Do you want to create a garden buzzing with activity all summer long? Make sure you add bee-friendly flowers to your patch of nature and help these dedicated little workers do their important job: pollinate and bring to life all sorts of crops. Don’t have a garden? As long as you choose the right plants, a balcony or even a window sill will do. Bees love their flowers full of pollen and nectar, so if you want to help them out, here are some of the best bee-friendly flowers you can choose for your happy bee garden.
Discover some of the best bee-approved plants you can choose for your garden.
Sunflowers are a magnet for any pollinator in sight, including bees. They’re one of the loveliest flowers you can have in a pot or plant straight into the ground. They are bright and cheery, and as warm and inviting as the summer sun, so it's no wonder bees love them! They’re easy to grow and look after, plus you get a free snack at harvest time as you’ll have plenty of sunflower seeds to enjoy. If you want to find out more about how to plant sunflowers, check out our easy-to-follow guide.
Restful, serene and floral, lavender is one of the most beloved scents we use today. You can find its lovely scent in candles, soaps and luxury perfumes, but lavender is also a beautiful bee-friendly flower that will make any garden burst with colour. Purple is a bee’s favourite shade and the lavender has a lot of it adorning its flowers. As long as you offer it plenty of sun and a dried soil, lavender will thrive and attract bees with its rich nectar.
Another purple beauty, bluebells are flowers that know a thing or two about attracting bees. Plant them in your garden and you will soon see pollen-gathering bees appear among the delicate bluebell flowers starting in early spring. The nectar of these early-flowering plants will be a treat for bees looking for food once the winter is over.
One of the plants bees love the most is rosemary, and if you’ve ever added it to one of your recipes, you’ll know why. The scent that gives the best aroma to your dinner will also attract bees and other pollinators to the garden. Not only does the scent attract your local pollinators, but its flared blue-purple flowers attract them too, making rosemary a great option for your bee-friendly collection. It’s a wonderful flower that loves to feed both humans and bees, plus you can also grow it in a pot on a window sill.
Foxgloves attract bees from far and wide. Their tubular shape is a favourite of long-tongue bumblebee species who buzz their way into the flower to extract as much pollen as they can carry. Foxglove flowers are also stunningly beautiful and will be quite the eye-catcher in your garden.
Another early-bloomer, the crocus bee-friendly flowers are a much-needed source of food for these little insects during winter. Find them a bright spot where they can take plenty of sunlight and crocuses will grow to be one of the stars in your garden, while providing tasty meals to the bees around your home that have just come back from hibernation.
Chives make meals extra delicious, especially when paired with omelettes. But did you know chives are also a bee-friendly flower you can add to your garden? What’s great about these plants is that they are perennial, meaning you can plant them once and forget about them. They’ll come back year after year. The same thing will be true for the lovely bees.
Salvia is another one of those flowers that bees just love to make a queue for. The bee-friendly plant represents wisdom and a long life, so its no wonder that it's a favourite for our bees. These flowers come in many varieties, some are reliable perennials, others are annual appearances, but all of them are beautiful and easy to grow. Don’t be surprised if both bees and butterflies invite themselves into your garden as soon as these plants show their flowers.
If you want to see bees make a beeline for your flowers, you can’t go wrong with echinacea purpurea. Their stunning looks come with red and purple shades which means they’ll be a show-stopper whether you keep them outside in the garden or indoors in a pot. These flowers attract bees in late summer and autumn, so you’ll be helping bees enjoy a nice nectar dinner just as the hot summer days come to an end.
If you’re a fan of daisies, you’ll love these flowers. With a similar look and enough nectar to attract bees and other fellow pollinators, cosmos flowers make a great addition to a bee-friendly garden. They’re also very easy to grow and don’t need much attention in order to thrive.
More bee-friendly flowers
- Winter Honeysuckle
Looking for more bee-friendly ideas for your garden? Find out how to build a bee hotel with our easy guide, next. And make sure you join us on our mission to plant bee-friendly flowers across the UK. All you need is our Cheerios pack of bee-friendly flower seeds to get you started.