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What is it about the honeybee community that draws humans into their world? Watch this informative breakdown of bee experience, bee-human relations and, most pressing, the threats to bees today (skip to 5:50 for threats):


Bees are cooperative, intuitive, hard-working, living beings whose labor is exploited for its fruits (superfood honey). The process of human-bee interaction, the human chemical-agricultural input changes, monocultures and the fact that “we’ve stopped planting cover crops” for soil fertilizers and bee food, all equal major consequences for bees worldwide.

Humans have helped, in some way or another, to create, enable and excel bee population destruction. We’ve done this by not planting bee-attracting crops, using pesticides/herbicides/insecticides and other agricultural chemical inputs that leach the soil of nutrients, destroy crops, create superweeds and superbugs and eventually poison and starve bees. We’ve also done this collectively through honey production and transporting bees to pollinate human-desired mass amounts of crops like almonds. We have been planting more and more crops for the dwindling number of bees to pollinate. They’re tired. They’re sick. They’re literally dropping dead from pollinating our food: when will it be enough? Marla Spivak gets the audience to consider these questions: when will these toxins begin harming humans at this lethal level and what are they doing to humans on a small scale level in the meantime, too?

It’s not all lost though; we can turn this around. As Spivak says in the video above, food deserts don’t have to be the future of food. She states that humans can help bees in two direct ways: planting bee-friendly flowers and not polluting them with chemical toxins like pesticides. You can also help bees by leaving their honey alone (they need it more than humans do), supporting a bee sanctuary or creating your own, always taking the opportunity to vote and get active in the fights against these bee-killing poisons and practices, too. Speak up for bees!

Here are four flowers bees need you to plant now.

1. Hollyhocks

Best when planted in fall (September or October), these beautiful, tall flower pods will bloom within the next year. This provides quick food for bees in need. Simply sprinkle the seeds on top of some rich, warm soil and cover ever so lightly with a fine layer of the soil. Make sure the seeds can feel the sun and receive full light when germinating. Thereafter, full sun or partial shade will do. These flowers come in a variety of stunning, bee-attracting colors, make for excellent garden decor and will return each year for several years.

Why Bees Need you to Plant These 4 Flowers NOW!Primejyothi/Wikimedia

2. Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea)

This perennial flower’s bud literally pushes itself toward the sun, providing easy access for bees to land and have a snack. It’s no wonder then that gardeners get the best flowers and best food for bees by planting purple cone flowers in full sun. What’s more? These flowers are drought resistant, making them good for the not-so-green-thumbed gardener. For more on how to grow these, check here.

Why Bees Need you to Plant These 4 Flowers NOW!Biedrek/Wikimedia

3. Shasta Daisies

The composite shape of the shasta is what draws bees in. It is also what makes these such efficient methods of helping bees. Bees will land on the big yellow pad we know as the centre of the flower. Here, there are hundreds of much smaller flowers that form a tight round cluster called an inflorescence. It is when the bee walks across these tiny flowers that its body is covered in pollen. This pollen then is redistributed amongst flowers to create food for bees and humans alike.

Why Bees Need you to Plant These 4 Flowers NOW!asdfawev/Flickr

4. Sedum Spectabile “Brilliant”

An easy flower to grow, this hardy perennial will feed more than just bees, too. It is known to attract butterflies with its showy or “brilliant” flower pod heads. These blooms will begin in August (plant now!) and carry on into the cooler months.

Why Bees Need you to Plant These 4 Flowers NOW!Aka/Wikimedia

Please note, always try to plant native species to your own location. What the bees in one gardening zone like will not necessarily match in another location. Happy gardening!

Image source: Maciej A. Czyzewski/Wikimedia

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142 comments on “Bees Need You to Plant These 4 Flowers in Your Backyard NOW!”

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10 Months Ago

The bees also LOVE motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca) native to zone 5 where I live. Most native plants are very beneficial for pollinators. Planting flowering trees is also a great place to start! Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is another bee loved plant. It self seeds freely and I spread the seed all over my yard! We must plant like our life depends on it, for it does!! Let\'s help mother nature whenever we can by planting bee loved plants!!

10 Months Ago


10 Months Ago

Honey bees cover my rosemary plants when they bloom (and they bloom several times a year!) Also lavender of any kind and oregano plants. Sedums and whirling butterflies are also popular with them.

janie gimnich
1 Years Ago

Bees also love flowering broccoli. Harvest the bottom of the plant, let the tops flower. Also seems to make them more docile

1 Years Ago

Hi great article but ox eye daisy is a non native invasive in my province (Ontario) - maybe good to let people know to check their local invasive plant list so as to not create another problem while trying to help!

07 May 2017

They already did, if you read the article to the bottom. "Please note, always try to plant native species to your own location. What the bees in one gardening zone like will not necessarily match in another location. Happy gardening!"

1 Years Ago

Bees need dandelions, period. We spray poison on our lawns, parks, and byways so all green spaces resemble a golf course. Let dandelions live and bees will get the nutrients they need to recover from their winter hibernation.

bruce van tassell
1 Years Ago

I have asters all over my yard the bees come right up to snowfall, lupins my many holly hocks all which bring bees to my boysenberries, raspberries and blueberries I want to have hives

1 Years Ago

I would recommend to first look for a selection of native plants in your area. Hollyhocks are not native to any part of the US, they were introduced.

Carol A. Warner
2 Years Ago

I have them all!

Diane Smith
06 May 2017

I have used them in Central Texas and California Foothills, both Zone 7. They never failed to grow and even reseeded from the seeds I missed when collecting. Bees also like my Rosemary , Calif, which blooms and stops and re-blooms and it is a carefree bush and/or ground cover, depending on which you plant.

Phyllis Stafford
2 Years Ago

Josie Jones

Josie Jones
13 Sep 2016

I'll have to plant some

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