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How To Make a Bee Garden: 20 Tips for a Bee-Friendly Habitat

How to make a bee garden

Do you want to know how to make a bee garden out of your space? The fact that you’re here means that you’re interested in creating little patches of heaven not just for yourself but also for these beneficial insects.

Making a bee garden requires a lot of planning and hard work, but choosing the right plants and flowers will make it easier to attract them.

But how should you get started?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you create a bee-friendly garden from scratch and provide tips on magnetizing and keeping bees safe in your area.

This will be a long but bee-autiful journey, so without further ado, let’s get it started!

How To Make a Bee Garden: 20 Ways to Get Started

1. Choose the Right Spot

The first step to creating a bee garden is to pick and assess the location. Examine the soil type, acidity, and light to know what flowers and trees suit your area.

It will also help you determine if you want or need full-sun or part-shade plants.

However, bees usually prefer sunny spots and less windy spaces, although they’d love it if you could offer a site with a little shade as well.

But bees aren’t very picky, so you can create a garden wherever possible. Even a simple container garden on a balcony will do if that’s your only space in an urban setting.

But if you want to create a traditional bee garden with a large field of flowers where bees can float around, and you have the space to do so, that will be great!

How to make a bee friendly garden: Prepare the Site

2. Prepare the Site

The next tip on how to make a bee-friendly garden is to get the ground ready.

As for in-ground beds, you must check for any pipe underneath before churning up the ground.

Then, remove large rocks, roots, and weeds, and keep out the grass and pets. Add some compost with a 50-50 ratio of compost to dirt, but you may adjust it depending on the soil type.

Lay out your plan for a bee friendly garden

3. Lay Out Your Garden

Before planting anything, lay out how you’ll set everything up, from bird baths or fountains to flower beds to pots and entrances and exits of your garden.

This way, you can achieve your desired design, and everything will be according to how you visualize your dream bee garden.

4. Choose the Right Kind of Plants

The essence of a bee garden is the bee, so you need to attract pollinators into your area by making it an abundant sanctuary. But how?

The secret is planting plants and flowers that provide their favorite meals: nectar and pollen.

Nectar provides energy for bees, while pollen is rich in protein and other nutrients. These insects also utilize pollen as larvae food, but they also transfer the pollen from one plant to another in the process of pollination.

But what are the plants and flowers that attract bees?

Check this list out:

Bee-Friendly Flowers

It can be tricky when choosing the right flowers to plant in your garden because you need to consider the kind of bee you want to attract and its color preferences and tongue length.

But what flower do bees like the most?

This could vary depending on the type of bee. Short-tongued bees, such as Andrenid bees, small miner bees, plasterer bees, masked or yellow-faced bees, and sweat bees prefer the following:

  • Asters
  • Daisies
  • Sunflowers
  • Other florets or composite flowers

Flowers with double layers of petals are pretty, but they have less pollen and are challenging to suck for bees.

But bumblebees, carpenters, and other bees with long tongues on the other end are attracted to large flowers like honeysuckle and penstemon.

How to choose the right color of flowers?

Bees don’t have photoreceptors for red, but they can see and visualize blue, green, and other ultraviolet ends and make combinations.

That’s why they like purple, yellow, blue, and white flowers the most.

So here’s a list of flowers that are attractive for bees, starting off with their top favorite, purple.

Flowers that attract bees


  • Catmint
  • Lavender
  • Chive flowers
  • Asters(comes in a wide variety of colors)


  • Borage
  • Globe Thistle
  • Baby Blue Eyes
  • Ceanothus


  • Yarrow
  • Goldenrod
  • Sunflower
  • Coreopsis


  • Snowdrop
  • Phlox
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Garlic Chives

Bee-Friendly Fruits

If you have a massive space in your garden and want to maximize it by planting bee-friendly fruit trees, start with their all-time favorites: the apple and cherry.

But aside from these fruits, here are other bee-friendly options you can incorporate into your garden:

  • Pears
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Logan berry
  • Cranberry
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberry
  • Currants
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Logan berry
  • Cranberry
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberry
  • Currants
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Peaches
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Cherries
  • Passion Fruit
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Melons

Bee-Friendly Vegetables

Some vegetables don’t need bees for pollination, but these bee-friendly veggies can be a good addition to your bee garden, so don’t hesitate to add them if you want to:

  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Peas
  • Runner beans
  • Broad beans
  • Courgettes
  • Squashes, pumpkins, gourds
  • Eggplant

5. Avoid Plants Bees Don’t Like

Another tip on how to make your garden bee-friendly is to avoid the plants that displease them.

What plant do bees not like?

Bees don’t like basil, cucumber, wormwood, eucalyptus, citronella, pennyroyal, and some flower species such as:

  • Geraniums
  • Pitcher plants
  • Fabaceae
  • Canna lilies
  • Celosias
  • Peonies

There are also bee-killer flowers poisonous to honeybees, such as rhododendrons, oleander, and azaleas.

Rhododendrons contain poisonous nectar, and once ingested by honeybees, they will end up in honey that you harvest and consume.

What smells do bees hate?

Bees dislike the smell of lemon and lime juice, citronella, cinnamon, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, bitter almond oil, smoke, distilled white vinegar, and oils like peppermint, olive, and vegetable oil.

So if you want to keep the bees in your garden, you must avoid these plants and oils that ward them off.

6. Plant Flowers That Bloom at Different Times of the Year

If you want to attract more bees of different types throughout the year, you must provide them with the food they need by planting other flowers that bloom at different times.

This is one of the secrets of how to grow a bee-friendly garden.

Every flower has its own blooming schedule. So if you plant a mix of early and late-season bloomers, you can draw more bumming bees into your garden from early spring to summer until late fall.

How to grow a bee friendly garden: Plant in Bunches

7. Plant the Flowers in Bunches

Bees don’t have a clear vision, so if you only have one single purple flower, they might not notice it.

But they’ll be able to find it more quickly if you plant it in big bunches.

Try planting at least one square yard of the same plants to create a perfect bee magnet. But if you do not have enough space, you may plant a few wildflowers or herbs in a planter or window box.

This way, you’ll get beautiful drifts of colors, and the pollinators can have more foraging habitat and easily hop from one bloom to another.

8. Add Native Plants

Native plants help attract adult bees because they offer food for native species. So our next tip on how to create a bee-friendly garden is to add native plants into your area.

To make it more aesthetically pleasing, group the native plants together or in bunches. This way, the bees can find them more quickly.

How to make bee friendly garden: Create a Bee Hotel

9. Create Bee Hotels

One of the best ways to ensure you can keep bees in your garden is to shelter them. Solitary bees would love to lay their eggs in hollow cavities.

They will then leave a food supply for their larvae to eat, and when the larvae hatch, they pupate and come out of the stems.

But where should you put your hotel? Well, you must position it in full sun.

You can purchase bee hotels online or build one by yourself using a wooden box, some hollow stems of different diameters where they can nest in, and a fixture where you can hang the bee hotel.

10. Make Bee Nests

Provide a cozy and safe home for bumblebees by preparing a nest. Queen bumblebees often look for places to hibernate in autumn and early winter in old holes or shrew holes.

So, take that opportunity to draw them to your garden using a nest or upside-down pots placed in a safe and shaded spot.

You can also find bee nests or ceramic nesters online, but those nesters with frost-resistant properties are the best for bumblebees during the cold season.

How to create a bee friendly garden: Provide Water

11. Provide a Good Water Source

Water is crucial for humans to stay healthy and survive but how about bees?

Do bees need water in a garden?

Yes, bees definitely need water to keep themselves hydrated and fresh despite the scorching heat.

On top of that, they bring water to their hive to breathe and take a breath.

This tip on how to make your garden more bee-friendly is crucial for the survival of these pollinators, so you better not skip this process.

But how can you build a bee bath for your tiny insects?

If you can afford a water fountain, that will be great, but if you’re on a tight budget, you can quickly DIY it.

You just need to fill a shallow dish (like a pot tray) with pebbles or small rocks. Then, throw in enough water to cover the rocks halfway.

Afterward, place the bee bath in your garden, near your lovely floral plants, in a great, sunny location. Bees will stop by and refuel there.

12. Give Them a Shelter

This may sound odd to you, but some bees, like bumblebees, need shade. Yes, they love it when you have shady corners in your garden.

So, try adding some upturned or broken plant pots that provide points of entry so they can have a place to relax and take a break.

But if that’s not possible, bee hotels will also do.

13. Refrain from Using Pesticides

By limiting the use of insecticides in your garden, you can protect the bees you brought there from unintentional pesticide poisoning.

The nectar and pollen in your garden draw native bees, but they also come into contact with any other pollutants that could be there. High insecticide doses can kill foraging bees.

Adverse effects might occur with even modest doses. Modest concentrations of insecticides can interfere with a foraging bee’s natural orientation and navigational abilities, making it difficult to find its way back to the nest.

The pesticide will either be directly delivered to nestmates or mixed with the honey when returned to the nest.

This will modify how the larvae develop into workers and queens, which will impact subsequent generations of the colony.

The best method to reduce the use of insecticides in your garden is to practice integrated pest management.

14. Introduce Natural Predators

Instead of using insecticides, you can utilize natural predators for common pests.

For example, ladybugs are aphid exterminators, so purchase some from garden centers to control unwelcome guests.

Another predatory insect you can use for pest control is lacewings. You can also buy lacewing larvae from garden centers to eliminate aphids, mealy bugs, and other soft-bodied garden pests.

15. Take the Weedings Easy

Don’t be afraid to let a section of your backyard go a little out of control because weeds like dandelions have a crucial role to play in a bee garden.

Bees will be drawn to dandelions and thistles because they are loaded with nectar, and the hollow stems make excellent nesting sites for these hard-working insects.

So relax the weedings and let nature take its course, at least in some areas of your bee garden.

How to make your garden bee friendly: Use Clover

16. Switch to Clover Seeds

If you’re having difficulty maintaining a thick, green, and grassy lawn, maybe it’s time to switch from grass seeds to clover seeds.

Clover is a hardy ground option that busy bees love. It’s like shooting two birds with one stone because it will give you more four-leaf clover and a flowering front lawn.

17. Diversify Your Plants Over Time

To keep the bees coming to your garden, you should plant a variety of plants rather than just a few. So prepare a buffet for them!

Vegetables, herbs, fruits, trees, bushes, perennials, annuals, and all other forms of plants should be included.

The bees will surely adore the diversity, and your garden will constantly be filled with humming pollinators.

Put signages

18. Create Signage

This is crucial because some people are fatally allergic to bees and need to be aware that this place is made to draw bees.

Also, if you wish to continue using chemicals but spray your yard for mosquitoes, employ a lawn service, have termites serviced, or are scheduled for general pest treatment, we highly recommend putting guidelines banning chemicals for a complete 15-foot radius surrounding your bee garden.

If spraying is really necessary, consider only allowing it in the very early morning or the very last hour of the day when the bees are dormant. But remember that the traces of the insecticides can still adversely affect bees.

19. Remove Withered and Faded Blooms

Since fresh blooms provide more pollen and nectar, keep up with the withered and faded blooms and remove them so the plants can produce more flowers and magnetize more pollinators.

20. Water Your Plants Thoroughly and Regularly

Most importantly, water your bee-friendly flowers and plants daily and thoroughly to help them thrive and do the job of attracting pollinators.

If your transplanted plants are a bit grumpy, give them more attention and TLC to ensure they grow healthy and provide you with blooms, pollen, and nectars that attract bees.

creating a bee friendly garden

How to Make a Bee Garden: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best thing to plant for bees?

Wildflowers such as asters, goldenrod, sunflowers, and dandelions are great magnetizers for bees because they provide food for the hives.

But you can also plant flowering vegetables and fruit trees like apples and cherries in your garden.

What do you need for a bee garden?

To make a bee garden, you must plant bee-friendly flowers and trees that bloom at different times of the year.

Then provide bee nests and hotels where solitary bees can lay their eggs, provide a clean water source, and avoid using pesticides.

What is the bees’ favorite color?

Bees’ favorite color is purple because they usually produce more nectar than other flowers. But they also like blue, yellow, and white-colored flowers.

What is the best habitat for bees?

Honey bees prefer to live in gardens, orchards, woodlands, meadows, and other areas with abundant flowering plants.

They usually build their nest inside tree cavities in their natural habitat and under the edges of objects to hide from predators.

What plant makes the best honey?

The plants that produce the best quality honey are flowers of blackberries, fruits, citrus trees, and aromatic herbs such as rosemary, borage, sage, clover, and other wildflowers.

How do you attract a bee colony?

One of the most efficient ways to attract bees is by using beeswax to bait them.

You can add a fresh starter strip of beeswax on a movable comb hive’s top bars. It will serve as a swam attractant and do the job for you.

how to make garden bee friendly

Final Tips on How to Make a Bee Garden

The bee population in the world is declining due to pesticide use and loss of habitat, so if you want to help bees, follow the tips in this guide on how to make a bee garden.

It’d also help if you could provide supplemental food sources for these creatures while they’re not established in your garden yet. Just place a feeder with sugary water or a feeding stimulant in your garden, and it’s good to go!

Don’t skip the planning stage if you want your garden to be organized. And if you want to keep the bees buzzing, avoid using insecticides and pesticides at all costs.

After getting the job done, you deserve a break!

So, place a bench or small gazebo a few spots away from pendulous plants where you can rest, enjoy the cozy haven you’ve worked hard for, and watch the bees do their magic on your flowering plants and fruit trees.

READ NEXT: 15 Creative Bee Garden Ideas You Can Find Inspiration From

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