I work for the associate director of Extension in SD and I received the following email:
I am planting a container garden. I'd like to include flowers that are attractive to bees. Could you please contact me to someone who might be able to help me determine the right plants to choose?
Would prefer less expensive options - my garden is generally intended to be a money-saving operation. From this year forward, we also hope for it to be a bee-saving operation.
I live in Aberdeen (if that makes a difference). The plants will be on a west-facing porch that gets LOTS of afternoon sunlight. I am also growing tomatoes, strawberries, green onions, hot peppers, sweet peas and potatoes. Just giving you all the info in case it affects your answer.
Also, there is a small strip of soil just in front of the porch where I COULD plant something in the ground. I do rent, but my landlord is quite permissive about that kind of thing. I have NEVER been successful in growing flowers (mildly successful at growing food), so please dumb it down for me.
Thank you, Bethe.
Bees are attracted to a wide variety of flowers. Some of their favorites are members of the Aster family which includes plants like zinnias, sunflowers, tickseed and coneflowers. They also like types of penstemon, snapdragon, columbine, lavender, salvia, phlox and clover. Many of these plants are also attractive to butterflies.
Good luck with your garden!