Why You Should Grow Plants For Bees
The moment you first get your honeybees, you begin noticing all those flowering bushes around you and start to seriously consider the possibility of growing some plants for beekeeping. You become suddenly acutely aware of the many hives surrounding you for as a mile in each direction. The bee's flight path is about a mile long. This is their efficient flight range; the distance at which they are ready to fly to gather food, pollen, moisture, and other necessities for the bee colony. You begin to visualize a complex network of trails and distances covered in bright red.
The bee then consumes all the nectar they require and returns to the hive where the queen bee will lay eggs. Within two days, the larvae (now called workers) emerge from the pupae to start the production of honey. Bees are drawn to tall flowers. For example, during early spring the blooming tall flower is the lily. Tall stalks are good habitats for bees.
Tall stalks are perfect areas for beehives because pollen is attracted to them. They can provide cover for the bees and they provide ample area for the bees to forage nearby flowers. Flowers such as daffodils, azaleas, tulips, and orchids are ideal blooms for bees. If you wish to attract bees to your garden and attract honey bees, plant tall blooming flowers. These will attract bees and help them to pollinate your garden.
Different flowers have different nectar and pollen attracting properties so it is important to find out which flowers will provide bees with what they need. This will help you to choose the best for your region. If you live in a colder climate, hardy native plants that can tolerate cold temperatures may be ideal. Some examples of hardy natives are wintergreen shrubs like the red cedar, black-eyed Susan, blue Lobelia, black-eyed Susan, white-crowned spirea, purple coneflower, blue-flowered scarlet sage, blue spruce, and yellow birch.
In warm tropical climates, flowering plants that can tolerate heat are important. Examples are palms, banana trees, ferns, evergreens, palms, lilies, and petunias. A warm climate helps forage for nectar from flowers in the evening. Garden flowers such as lavender, marigold, and pansies are especially recommended for this area. Garden flowers also provide some protection from bees.
Some popular plants that attract bees include borage, fir bark, bayberries, clover blossom, foxglove, rue, and ruffly bladder. Borage, a warm-season berry, is well known for attracting bees and has many different species of berry ranging from small white berries to large black ones. Bayberries, a member of the cranberry family, has long been a favorite of beekeepers for its taste as well as for the nectar it produces.
Trees and bushes that produce resin are especially useful for beekeepers. Many flowers are produced by insects as nectar and as pollen and, when combined with floral pollen, these combine to make honey. Popular plants with this characteristic are the manuka bush, abelia leaf, and tree of life. Be sure to forage for nectar and pollen in flowerbeds near your home and take a bin along if you plan to collect the flowers yourself. You will need several foraging baskets when you go out collecting honeybees.
The blooms of flowers depend on how much pollination they receive and how early in the year they bloom. If there are lots of bees foraging on a flower, it is more likely to bloom early in the year and be pollinated. Flowers that have an early bloom often have large flowers, which is better for beekeeping because it means there will be plenty of honey for the bees to eat. The best time to forage for bee pollen and flowers is in the spring. However, it is also a good idea to forage in the fall, as well. It is a good idea to do some foraging in the wild around your home in the spring and summer to get a feel for what kind of flowers and where they bloom.