Look for mining bees (Andrena) pollinating woodland wildflowers in U.S. gardens this spring, says Heather Holm, a Houzz Contributor. She continues, “Mining bees are very effective pollinators of many types of plants. Their medium size and ability to release pollen by vibrating flowers at a high frequency (called buzz pollination) allow them to visit both simple and relatively complex flower forms. Blueberry growers have known for a long time the importance of mining bees; they are one of the primary pollinators of cultivated and wild blueberries. Mining bees, like all bees, need a continuous succession of flowers in the garden and a variety of flower forms and colors. Females expend a lot of energy during nest building and provisioning, and therefore require an ongoing supply of pollen and nectar to fuel their activities, as well as to provide food for their offspring.”
Here’s a list from Holm of plant ideas that attract pollinators:
◦Spring: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), wild geranium* (Geranium maculatum), violets* (Viola spp), American plum (Prunus americana), large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), serviceberry (Amelanchier spp), Virginia waterleaf* (Hydrophyllum virginianum), American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia), dogwoods* (Cornus spp), willows* (Salix spp), Golden Alexanders* (Zizia aurea), Jacob’s ladder* (Polemonium reptans), goat’s beard* (Aruncus dioicus) and blueberry* (Vaccinium spp)
◦Summer: Yellow coneflower* (Ratibida pinnata), black-eyed Susan* (Rudbeckia spp), purple coneflower* (Echinacea spp), lead plant (Amorpha canescens) and sunflowers* (Helianthus spp)
◦Late summer and fall: Goldenrod* (Solidago spp), common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) and asters* (any species)
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