What To Plant For Bees

It's a question we hear a LOT: what can I do - besides beekeeping - to help our local bees?

Oh my goodness. We love that question! Every time it comes up, I breathe a sigh of relief: we are getting it. We're engaging. We're doing something about the decline of the honey bees in our area. It fills me with hope each time I hear the question. What can we do to help bees? The answer? Quite a bit.

While we'll get into more specifics this year, we want to start here: bees, like you and me, need to eat. Worker bees forage nectar and pollen from the plants in our yards, our neighborhoods, our cities, and our countrysides. It's vital that we do whatever we can- even if it's just on our individual balconies or yards or property- to ensure that bees have a safe, appropriate, and plentiful food supply. The bonus for us? These gals repay us with pollination and increased plant fertility. It's a fair trade, for sure!

The following is a list (by no means comprehensive, however) of trees, plants and herbs that are suitable for bees in our local area of Texarkana (Bowie County, Texas). While there is some debate surrounding a few of the plants both on and not on this list, we at Balm+Honey Farm believe it's a good place to start.

Here's that list of What To Plant For Bees:

Catnip

Common Yarrow

Basil 'African Blue"

Bottlebrush Tree

Pink Evening Primrose

Bee Bush

Flutttermills

False Indigo

Prickly Pear

Coral Vine

Oregano

Columbine (yellow)

Golden Groundsel

Roosevelt Weed

Rock Rose

Crossvine

False Fox-Glove

Blue Beard Spirea

Honey Mesquite

Redbud

Cherry Laurels

Partridge Pea

Mexican Plums

Meyer Lemon Tree

Wafer Ash

Erect Dayflower

Large Buttercup

Gregg's mist flower

Flameleaf Sumac

Gregg's Dalea

Rose

Larkspur

Rosemary

Persimmons

Black-Eyed Susan

Fruit-bearing Loquats

Black Willow

Blue Mist Flower

Indigo Spires

Kidneywood

Mealy BlueSage

Prairie Verbena

Autumn Sage

Sunflower

Helianthus 'Lemon Queen" Asteraceae

Lyre leaf sage

Sunflower

Cedar Sage

Nellie Stevens Holly

Bog Sage

Shrimp Plant

Goldenrod

Mexican Honeysuckle

Global Mallow

Texas Lantana

Texas Betony

Lavender

Eve’s Necklace

Bluebonnet

Sky-Blue Aster

Tomatillo

Aster

Texas Barberry

Bitterweed

Spiderwort

Hemp Vine (Monarch Vine)

Mexican Buckeye

Powderpuff

Verbena

Bee Balm

Queen Anne's wreath

Wild Bergamot

Lemongrass

Basil

Sicilian Oregano

Baby Blue Eyes

 Whew! That's a lot! Do you have any of these plants in your vicinity already? If so, the bees will thank you. Can we work toward growing more of these bee-friendly species in our area? Absolutely. Together we can do so much!

This year, we've challenged ourselves to plant at least three (3) of the plants on the following list. Might you be able to set a similar goal and help us make our area a bee friendly place? Many thanks in advance.

-Brin, Managing Beekeeper, Balm+Honey Farm