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Monday, June 16, 2014

Two Early Flowering Plants for Bees

Karl Foord, Extension Educator - Horticulture

Karl Foord

Photo 1: Andrenid bee approaching Golden Alexander's flower

Karl Foord

Photo 2: Andrenid bee on Golden Alexander's flower

Karl Foord

Photo 3: Two different Andrenid species on Golden Alexander's

Karl Foord

Photo 4: Bombus griseocollis on Blue False Indigo

Karl Foord

Photo 5: Bombus griseocollis on Baptisia australis

Karl Foord

Photo 6: Brown-belted Bumble Bee queen on Blue False Indigo

One of the keys to have a great pollinator garden is to have different types of flowers available for the pollinators at different times of the year. Two early flowering favorites of mine are Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) and Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis).

Golden Alexander's flowers are shallow and easily accessed by small bees with short tongues such as the Mining Bees (Andrenid spp.) shown in photos 1 - 3.

Blue False Indigo flowers are much more difficult to access by small bees but are easily accessed and preferred by bumble bees. The bee in photos 4 - 6 is a Brown-belted Bumble Bee queen (Bombus griseocollis).

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