Do you want to transform your garden into a haven not just for you but also for bees? We got you!
We compiled 15 creative bee garden ideas to help you make the most of your space and turn it into a bee paradise.
In particular, we’ll uncover:
- Bee-friendly garden ideas that will surely magnetize bees to your DIY-ed sanctuary for them
- 15 tips on how to make your garden more aesthetically-pleasing and
- The answers to common questions about bee gardening
So, without further, let’s dig into it!
How to Create a Bee-Friendly Garden
Before concentrating on your garden’s design, you must make your garden pollinator-friendly first to ensure bees will visit your place.
So, take note of the following bee-friendly garden ideas to make your garden more inviting to pollinators.
1. Plant the Right Flowers
Some flowers bloom and thrive during spring and summer but if you want to keep the bees in your garden all year round, then choose flowers that can endure the winter season, like Mahonia and Honeysuckle plants.
But there are other things you need to consider when choosing the right flower that attracts bees.
Bees love flowers rich in nectar and pollen and those in the colors white, purple, blue, and yellow.
And even though double-flowering varieties look fancier and more dramatic, it’s worth noting that bees prefer the original form with one layer of petals simply because it’s easier for them to access their pollen.
To give you more insight into pollinators’ favorites, here’s a list of bee-friendly flowers you can choose from:
Lavender Flowers That Attract Bees:
- Chive Flowers
- Bee Balm
Blue Flowers for Bees:
- Globe Thistle
- Baby Blue Eyes
Yellow Flowers for Bees:
- Black-Eyed Susan
- California Poppies
White Flowers for Bees:
- Sweet Alyssum
- Garlic Chives
2. Grow Plants that Produce Nectar and Pollen
Flowers high in nectars and pollen are more attractive for bees, so try planting herb plants that entice birds with fragrance and provide lots of food.
For example, purple flowers like lavender don’t just look appealing but are also multipurpose and versatile.
3. Keep Blooms Deadheaded
Freshly opened blooms contain more nectar and pollen.
So, remove the withered and faded blooms to encourage the plants to produce more new flowers, attract more pollinators, and keep them coming.
4. Prepare a Bee Nest
Bees might live happily in a bundle of hollow canes. Some types of bumblebees will settle in bird boxes or an upside-down plant pot with holes placed in a safe, shaded spot.
You can create a bee nest by yourself or look for ceramic nesters online. You have the freedom to choose what’s best for you.
Still, take note that a nester with frost-resistant properties is ideal for bumble bees and other insects during the cold season. So, try installing one in your bee garden.
Even if your garden can’t provide a home for honeybee colonies, having a bee nest will allow you to accommodate solitary bees in your garden.
5. Create a Bee Hotel
If having a bee nest is not enough, try adding a bee hotel to your garden! It helps attract solitary bees and improve diversity in your space.
We recommend positioning your hotels in full sun but don’t forget to add shade in other areas.
Solitary bees love laying eggs in bee hotel cavities, hatch, and turn into larvae. These larvae emerge from the tunnel-like nests in the hotel by themselves.
You can purchase a bee hotel online, but you may also DIY it using a wooden box with an opening on one side. Install it securely into a wall and fill it with wood blocks or sticks.
6. Set up a Source of Water for Bees
Like other animals, bees also need fresh and clean water to quench their thirst and bathe. Water can help control each hive’s humidity.
Pollinators like bees also bring water back to their hives to make their hideout cooler.
So, give your bees access to clean water in a container that contains twigs and leaves that will prevent them from drowning.
The other option for you is to get a plastic container. Then add rocks and pebbles that bees can step on and add water halfway up the rocks.
Place it in a sunny spot near your beautiful flowering plants. And ta-da! You now have a bee bath where bees can get refreshed.
7. Give Them a Warm Shade
Honey bees prefer warm shade where they can feel the warmth of the sun without getting hit by direct sunlight.
So, set an area in your bee garden where you’ll plant flowers and plants that provide bees with a warm shade.
Honey bees will thank you for that and reward you by returning to your garden.
8. Avoid Using Pesticides
Chemical pesticides can kill bees, so we highly recommend avoiding pesticides. You can try natural ways to control pests, such as setting up bird boxes and safely removing aphids with water and wasps.
Creating organic compost or having ladybugs or earthworms can also help you avoid using chemicals.
But if you really need a pesticide, research how to prevent harming the bees and what is the best time to use it.
9. Don’t Remove All the Weeds
Some plants we usually consider weeds actually attract bees, such as dandelions, clovers, buttercups, and daisies. So, let these natural weeds grow in some areas of your garden, and don’t touch or destroy them with lawnmowers.
It will save you time and effort while providing food and pollen for bees.
10. Switch to Clover Lawn
Here’s another tip to make your garden bee-friendly; skip the grass seed and switch to clover seeds.
It’s a good flowering lawn option as it doesn’t just provide you with thick, grassy lawn and clover flowers but also attracts busy bees.
15 Bee Garden Ideas You Can Find Inspiration From
Don’t be afraid to experiment on your bee garden because the sky is the limit for your garden’s design. But if you’re out of ideas and looking for inspiration, here are 15 designs you can incorporate into your bee garden.
1. Fountain-Centered Bee Garden Ideas
Since water plays an essential role in bees’ survival, why not make it a centerpiece of your garden?
Setting up a beautiful fountain at the center surrounded by attractive flowers can make the place more idyllic and inviting!
It can be a great feature regardless of your color scheme, whether purple, blue, white, or yellow. And it’s hassle-free even during summer because you don’t have to refill it.
However, it can be costly and requires a long time to build.
2. Maze-Like Bee garden
If you want something unique and fun at the same time, why not try having a bee garden formed like a maze?
Conifer evergreens like boxwood are the popular plants used in mazes, but you can upgrade it by using vertical flowers that attract bees, such as catmint, lavender, Liatris, and sunflower.
Although shearing can be challenging, they’re easier to align and form into a maze.
You can also add striking features like a fountain inside the maze and other entertaining bee-related toys, pots, and accessories in different colors to add a pop of color and fun to the garden.
3. Purple-themed Bee Garden Ideas
Whether you’re a purple or lavender lover or a BTS army, having a purple/lavender-themed garden will surely fill your heart with bliss!
If you decide to make your bee garden a paradise land covered with purple and lavender flowers, catmint, cone, and chive flowers are perfect for you.
They come in different shades and shapes, but if you’d plant them in large blocks and keep them neat and well-spaced, they’ll surely entertain the bees while giving you an awe-inspiring visual treat!
4. Arch-Entranced Bee Garden Ideas
Welcome visitors with a bang by building arches on the garden entrance! This feature creates a focal point and makes the entrance more interesting and worth looking forward to.
It can also create shade for honeybees and add privacy to your garden space.
The most popular flower in garden arches is the rose, but we recommend choosing a thorn-less variety like Zepherine Drouhin.
But you can also use Clematis, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Morning Glory, Passion Flower, Sweet Pea, and Wisteria.
5. Color-Blocked Bee Garden Ideas
Another interesting concept you can try is color-blocking. Planting flowers with different shades and hues in large blocks of colors can help bees locate their favorites when looking for nectar and food.
But it’s not just for bees because it’s also eye-pleasing for human eyes. It creates drama and artistry and makes it easier to differentiate the flowers.
For example, you can plant California lilac, poppies, lavender, and yellow cosmos in large blocks instead of scattering them.
You have gazillions of color scheme options to choose from, but we recommend not straying away from bees’ favorite colors, such as lavender, purple, white, yellow, and blue.
6. Honeycomb-Inspired Furniture Centerpiece
If your goal is to attract honeycombs, try to put up a large sculpture that looks similar to a natural beehive to lure them.
You can add a honey-comb-inspired table, chair set, and patio umbrella to complete the look and give a little shade to bees.
Since you can hang out with your family and friends in your honeycomb garden, it’d be beneficial to grow aromatic perennials like lavender, hyssop, and oregano.
Their soothing scent can help you relax while giving you a visual treat!
7. Yarrow Bee Garden
If you want to attract tons of bees into your garden, then try filling your garden with common yarrow or achillea millefolium.
Despite having low levels of nectar and pollen, yarrows provided food to bees through late summer, thanks to their extended flowering period.
On top of that, yarrows have tightly-pack, flat-topped flowers sitting on ferny foliage, providing a soft cushion for bees whenever they land.
This flower comes in various colors, from pink to yellow, purple, and red, and is easy to plant and grow. It’s also excellent for making bouquets, so it’s worth growing and keeping!
8. Cosmos Sea Garden
In case you don’t know, cosmos comes in a wide range of colors, including light pink, fuchsia pink, white, and yellow to orange, and planting them on large blocks or masses can be jaw-dropping!
These easy-to-care-for plants bloom from spring to late autumn, and since they only have single petals, bees can easily access their nectar and pollen.
They’re self-sowing plants, so their seeds germinate by themselves naturally. Thus, you can save time, energy, and money in planting in the next season.
An all-pink cosmos sea is amazing, but you can choose whatever color you like. However, if you want to attract more bees, it’s best to stick to their preferred color palette.
But just a little heads up! Don’t sniff cosmos flowers, especially if you have sinusitis or a sensitive nose, because it smells unpleasant and sometimes overwhelming.
9. Herb Garden Ideas
If you’re thinking about growing multi-purpose flowers, here’s another bee garden idea for you! Plant lavender, chive flowers, mint, and garlic chives in your area and shower them with love.
These flowers attract bees because they can provide nectar, but they’re also rich in aroma and add flavor to different dishes.
So, if you’re a creative person passionate about cooking and gardening, it’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
After planting, we recommend adding a bee bath or fountain to ensure bees have enough water source and make watering easier for you too!
10. Sneezeweed Garden
If you prefer bright, vivid-colored flowers with pretty petals in yellow, gold, orange, and copper hues, then a sneezeweed garden may be the one for you! Helenium flowers bloom from mid-summer to late autumn.
These plants are low-maintenance and mostly pest-free. And they can attract various types of bees, including honey bees, bumblebees, and solitary bees, into your garden.
However, it’s worth noting that, as their name suggests, these flowers can cause sneezing when inhaled and are not aromatic.
Nevertheless, they are perfect color-makers for the fall season! Flooding your garden with these wonderful flowers can offer a unique vibe compared to the previous color schemes we suggested.
11. All-Vertical Bee Garden Ideas
If you want another unique bee garden style using vertical flowers, look no further than catmint, lavender, and Liatris. These wonderful spikes of purple/lavender flowers add a curb appeal to your garden space.
They attract bees and hummingbirds and are easy on human eyes. Lavender is also aromatic and rich in nectar; no wonder it’s a cottage garden favorite.
But the downside is they have different soil requirements. Catmint needs acidic, neutral, alkaline soil, while Liatris and catmint require well-drained, sandy soil. So, it can be tricky to put them together in one area.
12. Sunflower Bee Garden Ideas
If you are obsessed with sunflowers, you can transform your garden into a sea of sunflowers, including coreopsis and Black-eyed Susan.
These flowers prefer acidic to slightly alkaline soil and full sun because, as the name suggests, they love the sun.
Sunflowers exhibit heliotropism which means they turn to face the sun and attract bees with their vibrant flowers and nectars.
And the word beautiful is an understatement to describe large swaths of sunflowers. The photo above just proves it.
13. Autumn Bee Garden Ideas
Bees put forth extra effort in the autumn to hunt for food and endure winter hibernation. So provide enough pollen and nectar for your honey bees to store.
Plants flowers that bloom later in the season, such as aster, broccoli, basil, calendula, and lemon balm.
Many people think asters are the best bee energy source in the fall. The little purple flowers are pretty and yield a lot of nectar and pollen.
On top of that, they can provide a pleasing contrast to the garden’s autumnal hues.
14. Cozy Landing Pad Garden
Yarrow and goldenrod flowers have clustered flowerheads that offer a cozy landing pad for bees.
So, if you’re into yellow flowers and want to attract honeybees, bumblebees, soldier beetles, butterflies, and beneficial wasps, they’re the right flowers for you.
But do note that yarrow needs well-drained and mildly acidic to mildly alkaline sand, while goldenrod prefers well-drained, acidic soil.
15. Daisy Overload Bee Garden Ideas
Are you a fan of daisies? If yes, collect asters, blanket flowers, Dimorphotheca, and helenium in your bee garden and plant them in masses!
You’d be definitely pleased with the beauty of daisies in different colors and forms.
These vibrant, cheerful, easy-to-upkeep flowers are among farmers’ favorites because of their hardiness and classic charm.
So, if you want to transform your space into a bee-friendly garden with daisies, plant them in large swaths and use the color-blocking method to make them more appealing and neat.
Common Questions About Bee Gardens
What is the best flower to attract bees?
The best bee-friendly flowers that attract bees are lavender, Blue Borage, Catmint, Lilac, Foxgloves Calendula, and Alyssum.
Bees usually prefer blue or purple-colored petals to brightly colored ones, so try using the purple-blue color scheme in your garden.
What do you need for a bee garden?
You can make a bee garden easily by choosing the right flowers that attract bees in different seasons, avoiding the use of pesticides, and setting up bee hotels and water sources.
Then, give the bees a place that provides shade so they won’t get directly hit by the sunlight.
What smell do bees like the most?
The scent of herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, oregano, and marjoram are irresistible for bees, so they can surely attract pollinators to your garden.
Additionally, these herbs are useful in treating several illnesses and in the kitchen, thanks to their aroma.
How do you make a bee sanctuary?
To create a bee sanctuary, plant flowers that produce pollen and nectar in your yard, then add a water source in your garden space.
Cultivate the natural way because using pesticides can scare the bees. And that’s the last thing you’d wish to happen if you’re building a garden for them.
A Quick Recap on 15 Bee Garden Ideas
We hope you find this guide, which contains 15 bee garden ideas, helpful when creating a bee sanctuary in your garden.
You can come up with more bee garden design ideas by combining the tips above. But the sky is the limit for you, so you can add as many features as you want to make your bee garden look more idyllic.
But to make it organized and more eye-pleasing, it’s best to plant at least 3 to 5 types of bee-friendly or pollinator plants together. Then, layer them throughout the garden.
It will be easier for bees to find their food this way, and you’ll get beautiful drifts of colors.
So which of the bee garden ideas above would you like to incorporate into your space?
Share your thoughts and your journey in creating a DIY bee garden in the comment section below.