Edible Plants that Attract Bees to Your Garden

Bees, Butterflies, Birds and other pollinators need more vegetation.

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Planting an edible garden is a real win/win situation.  The garden allows you access to fresh, organic, nutritious foods and also provides nourishment to some of the insects that pollinate the crops for you.

Unsure about which plants to grow to attract more pollinators? Are you a beekeeper looking to provide more pollen and nectar for your bees while also caring for your family?

Rather than give you a complicated algorithm, I am just going to list the most common and easiest to cultivate.

Be sure to let a few of your vegetable plants flower and some go to seed after harvest. This ensures that the bees are fed late in the season and that seeds are available for the next season

Plant these 15 edible plants in your backyard Garden and help #bringbackthebees.

 

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Buckwheat – Beekeepers plant buckwheat because of the great symbiotic relationship it has with honey bees. Buckwheat flowers need pollination from bees and the flowers provide the bees with the nectar they need to produce a dark and distinctively flavored honey known as buckwheat honey. – lovetoknow.com

Blackberries –Because of long and non-simultaneous flowering of blackberry bees visit its bushes for a long period.Despite the small honey production (20-25 kg per 1 hectare), the plant provides a steady honey harvest. Blackberry honey is light and transparent, with a slight aroma. keepingbee.org

Blueberries – Numerous native bees (including bumble bees and solitary bees) are indigenous pollinators of blueberry plants in North America. In addition, honey bees are used extensively by growers to augment populations of native pollinators. Bees are attracted to the flowers by odors and sweet nectar that is produced by glands near the base of the stigma. Both pollen and nectar serve as food for the bees and their offspring.– ncsu.edu

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Carrots – Although carrots are readily pollinated by wild insects including bees, wasps, and various flies, vast acreages of carrot flowers need the help of honey bees or mason bees to get a reliable seed set. The bonus for the beekeeper is a crop of rare honey.HoneyBeeSuite

Cucumbers – Watch any plant of the cucurbit family in summer (cucumber, squash, melons) and you’ll see a lively drama unfold. Bright yellow flowers open in the morning to receive bees, eager to burrow deep within for nectar and pollen. – Washington Post 

Flowering Broccoli – I let my broccoli plants go to flower this year, and they seem to be a big hit with the bees that now live under the stoop outside my back door. – Reddit

Kale – Woo hoo! Not only do the bees love it but the hummingbirds are going for it too! Not in droves but the other day I saw a hummer flitting around and sampling all the flowers. In addition to honey bees and hummingbirds, there were also other different tiny pollinator bees going for it. – I’m in the Garden Today

Pumpkins –  Pumpkin plants set fruit only if pollinated by insects, and fruit quality is
enhanced by intensive pollinator activity. Male flowers produce nectar and pollen, while female flowers offer higher quantities of nectar but no pollen. Bees visiting
flowers vector pollen from the male flower to the female. Pumpkin pollen is relatively large and sticky, and bees are usually the best pollinators. In the Northeast U.S., the most frequent and important pumpkin pollinators are honeybees… – 
PSU.edu

Peppers –  Easy to grow in home gardens, peppers are self-fertilizing, with both the anther and the stigma in the same flower. While bees are not absolutely necessary for pollination, the vibration and shaking caused by the bees working their way in and out of the flowers assures complete fertilization. Several other factors influence pollination, including temperature and humidity levels in the garden.SF Gate

READ SOMETHING COOL – Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea gets down with the Bees

Raspberries – Although raspberry flowers are self pollinating, bee activity is still responsible for 90-95% of pollination.  Generally, two strong hives are recommended per acre of raspberries. UCANR.edu

Strawberries – They can be pollinated by insects or by the wind, but they can also self. Each berry is an unusual collection of many tiny fruits, so pollen must be delivered to each of the 200 or so ovaries inside the flower. This means that pollination by insects could be even more important than in other plants. There were also hints from studies of plant metabolism that the amount of pollination could affect the pace of decay and susceptibility to bruising. Science Mag.org

QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About What You Are Feeding Your Family? Take the GMO quiz to find out.

Sunflower –Spring is the time to sow and plant sunflowers – and the bees, birds and other wildlife will love you for it.They are fascinating things, sunflowers.They can grow to astounding heights – the world record for the tallest sunflower currently stands at a staggering 30 feet. Friends of The Earth

Tomato – Although the tomato plant is self-fertile, flowers must be vibrated by wind or bees in order to release pollen for fertilization. To achieve the most effective pollination, the flower must be vibrated at a specific frequency to release the
pollen. –Xerces.org

Watermelons – Due to the relatively low flower density, limited amount of pollen and nectar available, and extended duration of pollination bees may require supplemental feeding while in watermelons to remain in robust health. – Bee Informed

Winter squash – Squash flowers are uni-sexual, and so require a bee to move pollen from male to female flowers.  Honeybees are typically provided for commercial squash pollination, but native specialist bees of two genera – Peponapis and Xenoglossa, the so-called “squash bees” – are very common, often the dominant pollinators of many wild New World Cucurbita (the genus that includes squashes and gourds).  ARS.USDA.gov

You can feed a family of four from your own yard. Learn More: Plant a Family Survival Garden  (sponsored)

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Did you know that some food crops can’t even grow without being pollinated? 

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Learn more  — 100+ Crops That Will Die If We Don’t Save the Honey Bees #SaveTheBees #BringBackTheBees #PollinatorWeek

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