Plants that Bees Love
The following plant lists were compiled from a survey of beekeepers in November 2014. In that survey, I asked where you lived and which plants you actually saw bees foraging on—both honey bees and native bees.
The list is unique because it is not theoretical as in “your bees should like this.” Instead it was derived from actual observations of current beekeepers. I did not distinguish between nectar plants and pollen plants, but only considered whether they were bee popular plants.
The plant lists below are sorted in various ways. The master lists contain all the listed plants alphabetically according to common or scientific name. There is a USDA Hardiness Zone list, and lists for geographic areas as well as individual states and provinces. If your area is not represented, it is because no one from your area answered the survey.
When selecting bee plants, remember that local variations known as micro-climates will affect how well a particular plant grows. Also remember that when a bee forages, she is highly influenced by what else is in bloom. A plant that is very popular with bees in one locale may not be as popular in a place where other more tempting plants are growing. The bees will pick their favorites from the choices available to them.
If you have additions to the plant lists, you can notify me and I will do a periodic update.
Master Plant List by Scientific Name – US
Here is a list of some popular pollinator seed mixes and what they contain.