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cherishedtiger
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Bees for the garden question

Ok, so it may be almost the 1st of the year, but I am already prepping for spring... I know a huge problem I had last season was pollination. I live smack dab right in the suburbs with a little backyard garden. That being said there are very few bees to help with pollination.
What are some good flowers to either plant or leave in pots in the backyard to help attract bees to the garden? Any thoughts ideas or fool proof plans out there? :)

Thanks for the help!
Because all things need to be cherished
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USDA zone 8A (guess it changed... not sure why I was a 9!)

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jal_ut
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I have found the bees like any plants in the mint family. Sage, Oregano etc. Also Bachelor's Buttons and Chives.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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farmerlon
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Most folks use it as a cover crop; but honey bees seem to really like Buckwheat. You might want to grow a plot of Buckwheat if you have a little room for it. There have been times when I have stood in the middle of a Buckwheat plot for a while, just to watch all of the bees at work.
Plus, the Buckwheat makes a fine green manure for adding organic matter to your soil.

cynthia_h
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Re: Bees for the garden question

cherishedtiger wrote:.... a huge problem I had last season was pollination. I live smack dab right in the suburbs with a little backyard garden. That being said there are very few bees to help with pollination.
What are some good flowers to either plant or leave in pots in the backyard to help attract bees to the garden? Any thoughts ideas or fool proof plans out there? :)
I suggest getting in touch with the Honey Bee Haven at UC Davis to ask them which native plants will reach maturity in one season so that you can provide bee forage in your gardening space. You live in the same Sunset gardening zone as Davis is in, so their recommendations will be very good for your conditions. :)

I discussed my visit to the Haven at https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=163121

I'm sure the pollinators will make their gratitude clear later this year.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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rainbowgardener
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You've gotten tons of great suggestions already. I'll just throw out one more. One of those mint family things jal-ut mentioned is anise hyssop. It grows well in pots or can be planted in the ground (and isn't as aggressive a spreader as some mints). It is a wonderful anisy-licoricy addition to tea blends and the bees and butterflies love it.
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applestar
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I vote for native plants too! :()

Also don't't forget shrubs and trees of most fruits -- apples, pears, rasp/blackberries. More mass-concentration of flowers. :wink: And if you have lawn, clover -- and dare I say dandelions -- attracts a lot of bees. :wink: :wink:

garden5
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[url=https://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/]Here[/url] is UC Berkly's Guide to Bee Friendly Gardens site. This may have some useful info as well.
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cherishedtiger
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WOW!

Thanks for all the wonderful advice! I am sitting here writing all this down, bookmarking websites. Gee I may just have a productive garden this year!

Thank you everyone!
Because all things need to be cherished
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USDA zone 8A (guess it changed... not sure why I was a 9!)

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!potatoes!
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honeybees are great, but you can get mason bees from various sources, too. buy some nest tubes, attach to a building or such, and you should be good. as far as i know, they don't have much different preferences to honeybees.

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