The nectar resource in a given area depends on the kinds of flowering plants present and their blooming periods. Which kinds grow in an area depends on soil texture, soil pH, soil drainage, daily maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, extreme minimum winter temperature, and growing degree days. The plants listed below grow in USDA Hardiness zone 5.

Save the Pollinators


  1. Maple tree - very early/major
  2. Sweet Chestnut - early/good
  3. Apple - early/ very good
  4. Wild Cherry - early/ very good
  5. Peach - early/good
  6. Pear - early/good
  7. Elm - very early/major
  8. Black locust - early/good
  9. Willow - very early/very major 1,500 pounds pollen per acre
  10. Pussy willow - very early/major
  11. Borage - mid to late/major 60-160 pounds per acre
  12. Vipers Bugloss - mid/very major 500-2000 pounds per acre
  13. Buckwheat - late/good
  14. Clover - early to mid/good
  15. Melissa (lemon balm) - mid/very good
  16. Goldenrod - late/major
  17. Dandelion - early/major
  18. Milkweed - mid/very helpful to not only bees, but to the monarch butterfly

Very early flowering trees and plants are beneficial to the honey bees depending on the weather. Some years its to cold for the bees to fly out and collect the pollen. These very early and early pollen plants are what the honey bees use to make bee bread that they feed to the brood and thus this makes the hive grow faster and earlier. 

The large pounds per acre of pollen is for plantings covering 43,560 square feet. now that would be an impressive garden. I'm not saying you should go out and plant that large of an area, but every plant, planter and border helps save the pollinators.  If you know a farmer, ask him if you can help replant the fence row with pollen plants rather than grass. All pollinators will benefit.

In large areas variety is better than a mono planting. Miles and miles of the same crop is like a desert if that plant is not currently blooming. It has been shown that just like you and me, honey bees need a varied diet to eat healthy. In small areas many plantings scattered around the neighborhood of the same plant can be beneficial because honey bees will only work one type of flower at a time. City neighborhoods have a variety of plants usually and have been shown to help save the pollinators better then farmers fields.

And remember a large weed free lawn looks good to you and me, but to a honey bee it looks like a desert, try adding islands of flowering plants or plant one of the trees listed. Native plants are shown to help native pollinators better than ornamental plants and if your looking for large flowers try one of the milkweeds. Be patient as it takes three years for most milkweeds to bloom.

dandelions pollinators
Dandelions a early pollen source

By leasing their vacant land to a commercial beekeeper for legitimate commercial agricultural use, property owners may be able to save on their property taxes, insurance and other costs while helping to save the bees.    Commercial beekeepers use the land to make honey and rebuild the health of their hives


Fun Fact: Pollinators have lost 175 million acres of land since 1996. That is an area the size of Texas!

more coming soon