Early Spring Blooming Plants to Attract Bumble Bees

bee sipping nectar Photo by Donna L. Long.
bee sipping nectar Photo by Donna L. Long.

Bumble Bees are among the very first insects we see flying in early spring.

Gnats and flies seem to emerge first, then the hairy bees are seen several weeks later.

Bumble Bees have hairy bodies which provide insulation from the still chilly weather of spring. When they are flying around the trees are beginning to leaf out and we often wonder just what are the eating. There aren’t an abundance of flowers yet. Or so we think.

Nectar that these bees are eating often comes from the few native plants that are blooming about this time. In fact most to the native plants that are blooming at this time are bumble bee attracting plants. The two seem to have adjusted and evolved to each others ways, the plants and the bumble bees.

If you would like to have a garden that attracts bumble bees in early spring, this plants are native to Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley and the whole Mid-Atlantic region.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Amelanchier, various species – Shadbush
  • Cercis canadensis – Redbud
  • Cornus florida – Dogwood
  • Lindera bezoin – Spicebush

Flowers (Herbaceous)

  • Acontium, various species – Monkshood
  • Aquilegia canadensis – Columbine
  • Baptisa australis – Blue False Indigo
  • Dicentra cucullaria – Dutchman’s Breeches
  • Mertensia pulmonariodes – Virginia Bluebells
  • Penstemons, various local species
  • Ranunculus, various species – Buttercup
  • Senecio, various species – Golden Groundsels
  • Tiarella cordifolia – Foamflower
False Indigo (Baptisia australis) and BUmble Bee
False Indigo (Baptisia australis) and Bumble Bee

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