Importance of Native Plants and Bees

Increasing the support, along with the message, of the importance of pollinators is why Pollinator Week was created 12 years go; and is now celebrated worldwide each June.
“I have been frustrated every year with graphic images that get circulated showing ‘flowers to support bees’ but which contain 80% non-native plants and largely reference benefits to honey bees (which are great but they are not native to the US),” said Ellen Honeycutt, Atlanta gardener and blogger. “I have told myself for years that someone needs to create one for native bees. This year, I finally did it (with the help of my very talented husband, of course). Since this blog is Georgia-focused, the graphic that we created focuses on Southeastern native plants (I hope this inspires other regional lists).”

Native plants for native bees:

  • False foxglove
  • Partridge pea
  • Fleabane
  • Milkweed
  • Baptisia
  • Thistle
  • Coneflower
  • Boneset
  • Joe pye weed
  • Sunflower
  • (see info-graphic for a full list of plants)
landscape gardeners near me - Native Plants for Native Bees IMG

Native Georgia bees have unique relationships with our native plants rather than non-native. Also, according to Honeycutt, native plants also are important for herbivore insects like butterflies and moths.
“We always try to educate our customers on the importance of including native plants in their gardens and foregoing the use of any insecticides that would harm local insect populations, including bees!” said Fockele Garden Company owner Julie Evans.

Pollinator Week is June 17-23, 2019 and addresses the issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.
For more information on Pollinator Week, www.pollinator.org