Attracting Pollinators, our Friends the Bees

Bees are our most widely recognized pollinators.  From bumblebees, to carpenter, to honey (originally imported from Europe), they keep busy pollinating our tomatoes and broccoli that provide us with flowers and fruits to eat.  Some helpful hints for making bees cozy in your garden.

  • use native plants your landscape (like Rudbeckia, Sunflower, Coneflower, Spiderwort, Columbine, Phlox, Geranium for Illinois)
  • have continuous blooms throughout the season, early spring to late fall
  • plant in clusters, and provide a variety of flower shapes
  • don’t have a perfectly manicured yard, leave some bare ground for nesting, as well as old wood and some leaf litter
  • bees tend to go for blue, purple, white, or yellow flowers

Download a regional guide from Pollinator Partnership.  Illinois, Chicago-land area, is part of the Eastern Broadleaf Forest which is described as mostly flat (yes indeed) and full of wildflowers (lucky for us)!  For a full list of bee pollinated crops, look here.

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