One of the reasons to have bees is to pollinate your garden, so you want to keep them in your yard as much as possible. If they don’t have to go far to forage, they are more likely to stick around. Therefore, it is important to create a great environment for the bees that includes fresh water and especially plants that they love to nibble on.
I have many of the plants that bees love in my yard already; mugwort, lavender, Russian sage, sage, rosemary, echinacea, rasberries, fevefew, bee balm, loostrife, comfrey, globe thistle, etc. But one can never have enough and we must ensure that there is food throughout the entire growing season.
Next weekend we are making our annual pilgrimage to Companion Plants in Athens Ohio to purchase a number of plants for the bees. However much I love that place, the cost of seedlings is often high so growing a large number of the plants from seed will allow me more plants for less money.
Some of the plants that I selected will be sewn directly into the ground such as alysium, catmint, globe thistle and hollyhocks many of the plants do better with a headstart inside. True English lavender, Russian sage, foxglove and Echinacea have been planted and tucked in to grow inside, safe from late spring frosts. I am hoping that a few of these plants will establish themselves by the middle of summer and provide a good source of food for our bees for seasons to come.