Honey bee seed mix

Academic research has shown that diverse flower seed mixes provide the most benefits to bees and pollinators compared to mixes with just one to several flower species. It is important to choose flower species that are known to be attractive to pollinators which will greatly enhance the efficiency of these mixes.  Flower mixes should contain early, mid- and late blooming flowers to ensure there is food for bee species that are active for only a short time during the growing season.  In addition, include flowers with varying colors, shapes and sizes in order to appeal to the widest variety of pollinators as possible.

Applewood Seed Company has studied the attractiveness of native and non-native flower species before developing their pollinator seed mixes.  Our diverse pollinator mixtures are available for home and commercial garden use, conservation mixes for NRCS programs, and all native wildflower mixes for various regions of the U.S:

Bee Feed Pollinator Mis

As there are over 4000 species of bees in the U.S., each one has its own feeding and behavior patterns. Some bee species are short-lived and are active during a short part of the growing season. These species need flowering host plants that bloom when they are active.  Other species, such as honey bees, are active throughout the growing season, and they are generalist feeders, utilizing nectar and pollen from a wide variety of flowering plants, however, generalist bees have clear preferences when it comes to shape and size of flowers. Some native bees are specialist feeders, preferring a few plant species or sometimes even just a single plant species.  Specialist native bees make up about 20% of bee species.  Generalist native bees can forage on numerous native plant species as well as many non-native plants.

Other types of pollinators include wasps, flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, hummingbirds and bats.  These can have specific flower preferences as well.  Butterflies prefer flat flower surfaces that make it easier to land upon. Sphinx Moths have very long tongues and tend to feed on flowers with deep nectar tubes such as columbine and honeysuckle.  Hummingbirds also have long tongues and prefer tubular flowers such as Cardinal Flower or Beardtongue, and some flies are the exclusive pollinators of certain plant species of the high alpine tundra.

Applewood Seed Company has spent many years researching the flower preferences of pollinators in our trial gardens.  Using our research in conjunction with academic research and knowledge about pollinator characteristics, we’ve found many flowers that are preferred by distinctly different groups of pollinators. For example, the flowers below are included in our Bee Feed Seed Mixture and can be found in a number of additional pollinator mixes. You can read about the types of pollinators that are typically found on them, and then click on the product code or flower image to learn more about each flower.

For more information on seeds for pollinator friendly flowers:

Phone: (303) 431-7333

E-mail: Sales@applewoodseed.com

Click here to request a 2019 Seed Catalog

Siberian Wallflower

(Cheiranthus allionii)

Early blooming, attracts honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies, sweat bees and, syrphid flies.

Product code: CALL

Fleabane Daisy

(Erigeron speciosus)

Early blooming perennial that attracts sweat bees, leafcutter bees, small carpenter bees, long-horned bees, and flies.

Product code: ESPE

Sweet Alyssum

(Lobularia maritima)

This quick-blooming flower is a magnet for syrphid flies. Also attracts small bees and tachinid flies and sometimes honey bees.

Product code: LMAR

Blue Flax

(Linum perenne)

Blue Flax is an early summer bloomer that attracts sweat bees and leafcutter bees.

Product code: LLEW

Plains Coreopsis

(Coreopsis tinctoria)

This long blooming annual attracts sweat bees and other small-tongued bees as well as tachinid flies, flower beetles and wasps.

Product code: CTIN

Lance-Leaved Coreopsis

(Coreopsis lanceolata)

This early summer bloomer attracts a wide range of native bees, honey bees, flower beetles, wasps and flies.

Product code: CLAN

New England Aster

(Aster novae-angliae)

This late blooming perennial is a magnet for honey bees.  It also attracts sweat bees, small carpenter bees, long-horned bees, and leafcutter bees.

Product code: ANOV

Globe Gilia

(Gilia capitata)

This blue annual attracts honey bees, sweat bees and syrphid flies.

Product code: GCAP

Corn Poppy

(Papaver rhoeas)

Corn Poppies are annuals that provide pollen to many types of bees such as honey bees and sweat bees.

Product code: PRHO

Lavender Hyssop

(Agastache foeniculum)

This mid to late season bloomer attracts bumble bees, honey bees, sweat bees, leaf-cutter bees, flower moths, & beetles.

Product code: AGFO

Chinese Forget-Me-Not

(Cynoglossum amabile)

This long-blooming annual attracts mostly short-tongued bees such as sweat bees and small carpenter bees. Honey bees also visit the flowers.

Product code: CAMA

Indian Blanket

(Gaillardia pulchella)

This summer blooming annual attracts honey bees, sweat bees, long-horned bees, leafcutter bees, cuckoo bees and flies.

Product code: GPUL

Purple Coneflower

(Echinacea purpurea)

This perennial blooms mid-summer and attracts bumble bees, honey bees, sweat bees, leafcutter bees, beetles and many types of butterflies.

Product code: EPUR

Bergamot

(Monarda fistulosa)

This mid to late summer bloomer attracts honey bees, bumble bees, long-horned bees, skippers and digger bees.

Product code: MFIS

China Aster

(Callistephus chinensis)

This mid to late season annual attracts honey bees, bumble bees, sweat bees and syrphid flies.  Flower moths & beetles are occasional visitors.

Product code: CACH

California Poppy

(Eschscholzia californica)

California Poppies provide pollen to honey bees, sweat bees and other solitary bees.

Product code: ECAL