• Kanning Kathy

Plants for Our Bees

What should we plant to nurture your bees and when?

Early Spring

Baby Bear Manzanita

An early spring bloomer and therefore a friend to a wide variety of bees.

Ray Hartman’s California lilac

Largest growing California lilac. When late winter and early spring comes around, you'll be in for a real treat. The Ray Hartman California Lilac bursts with 6-inch spikes covered in petite blue flowers, which add a bit of romance and whimsy to your garden. It will attract bees, butterflies and bird alike!

Lilac

Catmint

A hardy perennial that blooms from spring to early summer. Cut this one back after its first bloom to promote reblooming. A wide variety of bees like leafcutters, digger bees, and blue orchard bees for its nectar while some of the smaller bees also use it for pollen.

Catmint

Spring

Western redbud

A native to the foothills of California’s valley floor and is a leafcutter's delight!


Western redbud





California poppy

You would be hard pressed to find a Californian who isn't a fan of this familiar flower and our sweat bees love them too!


Poppy


Late Spring- Summer

Goodwin Creek lavender

A hybrid lavender is a tough and long-blooming sub-shrub that can be used to provide winter structure to your pollinators. Blooming early and lasting into summer, it is popular with large carpenter bees and a range of other smaller bees for its nectar.


Lavender



Russian sage

It is heat tolerant and tough. It actually thrives in harsh environments and it will help by many types of native bees as well as honey bees thrive too! This variety will reward you with vertical spikes of showy purple blooms late into the summer season. Cut it back to the base in winter.

Russian Sage

Summer - Fall

Cascade Creek goldenrod

A tough, drought tolerant plant with flame-shaped yellow blooms that are attractive to small bees. A bonus is that your butterflies will fancy it as well. Cut flower spikes to the ground after bloom to encourage re-blooming. This plant will overwinter as a small mat of green leaves.​​​​

Goldenrod


Bee Balm

It's in the name! But don't let that completely mislead you. This North American native perennial will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and the seed heads will attract birds in the fall and winter.








Sources:

UC Davis article, 2018, Beyond the honey bee: Learn more about California native bees