According to the Canola Council of Canada, about two-thirds of the horticultural systems across the globe depend on insect pollination, primarily by bees. This means, one in every three bites of food we consume is produced because of insect pollution. Sadly, over the last handful of years, bee populations have been decreasing at alarming rates. But by cultivating flowers and plants that attract bees, you’ll be doing more than just splashing your yard with colour and pleasant scents. Your lawn can contribute to the health of the planet’s ecosystem by saving bees. These are some of the species of flowers and plants that do an excellent job of attracting bees:
Calendula, also commonly known as pot marigold (Calendula officinalis), is a tender perennial that grows well in Manitoba. The bright yellow and orange flowers are not only beautiful to look at, they can also be used for medicinal and culinary purposes. Because this species reseeds, it provides years of beauty and nectar. Calendulas require minimal maintenance due to their adaptable nature and they can also be grown in containers.
Coreopsis lanceolata is a low-growing perennial that does well in Canada and central parts of the United States. This lovely plant grows in clumps and forms extensive colonies over time. They prefer full sun and thrive in the heat of summer. They do best in well-drained soil and will also grow well in pots. The yellow flowers attract honey bees and butterflies.
Dense Blazing Star (Liatris Spicata)
The species’ name describes the spiky rose-purple (sometimes white) flowers of this plant.. The closely-set flowers create a feathery appearance so it’s no wonder that its alternate name is the dense gayfeather! This stunning perennial survives Winnipeg winters well and it does an excellent job of attracting bees and hummingbirds during the spring and summer.
White Clover (Trifolium Repens)
White clover, also commonly known as white trefoil, Dutch clover, or honeysuckle clover is a perennial legume that thrives from late spring through to fall in Southern Manitoba. Although this plant grows well in a wide range of soils, well-drained, drought-prone soils offer the most ideal conditions. Primarily, the long-tongued bee varieties that include honey bees, Mason bees, bumble bees, and cuckoo bees visit the plants’ flower heads to collect nectar.
Russian sage, a beautiful perennial, does well all summer long. It is a drought-tolerant, low-maintenance shrub that blooms throughout the growing season. Its lavender-like flowers grow so profusely they often block its green leaves. While many plants and flowers are edible, Russian sage is not – it’s actually poisonous for humans to eat even though it is an excellent plant for bees.
Since most bee species are generalists, they will collect nectar from a wide range of plants throughout their life cycle, so to attract more bees to your garden it’s best to have a diversity of plants and flowers in your yard. Also, bees are able to see in colour so the more colours in your garden, the more bees you’ll attract. The colours that are particularly attractive to bees are yellow, blue, purple, white and violet. One last thing and very important thing – pesticides are toxic to bees so avoid using them. For non-toxic weed control, our Winnipeg lawn care services are the best and safest in the city.