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PHOTOS: 10 flowers to bring pollinators to your garden

Sydney Borton
Digital Reporter

Friday, May 18, 2018, 3:36 PM - If you want to #SavetheBees this summer, have I got a list for you.

Bee populations are on the decline, especially in Ontario. 70% of Ontario beekeepers reported suffering major losses in their be populations after this winter. 

Shaun Hensher, a beekeeper in Orillia, Ontario, told The Weather Network that a great way to help protect our native pollinator species is to "plant wildflowers in every nook and cranny possible". But, what kind of flowers do bees like the best? For those of you that are heading to the garden centre this weekend to pick up some flowers, you might want to add some of these to your list.

READ MORE: Ontario beekeepers suffer devastating losses

Here are 10 flowers that will bring bees and other native pollinators to your garden:

1. Dandelions

No, I'm not joking! You don't have to keep them around all summer, but they are a bees first food after a long winter. Once spring has passes and your other flowers are planted, it's okay to get rid of them.

READ MORE: Why you shouldn't mow your dandelions yet

2. Bee Balm

The name says it all. These flowers come in shades of red, pink, purple, and white, so there's bound to be a colour you'll like. Even hummingbirds love them! The leaves and flowers can also be used to make a herbal tea that you can sip on while you watch bees and hummingbirds alike enjoy your garden.

3. Blackeyed Susan

Blackeyed susans were my favourite flower as a child. I used to call them "mini sunflowers". They also come in red and orange shades, some with two-toned petals, that would make for a gorgeous addition to your garden. Speaking of sunflowers, next up on the list...

4. Sunflowers

That little bee is having the time of his life on this flower! Sunflowers will also attract several birds to your garden, as birds like to snack on their seeds. If you're a birdwatcher, sunflowers are a must.

5. Cranes-bills (Geraniums)

These pretty little beauties are generally a nice, aesthetic addition to any garden. Their wide open centers are perfect for bees to perch on while they gather pollen. These little guys are also very persistent, sometimes able to survive dry spells, and flower right up until the frost starts to appear!

6. Echinacea

Also known as the purple coneflower, echinacea can be brewed as a tea and used as a natural remedy to treat the common cold. Another favourite for birdwatchers as well, as birds enjoy the seedheads. 

7. Chives

Chives are not only a nice garnish, they also grow beautiful flowers that pollinators love! Just look at this happy bee. Having chives in your garden will guarantee that you'll always have a readily available herb (they taste AMAZING in mashed potatoes) and a little bee friend to keep you company.

8. Lavender

In addition to their beautiful smell, lavender can also be used to flavour food dishes, brewed as tea to relieve stress and improve mood, reduce inflammation, and promote a restful, relaxing sleep.

9. Roses

Not traditional bouquet roses, but single-petal roses (such as rugosa or sweetbriar roses, which develop rosehips) attract pollinators. You can also take those rosehips and make tea!

10. Catmint

No, not catnip. Catmint. This plant is fairly similar to catnip, but without the strong aroma that drives cats wild. It acts as a great insect repellent, so if you have a vegetable garden, this plant can be a nice addition to it!

VIDEO: How to make the most of your garden shopping

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