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Bees Need Nutritious Sources of Pollen and Nectar


Bees eat two things, pollen (which provides proteins and fats) and nectar (the main source of energy for bees).  To assist honeybees in meeting these nutritional needs, you can help by choosing a variety of plants that flower at different times of the season. Native plants and heirloom varieties are best. Colours are important too. Bees are attracted to blue, purple, violet, white and yellow.  When planting flowers, plant a single species in larger clumps so bees have an adequate source to access.


Below you will find a list of trees, shrubs, native flowering perennials and herbs that you can plant to attract bees to your garden. Most are native to Ontario.  We have broken them down by season, so you know when the nectar and pollen they produce is most available to honeybees and other native foragers.



Trees and Shrubs


Sugar Maple, Red Maple, Willow, Apple, Crab Apple, Hawthorn, Black Cherry, Choke Cherry, Honeysuckle, Mock Orange, Deutzia, Amur Privet


Plants and Herbs


Crocus, Primrose, Dandelion (main source in spring), Coltsfoot, Birdsfoot Trefoil



Mid Season


Trees and Shrubs


Black locust, Clammy Locust, Beauty Bush, Snowberry, Staghorn Sumac, Basswood, Large Leaf Linden, Elderberry, False Spirea


Plants and Herb


Meadowsweet, Red Clover, White Clover, Alfalfa,  False Geranium, Common Vetch, Jewelweed, Common Milkweed, Blue Vervain, Joe-Pye Weed, Goldenrod, Common Sunflower, Purple Coneflower, Evening Primrose, Bull Thistle, False Indigo, Blackberry, Raspberry, Cat Mint, Cat Nip, Chives, Hyssop, Lavender, Yarrow, Bee Balm, Borage, Sage, Comfry, Mint, Thyme





Water Sources


There are few sources of nectar from trees or shrubs in the fall, The main nectar and pollen sources come from plants and herbs at this time of year.   At any point in the season, bees need a good source of water. You can help by using a shallow bowl or dish to which you will add small rocks and water. The rocks will act as a landing area in which to access the water source so leave the tops of the rocks above the water line. Place the water source at  ground level. Refresh the water daily.


Plants and Herbs


Cosmos, Goldenrod, Jewelweed, Aster, Common Sunflower, Purple Coneflower, Lavender,

Cornflower, Borage,Pumpkin, Squash, Bee Balm, Sedum, Cosmos


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