Wednesday, August 24th, 2011...6:22 am

Plants that Attract Bees

bee on mint flowers-1 by Mr Po

One comment TheGardenLady received was from a beekeeper who was delighted that she has mints growing in her yard because they attract so many bees. I agree, my mint plants attract a lot of bees as do other plants and herbs that are in flower as well as the many flowering plants that are in the mint family, Lamiaceae or Labiatae, such as plants in the Agastache genus, most commonly called Hyssop. (Remember to feel for the square stem to know the plant is in the mint family. And do remember that these plants can become invasive. )

Agastache plants which bloom almost all summer long not only attract lots of bees, they attract butterflies and even attract hummingbirds but deer won’t eat them. At least two of the Agastache plant species are referred to as Hummingbird mint.  See here.

Just as the beekeeper commented, I do see numerous bees in my mints; but I have only seen one honey bee this entire summer. I am pleased that I attract pollinators, but I wish I also attracted healthy bees that pollinate AND create honey for us. The beekeeper is fortunate, she has honey bee hives. I have called every beekeeper in my area to see if they would put a hive on my property. But no one seems to want to come out for just one hive. And in my stage of my life, I do not use enough honey to warrant my trying to keep bees.

That does not stop my raising flowers that bees love. Besides the honey bee demise, the native bee population is also in trouble. There are other plants that attract bees that I raise. One is the sunflower.

A relatively new project that everyone of all ages can join is called The Great Sunflower Project.  This is a research organization that is studying all bees across the US. I recommend that TheGardenLady readers join this project and let them know which level you want to participate in. It may be too late to plant the sunflowers and other plants they recommend, but you can still help by counting. You can learn about the bees and may even want to join in helping the researchers.

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