardener and up for the challenge, you can find lavender seeds hereOtherwise, here are plants of lavender (as of this writing on sale for an amazing deal!)

Mint

Mint is considered to be an invasive plant and has a bad reputation among gardeners.  If you plan to plant mint, make sure to have a way of containing it.

While mint may be a problem for some gardeners, mint is a favorite among the bee population.

There are a LOT of different mint varieties including peppermint, apple mint, wild mint, chocolate mint, lemon, spearmint etc. But bees love to taste all kinds of mint flowers.

Mint is also a great culinary herb and can used to garnish your snacks and desserts. You can make a tasty ice tea with mint.

Mint is known to have wonderful medicinal properties and is generally used to treat digestion problems.

If you are interested in growing mint, here is a great mix of seeds to get you started.

Oregano

Oregano is another great plant to add to your bee garden.  This herb attracts bees as well as hummingbirds.

These are a perennial herb and is a favorite to have in herb gardens.

Oregano also has many medicinal properties and can be used as a culinary herb as well.

The flowers of Oregano have been found to possess anti-bacterial properties and can help in boosting your immune system.

You can find oregano seeds here.

Rosemary

Rosemary shrubs are so beautiful and when they are in full bloom, bees sure to love them!

The flowers on the rosemary bush come in many colors pink, blue, purple, white etc.

Generally, rosemary shrubs bloom during the spring, but certain varieties also bloom in the winter season.

Once rosemary is established, it will keep growing year after year.

You can find some live rosemary plants here.

Sage

Sage is another one of my favorite flowers and it comes in various varieties.

These flowers are largely found in bright purple color or in attractive blue spikes.

Pollinators are attracted towards sage flowers because of their eye-catching colors. These flowers are fairly simple to grow and can last for many years, even without much care from you.   The easy care of sage is one reason that many gardeners love to have these flowers in their garden.

It is also found to have some medicinal properties including being anti-viral and anti-fungal and helps to treat sore throats and common colds.

Go here to check out sage seeds.

Sunflower

Sunflowers are another one of my favorites and it is so fun to see how tall they get.

The flowers are not only big, but they are pretty as well.

With sunflowers being so large in size it is easy for bees to land on the sunflowers.  Sunflowers also provide a lot of nectar and pollen for bees.

Here is a great mix of sunflower seeds.

Thyme


Thyme flowers are brightly colored including bright purple, pink and white.

If you are watching thyme flowers, you’ll notice that they tend to be busy with bees and other insects throughout the day.  It is often interesting to watch the bees forage into the flowers for food.

Thyme is largely used as a kitchen herb and some even use these garden flowers in their daily cooking routine for their powerful medicinal properties as well. These flowers are considered helpful in boosting your immune system.

You can find seeds for thyme here.

Yarrow

Yarrow flowers are very tiny individual flowers in a large, broad clusters.

They allow bees and butterflies to rest comfortably on them in between the visits to their hives. These flowers come in a variety of attractive colors including red, yellow, pink and orange etc.

They are self seeding and tend to spread quite well without intervention.

Yarrow is another edible flower and it has been found to have some medicinal properties as well.

You can find out more about Yarrow here.

I hope you have found some great bee friendly plants to add to your garden this year.  If you have another favorite that I haven’t listed, feel free to comment with it below.

Flowers that attract bees

Other posts you might enjoy reading:

Best Smelling Plants for Your Yard
12 Best Bulbs to Plant in Fall
Common Seed Starting Problems (and How to Fix Them!)