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The Best Flowers & Trees to Plant for Honey Bees

By Bridget Kelly ; Updated September 21, 2017

Whether you want to attract honey bees for conservation purposes, pollination or to keep them to produce honey, there is no shortage of flowering plants and trees that will attract them into your garden. Honey bees are endangered in the United States (PBS.org). There are a number of threats to their survival including loss of habitat, pesticides, and, most significantly parasites. Providing a safe habitat for honey bees is a commendable activity.

Sedum

Sedum is a perennial flowering plant that blooms in late summer and early fall. This is a time when nectar is becoming scarce so you can count on honey bees flocking to your garden to get at the sedum flowers. Sedum is an easy plant to grow; it is drought tolerant and likes full sun. The only work you may have to do is to stake the plant if the flower heads become too large and heavy. Sedum is hardy to USDA zones 3b to 9b.

Borage

Nicknamed “bee’s bread," if you plant borage you will be planting a feast for honey bees. Borage is an annual herb with fuzzy leaves and stems. It will bloom in the summer with blue or lavender flowers. Borage is self-propagating so give it lots of room to spread. Borage is hardy to USDA zones 9b to 11.

Tulip Poplar Tree

The tulip poplar is actually not a poplar tree at all, but a relative of the magnolia tree. It derived its name from the yellow, tulip-shaped flowers that the tree produces in the spring. And the lucky folks that live in the eastern United States can purchase the dark red honey produced by the bees that favor the tulip poplar. This is a very pretty tree, with a cone shape and generally used as a shade tree. It grows very fast and can get quite large, up to 120 feet in height. The tulip poplar tree is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 9.

 

About the Author

 

Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.