Planting These Will Help Save the Bees

Planting These Will Help Save the Bees

Pollinators are vital to keeping crops, flowers, and native plants thriving. Honey bees are one of these pollinators that have found themselves threatened by urban development and habitat loss. When most people think of bees, they associate them with honey production. And while it seems that a decrease in bee population would only affect the number of bottles on a shelf, these bees really serve a greater purpose. With a decrease in bee populations, via colony collapse disorder, habitat loss, or anthropogenic influences, crops have been seen to suffer. Without bees to spread seeds, many of the beautiful plants you see in gardens and parks, as well as crops, will not produce nearly the same yield as we are used to. But there are simple solutions that everyone can do to help repair these populations. 

One way to make a difference is to plant a bee garden. By providing pollen and nectar, as well as shelter and access to water, you can create a new habitat for bees as their natural habitat continues to shrink. This is a super easy way to not only revamp your yard but also help the environment. The best way to do this is to plant species native to your area. It is important to include plants that grow at different times of the year to increase the bees’ access to vital resources. And while prairie grasses and flowers are a common source for honey bees, there are a variety of plant species, both aesthetically pleasing and functional, that make a great addition to any garden. These gardens can be as large or as small as you like and can consist of as few as two to three plant species. Below is a list of popular native Oklahoma plant species that are a favorite among honey bees, listed by season. There are also a few popular nonnative Oklahoma plant species as well as herbs that can later be harvested for cooking or other uses. 

Native Oklahoma Plants by Season


  • Celestial Lily March-April
  • Lanceleaf Tickseed April-June


  • Lanceleaf Tickseed April-June
  • Lead plant (Prairie shoestring) May-July
  • Basket flower (American star-thistle) May-July
  • Butterflyweed May-August
  • Coneflower May-August
  • Purple prairie clover June-August
  • Partridge pea June-September


  • Golden coreopsis July-October 
  • Goldenrod July-November
  • Swap milkweed September-October

Nonnative Plants

  • Aster
  • Sunflower
  • Poppy 
  • Cosmos


  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Oregano 
  • Rosemary

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