Attracting Honeybees

By: Dan Hagan - Managing Editor

Honeybees are some of nature’s best pollinators. They are very active, going from one flower to another, passing pollen all the while. Every garden should have an active population of honeybees, but what attracts them to a garden?

  • Attractive Flowers
  • Attractive Herbs
  • Attractive Vegetables
  • Fruit Trees
  • Avoid Pesticides

Honeybee Attracting Flowers

Honeybees are attracted to an area by potential food sources. Flowers provide the pollen and nectar that honeybees use to make food and honey. The Mexican Marigold is one of the best flowers to grow in Zone 9 for attracting honeybees. Any other flower that is blue or purple also does well.

Honeybee Attracting Herbs

Many herbs when flowering have very pungent smelling flowers that attract honeybees from long distances. Clover, thyme, creeping mint, basil and rosemary all attract honeybees well. Most gardeners would not want their herbs to flower, so they trim the plants before they are able to flower, but leaving one plant of each type to flower will not only attract honeybees, it will produce seed for next season.

Honeybee Attracting Vegetables

Most vegetable flowers will attract honeybees to the garden, but Zucchini and Pumpkin do a great job of it. Planting vegetables that flower at different times of the season will also help keep honeybees interested in the garden year round.

Landscape with Fruit Trees

When landscaping, choose fruit trees in place of traditional ornamental trees. Citrus trees are well known to attractive many honeybees and they grow very well in most of Zone 9. Any other flowering fruit tree will also attract honeybees.

Avoid Pesticides

Honeybees are insects just like many pests in the garden so do not use pesticides. Natural pest control works the best and allows for an active population of honey bees in the gardn.

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