Early spring and late fall are two crucial feeding times for bees. In early spring, the colony is small and hungry and needs access to food quickly for a strong start to the season. In late fall, many plants have died off and winter looms. Bees have less foliage to chose from and have to contend with neighboring colonies, and thievery of their honey stores from other insects, like yellowjackets and even other honey bees if other food sources cannot be found.
Sadly, my bees did not survive the winter, despite my supplementing their food stores (I suspect it just wasn’t enough, and they starved – I don’t suspect disease). So, I made this handy infographic to show which plants are good for these crucial feeding times, and which provinces these plants grow well in. We can arm ourselves with knowledge and do our part to help provide these magnificent creatures with as many food options as possible.
Bees need both nectar and pollen to be healthy. I’ve indicated, below, what each plant offers to the bees.
Find out other province specific bee friendly plants for the entire growing season, here: http://newsite.pollinator.ca/plant_canada/.