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Author Topic: Some of the bees favorite flowers.  (Read 6670 times)


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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« on: March 31, 2005, 10:20:35 AM »
Asters, a mid summer to late fall blooming flower. One of the lattest blooming in our northern climate up to Thanksgiving some years. Colors range from white to dark purple or as some call them dark blue. Asters can be trimmed for a few weeks during the summer to make the clump a low thick grower or just left natural to grow about 24" to 30" inchs tall.

Bee Balm, A herb really, rangeing in color from red to a deep purple. A Mid summer till early fall bloomer. Easly growen from seed, can be problimiac with mildew, grow in loose open clumps for best results at avoiding mildew.

Salvia, We bought "Purple Rain" based soley on the bee count on the plant at the nursery. I do believe a few strays arrived home with us.
Blooms early summer, Late May here. Lasts till the late fall if protected from the early killing frost.

Here is a good one too, be aware of it's invasiveness though. It can be kept in check by using a 6" wide lawn edgeing ring buried deep enough you can't see it completlely around the clump. Also be sure to dead head any spent flowers.
Perennial Cornflower, Mountain Bluet, and as we know it Bachlor Button.
Blooms early in the spring last nearly all summer, Growes in full to part sun 18" to 24" tall.

Columbine, There are many different color combunations for this favorite of mine.
Bloons early in the spring, last nearly all summer if spent blooms are dead headed. Due to the long tube like flower head the honey bees have a tought time with this one but do go to it. If you are limited on space and wish to have plants the bees like better then pass on this one.

Penstemon, Husker Red & Pink Chablis are two that the girls like. They will actually crawl right inside the half tubular blooms till you only can see their little bee hinds.
This plant is native to Mexico so does very well in the south & north. Blooms early summer prefers full sun gets 8" to 36" tall depending on type.

Verbascum, grows well in the north likes full sun, growes to 20" to 60" tall Blooms late spring. Dead head this one as they self sow readily.

Butterfly Weed, This one is a mid summer bloomer, easy to grow, can be invaseivive if you don't pick the seed pods off before they dry and pop open. It also attracts Butterflyts hence it's common name.
They have a yellow, orange and red colors on the market now.

Purple and White Cone Flowers are an all time favorite of the honey bee. A lot of pictures of bees are taken while gathering off this one. Bloom time is from early summer to the first killing frost, can be extended with proper protection. Grows 24" to 40" tall, in either full or part sun.

Blanket flower or more commonly called Gaillardias in this area. They come in a couple different colors from a mix of reds and yellows known as Goblins, a yellow called Golden Goblin and the red one knowen as the Burgandy Gaillardia. They do best in full sun, grow 24" to 36" tall depending on type.

Perennial Geranium, sold as Cranesbill here in Michigan, Blooms very early in the summer go till late fall. Can be had in many shades of blue to purples. Grows well in full shade or full sun 15" to 18" tall. Our woods are full of the wild strain. A major sourse of necter for all the wild bees.

Perennial Sunflower, A tall growing plant at 48" to 60" . Blooms mid to late summer, likes full sun in the north, but likes shade during the hotest time of the day in the south.

A Sedum, Autum Joy. This plant blooms in the late summer last well into the start of winter. During 60F degrees days last fall you could not see the blooms on ours because of the amount of bees on it. They were crawling on each other to get at the necter, or they waited on a leaf for their turn. This one is a sure winner for a late pick me up for the honey bees.

 :D Al

Offline Lesli

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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2005, 07:35:29 PM »
Butterfly bushes Mine bloom all summer, and the bees love them

Catnip Blooms for months in the summer, and is popular with honey bees, bumble bees, and some others I haven't identified

Mints Catnip is a mint, but I also have some spearmint that the girls like

Goldenrod!!! Wow, they really work this in the fall

Purple Loosetrife I don't have any around here, but apparently, the bees love it--but it's invasive

Don't forget the humble dandelion!

And clover. Here in dairy country, it's common and I see bees on it often

And lavender. I don't have a lot of it, but they like it.


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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2005, 09:57:27 AM »
The plants I posted are ones sold in garden centers as plants and as seed, for perennial gardens.

There are lots of wild plants to be found in the over growen fields and woods.

Watch in the American Bee Jornal monthly for more wild flowers as well as commonly growen perennial flowers.

The author (Dr. George Ayers, Michigan State University) is putting together  a book ("Reparing a 60 year vacuum" ) to bee published in the near future.

MOTHERSWORT: A biggie wild plant in this area, a invasive member of the mint family.

FORGET-ME-NOT: found all along our creek and even grows under warter for short amounts of time.

GROUND IVY: aka creeping charlie member of the mint family and very invasive.

HARE BELL: one of nine campanulas found in the mid east. Favored plant of honey bees after a rain since the blooms droop and the nectar isn't washed out or duluted.

LARGE LEAVED ASTERS: fall bloomer in wood lots with moisture. Leaves are used as emergency TP by humans hiking in the woods.

COMMON BLUE VIOLET: early spring bloomer in wood lots in the mid west. early sourse of pollen and nectar for bees and ants.

CHICORY: A coffee substute for humans, mid summer to fall source of nectar for honey bees.

SPIDER WORT: Spring source of pollen last till mid summer in shaded areas.

CREEPING BELL FLOWER: Another droopy bloom plant for the bees after a rain Mid summer to fall.

ALFALA: found thru out the US growen as cattle feed. Honey from this plant is said to grainulat fast.

 :D Al

Offline crw13755

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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2005, 01:57:23 AM »
where online could I find to buy the CHICORY plants?

Offline TwT

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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2005, 04:38:03 AM »
Leslie, what does the Butterfly brushes look like :?:

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic


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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2005, 10:19:09 PM »
Do a google search for a source of Chicory.

This is honey gold butterfly bush.

There is indgo a light blue and dark knight a darker blue too and another i can't remember the name of. the flower heads on the blues are a bit fuller.

 :D Al

Offline nonna italiana

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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2005, 12:10:46 AM »
When you say butterfly bush, do you mean "Buddleia"?  I've got a few & the bees do like them.  There's also butterfly weed, "Asclepia".  I've got many of the garden plants mentioned, but the favorites seem to be the lavender, the blackberries, salvia, citrus trees, and the rosemary.

Offline qa33010

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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2005, 03:23:24 AM »
Since bees in this area are basically nonexistent (except for my neighbor and myself) is it safe to assume that if a butterfly likes a plant, a bee will also?  David
Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)

Offline Apis629

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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2005, 06:21:55 PM »
No.  Butterflies will drink nectar with any concentration of sugar but, honeybees will search for nectar with a sugar concentration of higher than 20%.  Anything less and they're hesitant to work it unless their is no sweeter forage.

Offline Michael Bush

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Some of the bees favorite flowers.
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2005, 10:04:11 PM »
I bought mine here:


But I don't see Chickory listed now.  Of course part of the reason is it's about four miles up the road from my house.  :)
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