Nectar is one of the honey bees’ most vital resources. To make the honey that sustains their colony—and gives you something to harvest—your bees need plenty of nectar-rich flowers around their hive. One of the best things you can do for your beehives is to plant a variety of bee-friendly plants in their foraging area. Keep in mind that honey bees are attracted to blue, white, yellow, and purple blossoms. You should also make a point of providing plants that bloom at different times during the spring and summer. This diversity will give your worker bees a better range of nectar-rich flowers to visit throughout their entire active season. Help your honey bees out by giving them a taste of these top plants that help honey production.
Honey bees see light and color differently than we do. As a result, purple is one of the most attractive colors to a honey bee. Combine the flower color with the abundance of nectar, and it’s no wonder why lavender is one of the top plants that help honey production. Lavender typically blooms in June and July, providing your honey bees with a wonderful early- to mid-summer treat. This isn’t the only way lavender can help your hives, though—it also makes an effective natural treatment against Varroa mites, which dislike the flower’s smell.
The bright yellow petals of goldenrod flowers also make an attractive target for foraging honey bees. While these flowers don’t produce much nectar early in the season, they hit their prime between late July and September. This makes them perfect for foraging later in the season as your colonies prepare for winter.
Coneflowers come in a wide variety of colors, making them ideal for adding even more diversity to your honey bees’ foraging grounds. Purple coneflowers have a shorter blooming period and only last for about three weeks during June and July. The other varieties last longer, blooming from July to October. Like goldenrod flowers, coneflowers prove beneficial later in the season as the honey bees prepare their hives for winter.
Planting nectar-rich flowers is just one of the many things you can do to help your honey bees thrive. Stop by Mann Lake to stock up on all the beekeeping equipment, tools, and resources you need for a successful honey harvest.
What kind of flowers have you planted for your honey bees? Give us your best recommendations in the comments below!