Help your bees by planting the right flowers

Honeybees are attracted to yellow flower with heavy pollen. (Photo courtesy of Getty images)

Honeybees are attracted to yellow flower with heavy pollen. (Photo courtesy of Getty images)

When you’re beekeeping, you’re looking to extract honey from the hive. You can actually help your bees by planting bee-friendly plants. These plants can help the bees produce more honey, which you can then extract and jar. Certain plants can even affect the taste of the honey.

Bees look for flowers that produce a lot of nectar and pollen. Use these seven plants to help your bees with honey production.

Sunflowers

Bees are attracted to bright yellows and oranges, so sunflowers are a great way to start, and they not only help your honeybees, but they also look great in any garden. They’ll also attract certain bird species as a bonus. Plant these blooming flowers in the summer to attract your honeybees. The nectar from sunflowers will produce a light, yellow-white honey.

Goldenrod

Honeybees harvest these bright yellow plants for their nectar. Goldenrod blooms in July through September, making it great for bees that are starting to get ready for winter. Goldenrod honey is dark with a strong bite. It’s also full of minerals and protein. Goldenrod honey is highly sought after, so planting it will not only be good for your bees, but also your pocket.

Cosmos

Cosmos is another flower that can help increase honey production. Plant the flowers in a large group so the bees can easily collect pollen. These summer flowers will also bring a great touch of color to your garden.

Coriander

Coriander is harvested for its nectar and pollen. Varroa, mites that prey on bees, don’t like the smell of coriander. The bees can use the plant to get rid of the mites.

Mint

Mint is one of the best herbs you can plant for your honeybees. The bees harvest mint for nectar and pollen. Mint honey is usually a reddish amber color. Not only is mint great for the increased honey production, but you can use it as an herb yourself. Make sure to grow it in a container so it doesn’t take over your entire garden.

Lavender

Honeybees are attracted to the color purple, so lavender is another great option. The flowering plant produces a wonderful smell that you can enjoy. Bees harvest lavender for nectar and pollen in June and July. It also has the same mite-ridding qualities as coriander.

Coneflowers

Coneflowers come in many different colors, from pink to bright purple. Different species of coneflowers bloom at different times, giving your bees plenty of options for a great feast. Pale purple coneflowers bloom for about three weeks from June to July. The longer-lasting purple coneflower blooms from July to October. The late bloom is beneficial for bees as they prepare for winter. Coneflowers are harvested for their nectar.