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You might not believe it when I say my kids have never been afraid of bumble bees. They are use to these fuzzy friends buzzing around our yard, and have even been known to pet them.
The truth is the big fat bumble bees (guys, let me just throw it out there I am not talking about wasps here) are actually quite passive and gentle and excellent pollinators.
You WANT them in your yard and feasting off your flowers as they will continue to pollinate and keep your yard looking amazing.
So how do you welcome them to your yard? Take a look at 12 ways to attract bumble bees to your yard so they can continue to do their job as pollinators.
12 Ways to Attract Bumble Bees:
1. Give them cover.
Bees need a break from the sun and heat, too. Planting ground cover can give them a place to hide out between feedings and flying.
Coleus is a leafy annual that can be placed in pots and borders to add shade. You can learn more by checking out my Tips for Growing Coleus here.
2. Give them something to sip on.
If you ever run into a fat bumble bee that seems lethargic, it might be dehydrated. Yes, this is a real thing!
Place shallow dishes of water in yard and around flowers, or keep a fountain going (place pebbles in it for bees to sit on) so they can hydrate as needed.
3. Try some colorful bee balm.
Bee balm is gorgeous perennial that can attract bees to your yard while also dressing up your landscape.
It is just a few bucks per plant, and hardy enough for season and after season. I have some helpful tips on how to grow bee balm here.
You can also consider Horsemint, a uniquely colored bee balm. You can find the seeds on Amazon here.
4. Keep color in mind when planting.
Bees love blue, purple, and yellow flowers and plants. Keep these colors in mind when choosing your landscape so you can be sure you plant flowers that they will notice and buzz over to check out.
We have a lilac bush which the bees seem to love. Learn more about lilacs by checking out this post on 5 Ways to Use Lilacs.
Why not consider placing an insect house in your garden? It can help attract good insects such as bumble bees, lacewings, and ladybugs. You can find a bumble bee house here. It’s not only affordable, but oh so cute! Find a bumble bee house here
5. Plant flowering vegetables.
Consider planting flowering vegetables such as tomatoes and zucchini. This way you can get the veggies you want while the bees get the pollen they need.
6. Try planting flowering fruits.
This is much like the suggestion above. Consider planting flowering fruits like strawberries and apples that will blossom before they bloom fruit. You will get the fruit you want while the bees get the pollen they need.
Want to know which other plants attract bees? Check out my list of 10 Plants and Flowers That Attract Bees here.
7. Forget about pesticides.
This may seem like a no brainer, but don’t load up on pesticides. You will kill the bees and that isn’t good.
Instead, use natural pest protection such as herbs, sage burning, and the use of lady bugs in your garden.
8. Plant single petal flowers.
Bees don’t do complicated. Layered flowers like peonies can be difficult for them to feed from. Instead, choose from flat and single petal flowers like Queen Ann’s Lace or Black Eyed Susans since they are easier to feed from.
9. Try planting native plants and flowers.
Bees will love flowers and plants that are native to your area. This is what they are the most familiar with.
Do some research on what these plants are and then plant accordingly.
10. Stagger your plantings for season long blooms.
This is a really smart tip for ways to attract bumble bees. Don’t give the bees a nice buffet early in the season then have it all die off.
Instead, stagger your plantings so you can give them fresh blooms all season long. They are sure to appreciate it.
11. Try these popular perennials.
There are so many perennials that bees love, and all you have to do is plant them once and be done.
These flowers include cone flower, butterfly weed, poppies, and lilies. Give these perennials a try and see how the bees flock.
Bee Balm is perfect for attracting bumble bees, and you can find this colorful sampler set on Amazon here.
12. Don’t kill or aggravate them!
Teach children not to kill or swat at bees. Let them just sniff around and feed and if left alone, they will leave you alone. Teach children how to be respectful of bees and respect their space.
Attracting bumble bees to your yard is really a wonderful thing. The big fat bumblers don’t typically bite or sting, are quite docile, and love to just buzz around minding their own business.
If you are looking for ways to attract bumble bees to your yard, give these tips a try!
Want some more gardening tips and tricks? Check out these other great gardening topics:
12 Hydrangea Growing Tips
DIY Butterfly Feeder
How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard
15 Free Garden Catalogs to Send For