What Types of Flowers Do Bees Eat the Pollen From?

Updated July 18, 2017

Bees are busy in the spring when flowers bloom. Bees are drawn to blossoms because that is where bees get food, both pollen or nectar. Pollen is a light-coloured protein dust. Typically, bees find pollen in plants with bright colours, fragrance and sweet nectar. Home gardeners who want to attract bees will have more success growing plants that are native to the region.

Flowers That Attract Bees

Bees flock to springtime flowers because there is an abundance of pollen for food. When a home gardener grows plants that flower during a long growing season, different species of bees come to the garden in spring, summer and fall. Colours of flowers that invite bees include blue, shades of purple, red, lavender and yellow. Flowers that draw bees to the garden include buttercups, foxglove, goldenrod, heliotrope, hollyhocks, hydrangea, lantana, roses, salvia, sweet william and zinnia.

Garden Fruits and Vegetables

As bee gather pollen, they pollinate vegetables and fruits. Bees like the flowers of berries of all kinds, including blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Other fruits that draw bees include cantaloupe, pumpkin and watermelon. In the vegetable garden, bees love cucumbers, peppers and squash.

Herbs and Bees

Bees like the pollen from flowering herbs. Appropriate herb choices for bees include basil, bee balm, catnip, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, mint, rosemary, sage and thyme.

Trees and Shrubs

Trees bloom with small flowers that summon bees. Bees collect pollen from many different types of trees, not just fruit trees. Trees that draw bees include alders, black gum, hawthorns, linden, magnolias, maples, sycamore, poplar and willow. Fruit trees that appeal to bees include apple, apricot, cherry, crab apple, nectarine, peach, pear and plum. Flowering shrubs that appeal to bees include butterfly bush, honeysuckle and privet.

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About the Author

Nellene Teubner Plouffe is a writer who started her journalism career as a reporter and columnist for the "Orange County Register" newspaper in 1992. In 1995, Teubner Plouffe received a first-place award in column writing from the California Newspaper Publishers’ Association. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.