Q. Any suggestions as to plants most attractive to bees which flower for the longest periods?
A. Annual flowers will give you the longest flowering period during the summer. There are some perennial herbs like rosemary, mint, oregano, burnet, coriander and borage that, once flowering and continue to flower, make great bee attractors. It’s an annual but bees love basil.
Don’t forget ornamental grasses. Bees collect a lot of pollen from grasses that are left to flower. Warm season ornamental grasses might include Japanese Silver Grass, Fountain Grass, Switch Grass and Prairie Cord Grass.
Flowering annuals to use include cosmos, calendula, asters, cornflower, small sunflowers, alyssum and clovers to get you started. Plants in the rose and legume families are usually great bee magnets.
Always plant annuals in the spring, two to four weeks before temperatures begin warming up. If they are perennials, then you can plant in the fall or spring. If you want to do a little planting yourself from seed then buy some Ligularia, Valeriana and Phacelia.