Show Your Appreciation to Bees

Since the worrying discovery in 2006 of Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious ailment causing entire colonies of honeybees to disappear, there’s been a great deal of attention paid to supporting bees and other pollinators. After all, honeybees are responsible for pollinating over 100 commonly eaten fruit and vegetable crops–so we’d do well to be kind to these furry little helpers. Without bees our food system would be in serious trouble. Luckily, apart from taking up beekeeping (which isn’t as hard as it sounds either!), one of the best things we can do is also one of the easiest–plant flowers.

The list of flowers that are ‘best’ for bees varies depending on where you look, and honestly it’s probably best not to get too hung up on the ‘top’ species. After all–bees need variety in their diet as much as we do, and they need to eat throughout the year. So here’s a list of plants that my bees seem to like. It’s by no means exhaustive, so feel free to add your own in the comments:

Honey Bee Friendly Garden Plants

  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Mint
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Lavender
  • Bee Balm
  • Zinnia
  • Sunflower
  • Fennel
  • Lamb’s Ears

Honey Bee Friendly Native and Wild Plant

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Tulip poplar
  • Clover
  • Rhododendron

For those wanting to know more, The College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley has put together a more comprehensive list of plants for urban bee gardens. And let’s not forget that growing and eating organic is likely to help bees too–insecticides and insects don’t tend to get along too well.

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

By Sami Grover, Planet Green


William C
William Cabout a year ago


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago

I grow Sunflowers and lavender.

J.L. A.
JL A6 years ago

good to know

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers7 years ago

They love our buddlia and lavender.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers7 years ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson7 years ago

yay for spring coming up... I can start a little garden!

Newguest C.
W. C7 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Sylvia W.
Sylvia W8 years ago

Thanks for the shopping list - next year my garden will have all of these flowers - I already have bees snacking on 9 of these, plug marigolds, phlox, Joe Pye, butterfly bush, liatris (a real favorite!) and a miscellaneous assortment of nasturtium and other flower garden staples ;-)

Kerrie G.
Kerrie G8 years ago

That doesn't surprise me about rosemary being at the top of the list. They absolutely love the stuff!