Help bees

Planting for honeybees

When it comes to planning a pollinator-friendly garden that honey bees will love, not all plants are created equal. To keep honeybees happy and coming back for more, keep these tips in mind:

1. Plant native flowers
Native flowers are adapted to the Ottawa climate and will grow well and attract honey bees.

2. Select plants with single flower tops
Double headed flowers may look pretty but they can be too elaborate for honeybees to navigate and may their hinder access to pollen and nectar. Choose plants with single flower tops instead.

3. Skip hybridized plants
Hybridized plants contain little pollen so they are not very appealing to honey bees. Choose non-hybridized plants instead.

4. Choose purple flowers
Bees see the colour spectrum differently. When possible, choose plants with blue and purple flowers since honeybees can see these colours more easily.

5. Plant a variety of flowers that will bloom throughout the season
Few plants flower throughout the season, so it makes sense to choose a variety of plants that will flower at different times in the spring, the summer and the fall. Adopting this gardening strategy will ensure continual access to pollen and nectar.

Inspiration for your garden

If you are looking for some ideas for your own garden, these plants are known honey bee favorites.