Planting a Bee-Friendly Garden

Looking for an easy way you can help bees? Plant a bee-friendly garden! Not only will you be providing food sources to friendly bees, but you are also contributing to food security and a healthier ecosystem.

Did you know that almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination? One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on pollinators and that crops that depend on pollination are five times more valuable than those that do not.

How exactly does it work? Plants rely on bees and other insects to reproduce and so they have adapted, over time, to become more attractive to them. Bees are drawn to plants with open or flat tubular flowers with lots of pollen and nectar. A flower’s scent can have particular appeal to bees, and its bright colours may lure the bees in. When a bee collects nectar and pollen from the flower of a plant, some pollen from the stamens—the male reproductive organ of the flower—sticks to the hairs of her body. When she visits the next flower, some of this pollen is rubbed off onto the stigma, or tip of the pistil—the female reproductive organ of the flower. When this happens, fertilization is possible, and a fruit, carrying seeds, can develop.

Food that needs pollination:
Alfalfa
Almonds
Apples
Asparagus
Beans
Beets
Blackberries
Blueberries
Brussels sprouts
Buckwheat
Cabbage
Cantaloupe
Cauliflower
Celery
Cherries
Chestnuts
Chives
Clover
Cranberries
Cucumber
Currants
Eggplant
Flax
Garlic
Gooseberries
Grapes
Horseradish
Kale
Lettuce
Mustard
Onions
Parsley
Peaches
Pears
Plums
Pumpkins
Radishes
Raspberries
Rhubarb
Squash
Strawberries
Sunflowers
Sweet potatoes
Turnip
Watermelon

When planting a bee-friendly garden, it’s important to select plants that are most attractive to bees. Bees prefer blue, purple, violet, white and yellow flowers, so stay away from anything red or pink. Try to also select plants that flower at different times so that there’s food for bees all season long.

Here are some of Urban Roots Garden Market’s favourite bee-friendly plants:

Lavendar