I often tell people that they don’t have to become a beekeeper to help the bees. In fact, the best way to help bees is to plant flowers! In this way, you can help not just honey bees, but our unsung native species as well. So, what flowers are best for bees? Read on to see my top ten list and a few other tips on how to help bees in your garden.

Sunflowers are easy to grow and makean audacious addition to the garden. There are many excellent varieties for bees, but if you want the best, go with the Lemon Queen. What makes this sunflower different is its tendency to branch. From one seed, a Lemon Queen can produce as many as twenty flowers!

I often wonder why I don’t see more of this iconic California state flower in gardens. It is absolutely loved by bees and I frequently see multiple honey bees scuffling inside the blooms. Do us all a favor and plant some! They are a stunning addition to the garden.

I have a special weakness for this flower. It has the largest flower of any poppy and when it blooms, it is an absolute feast for the bees. I have seen as many as twenty honey bees on a single flower. It can be difficult to get established, but once you do, it willreally take off and spread well beyond it’s original planting location. Some complain it is invasive, but I think that’s a plus!

Despite its dismissal as a weed, Dandelions provide crucial for bees because they are one of the first pollen-rich blooms to emerge in spring. So, you might want to reconsider pulling these when they pop up in your garden. Leave them for the bees!

Image courtesy of beekeepinglikeagirl.com