Ask Kitty: Bee-less in the territory

Dear Kitty,

I have planted a garden in my backyard for the first time and I am very excited to eat food I have grown myself. A friend told me I need to get bees or I won’t get any vegetables. I wondered if there are any tips I can get for attracting bees to my garden or should I get bees since its a new garden. Thank you for any help!

Thanks so much!
Bee-less in the territory


Dear Beeless,

What a great question! First of all congratulations on having your own garden, wanting to grow food and wanting to attract and feed bees!! Bees are very important to our food source system! As matter of fact 3/4 of our food grown needs to be pollinated by bees.

This may surprise you but there are many many kinds of bees. We have grown accustomed to the honeybee and its size, but there are bees as small as the head of a pin. All of the different bees do their part to keep pollination happening.

Attracting bees can be done quite easily with plants so here is a small and general list of plants bees would be delighted to find in your garden! Once the bee find your garden they will share the info with other bees and your bee population will grow.

Early Mid-season Late
Blueberry Blackberry Aster (perennial)
Cotoneaster Cat mint Beggar’s tricks
Crabapple Catnip Borage
Cranberry Chives Coneflower
Crocus Dahlia Cornflower
Foxglove Hyssop Cosmos
Heliotrope Lavender Goldenrod
Hazelnut Raspberry Pumpkin
Heather Sunflower Sedum
Primrose Yarrow Squash

Bees need a place to get a drink, they will travel to water but it would be nice to have a birdbath filled with pebbles or marbles or line a shallow bowl or plate with rocks, add enough water that the rocks or pebbles are not all submerged.

Another suggestion is to find your local beekeeper and ask for tips and tricks to attracting bees. Beekeepers I’m sure have a special fondness for gardeners who want attract bees and might even have a sweet honey treat to share! These are a few easy ideas to get started attracting bees to your garden space! The secret of planting flowers/plants bees love will also be appealing to your gardeners heart and soul!

Happy Bee attracting and garden growing!


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