A bee garden will keep your yard humming with pollinators from miles around- attracting honeybees, butterflies, hummingbirds, bumblebees, and a multitude of beneficial insects.

HELPFUL TIPS

Plant in clusters. Bees only forage one type of flower at a time. Trees, shrubs, and vines are already perfect for this. With perennials and annuals, single-variety flower patches are best.

Stick to common and wild varieties. Double blooms are nearly impossible for honeybees to get nectar and pollen from. Small, inconspicuous flowers often draw the most attention, such as those found on maple trees, herbs in the mint family, and many common shrubs and vines: barberry, cotoneaster, and sweet box.

Plant flowering herbs. Thyme, oregano, mint, lavender, chives, and winter savory are especially popular with honeybees.

Plant a bee lawn. Low-growing thyme, white clover, bugleweed, and sedums are excellent choices.

Plant cover crops and let them flower. Not only do they improve the soil, they are highly attractive to honeybees. Vetch, clover, phacelia, buckwheat, and mustards produce copious amounts of nectar.

Allow bee-friendly invasive species to occupy a corner of your yard. Himalayan blackberry, English Ivy, and virginia creeper are excellent sources of nectar and pollen. Although these plants are of great importance to honeybees, they can run rampant, so be respectful of neighboring land.

Provide water, especially if you live near a polluted water source. Bees prefer warm water, so place a birdbath or pond in a sunny area. Make sure to include a landing pad for the bees: a rock, water plants, floating sticks, or a sloping shoreline for them to drink from.

Protect pollinators from pesticides and herbicides.  Find non-toxic alternatives to killing weeds and pests. Beneficial nematodes, ladybugs, essential oil sprays, companion planting, and permaculture methods are all good approaches.

WINTER/EARLY SPRING

Trees
Acacia (Acacia longifolia)
Vine Maple (Acer circinatum)
Box Elder (Acer negundo)
Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)
Norway Maple (Acer plantanoides)
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Japanese Quince (Chaenomeles japonica)
Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas, officinalis)
Hazelnut (Corylusa americana, cornuta)
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis spp.)
Crabapple (Malus floribunda, sylvestris)
Almond (Prunus amygdalus)
Apricot; Japanese (Prunus armeniaca, mume)
Sweet Cherry, Ornamental, Manchu, Yoshino (Prunus avium, okame, tomentosa, yedoensis)
Peach (Prunus persica)
Ornamental Cherry (Prunus ‘Accolade’)
Willow (Salix spp.)

Shrubs
Barberry (Berberis spp., lologensis, ottawensis ‘Superba’)
Winter Hazel (Corylopsis veitchiana)
Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp., horizontalis)
Elaeagnus (Elaegnus multiflora)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium)
Gooseberry (Ribes grossularia)
Sweet Box (Sarcococca spp., hookeriana)

Perennials
Crocus; Dutch (Crocus vernus, spp.)
Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)
Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis)
Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus, niger)
Spring Starflower (Ipheion uniflorum)
Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum)
Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum)
Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)
Dewberry (Rubus ursinus)
Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)

SPRING/SUMMER

Trees
Japanese Maple, Mountain, German Big Leaf, Norway (Acer
palmatum, spicatum,macrophyllum,platanoides)
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastneum, indica)
Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Mimosa, Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin)
Japanese Chestnut (Castanea crenata)
Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)
Hawthorn (Crataeus monogyna, phaenopyrum)
Persimmon (Diospyrus virginiana)
Russian Olive (Elaeganus augustifolia)
Bee-Bee-Tree (Evodia daniellii)
Franklinia (Franklinia augustifolia)
Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)
American Holly (Ilex opaca)
Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
Crepe Myrtle, White (Lagerstroemia fauriei)
Tulip Tree; Chinese (Liriodendron tulipfera, chinense)
Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Apple (Malus domestica)
Chinese Flowering Crabapple (Malus spectabilis)
Tupelo, Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)
Medlar (Mespilus germanica)
Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
Bitter Cherry (Prunus emarginata)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Mountain Ash (Sorbus alnifolia, amurensis, rufoferruginea)
Whitebeam (Sorbus aria, intermedia)
Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonica)
Linden (Tilia spp., americana, cordata)

Shrubs & Vines
False Indigo (Amorpho fruticosa)
Orange Ball Tree (Buddleia globosa)
Beauty Berry (Callicarpa dichotma)
California Lilac (Ceanothus spp.) Buttonbush (Cephalanthus
occidentalis)
Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
Clethra (Clethra barbinervis)
Tatarian Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘sibirica’)
Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp., dammeri)
Leatherwood (Cyrilla racemiflora)
Escallonia (Escallonia langleyensis)
Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris)
Oak Leaved Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Inkberry (Ilex glabra)
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
Beauty Bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis)
Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp., japonica, maackii, pileata, tatarica)
Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus)
Scarlet Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus spp., typhina)
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)
Egyptian Star Cluster (Pentas lanceolata)
Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus, armeniacus)
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
False Spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia)
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.)
Blueberry & Huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.)

Perennials
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
Giant Onion, Ornamental, Drumstick (Allium giganteum,
ostrowskianum, sphaerocephalon)
Chives; Chinese (Allium schoenoprasum, tuberosum)
Italian Bugloss (Anchusa azurea)
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)
Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)
Fireweed (Chamerion augustifolium)
Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia)
Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)
Globe Thistle (Echinops spp., exaltatus)
Sea Holly (Eryngium spp.)
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata)
Cranesbill (Geranium spp., magnificum)
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Lavender (Lavandula augustifolia)
Motherwort (Leonus cardiaca)
Sweet Marjoram (Majorana hortensis)
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Catmint (Nepeta spp.)
Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia)
Russian Sage (Perovskia abrotanoides)
Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium)
Mignonette (Reseda odorata)
Mealy Cup Sage (Salvia farinacea)
Sage/Salvia (Salvia officinalis, nemorosa, superba)
Germander (Teucrium spp.)
Thyme (Thymus spp.)
Spiderwort (Transcantia verginiana)
Dutch White Clover (Trifolium repens)

Annuals
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Honeywort (Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’)
Rocky Mountain Beeplant (Cleome serrulata)
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)
Hound’s Tongue (Cynoglossum amabile)
Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum sagittatum)
Lacy Phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Poppy, Opium (Papaver somniferum)
Mustard (Sinapis alba)
Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum)

LATE SUMMER/FALL

Trees
Japanese Angelica Tree (Aralia elata variegata)
Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
Maakia (Maakia amurensis)
Chinese Sumac (Rhus chinensis)
Shiny Sumac (Rhus copallina)
Japanese Pagoda Tree (Sophora japonica)
Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus castus)

Shrubs & Vines
Mexican Abelia (Abelia floribunda)
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Bluebeard (Caryopteris spp.)
Clematis Praecox (Clematis jouiniana ‘Praecox’)
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
Seven Sun Flower (Heptacodium miconiodes)
Bush Clover (Lespedeza thunbergii)
Osmanthus (Osmanthus armatus, fragrans)
Silver Lace Vine (Polygonum aubertii)
Evergreen Sumac (Rhus virens)
Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
Bush Sage (Salvia coccinea, leucantha)

Perennials
Golden Honey Plant (Actinomeris alternifolia)
Hyssop Anise, Giant (Agastache anethiodora foeniculum,
mexicana)
Onion (Allium cernuum)
Anemone (Anemone tomentosa hupehensis ‘Japonica’)
Milkweed (Asclepias spp.)
Aster (Aster spp., novae-angliae, tataricus)
False Starwort (Boltonia asteroides)
Calamint (Calamintha nepetoides)
Heather (Calluna vulgaris)
Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum)
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum pacificum, reubellum, serotinum)
Crocus (Colchicum autumnale, speciosus)
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium spp., fistulosum)
White Snakeroot (Eupatorium serotinum)
Thoroughwort (Eupatorium serotinum)
Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)
Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)
Swamp Sunflower (Helianthus augustifolius)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus, maximilliani, (avoid pollen-free varieties)
Lion’s Ear (Leonitis leonurus)
Mint (Mentha spp.)
Catmint (Nepeta spp.)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Russian Sage (Perovskia abrotanoides)
Mountain Mint (Pycanthemum virginianum)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata nitida)
Sage (Salvia spp., Caradonna, Indigo Spires)
Burnet (Sanguisorba tenuifolia)
Winter Savory (Satureja montana)
Stonecrop (Sedum spp., spectabile)
Goldenrod (Solidago spp., rugosa virgaurea)
Ironweed (Veronia spp.)
Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum)

Annual
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Morning Glory (Ipomea purpurea)
Basil (Ocimum basilcum)
Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
Mexican Zinnia (Zinnia augustifolia)