Best Flowers for Bees in Spring
One of the key things to remember when creating a bee-friendly garden is to make sure that you have a good range of flowering plants in bloom all year round. You should aim to have a constant source of food for bees visiting your garden, right through the snows of winter, the rains and spring, the warm summer and the fruitful autumn.
Understanding what to sow and plant is crucial to achieving this goal of year-round blooms. To help you plan ahead for the coming season, this article makes some suggestions for bee-friendly flowers to sow or plant as soon as the weather warms this spring.
Bee Friendly Flower Seeds To Sow in Spring
Spring is the main sowing season in a garden and there will no doubt be plenty to keep you busy. But whatever else the season may bring, you should definitely make time to sow some of these bee-friendly flower seeds to keep the blooms coming throughout the growing season. The first seeds can be sown soon after the last frost date in your area, though for others, it will be best to wait until things warm up later in the season.
Be sure to remember that it is important to choose the right plant for the right place – think about the climate and conditions where you live, the type of soil you have and whether it is a sheltered or exposed spot. You should be able to find some suitable bee-friendly seeds that are suitable for where you live on the following list:
- Borago officinalis (borage)
- Calendula officinalis
- Monarda didyma (bee balm)
- Antirrhinum (snap dragons)
- Centaurea cyanus (cornflower)
- Stachys officinalis (betony)
- Trifolum pratense (red clover)
- Centaurea nigra (lesser knapweed)
- Vicia Sativa (common vetch)
- Cosmos bipinnatus (cosmea)
- Gypsophilia elegans (baby’s breath)
- Helianthuus annuus (common sunflower)
- Nicotiana alata (flowering tobacco)
- Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist)
- Papaver rhoeas (common poppy)
- Digitalis purpurea (foxgloves)
- Tropaeolum majus (nasturtiums)
Bluebells, usually sown in autumn in good conditions, bulbs can also be sown in the spring as ‘in the green’ bulbs.
Bee Friendly Spring-Blooming Perennial Plants
As well as thinking about sowing seeds for the seasons to come, if you want your garden to be bee friendly sooner rather than later, you could also consider buying and planting some bare root or pot grown perennial plants. Trees and shrubs are generally best planted during the dormant season, late in winter or in very early spring. Bedding plants and pot grown herbaceous plants, however, can be planted throughout the season. Here are just some examples of perennial trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that bloom in the spring:
- Blossoming fruit trees (such as Crab apple, apple, cherry & plum)
- Ribes sanguineum (flowering currant)
- Armeria maritima (thrift/ sea pinks)
- Ajuga Reptans (Bugle)
- Erysimum (wallflowers)
- Geranium (cranebill)
- Primula vulgaris (primrose)
Choosing perennial plants such as these will help make sure that bees have enough nectar make the best honey they can early in the growing season, not just this year but also in the years to come!