A guide to beneficial honey plants for home gardeners
Native plants have evolved together with honey bees over the course of thousands of years. In the beginning many plant species relied on the wind to transfer pollen from one plant to the other. As bees and other pollinating animals began to interact in the reproduction of plants, both began to realize benefits from the relationships. As one adapted to new environmental conditions, the other would adapt and change to maintain the relationship. These types of interactions between different organisms where one adapts and the other changes to use the adaptations and maintain the relationship is called co-evolution by scientists. Many people believe that since bees and plants have co-evolved the relationships between native species of plants and honey bees provide greater benefits to both. Recent studies at Oregon State University, Michigan State University and others have demonstrated that honey bees and other pollinators often benefit greatly purely by the presence of high quality floral resources, native or cultivated. It is my hope in the creation of this web site that you may become "Bee-Centered" and feel good planting ANY flower that benefits bees. If native plants are your thing, here are a few examples of flowers that you will see in your daily routine around the Great Lakes area that honey bees and other pollinators rely on. If your landscape ideas don't support planting natives, please use these examples to learn a few of the species that are beneficial and become an advocate in support of the wild places in your neighborhoods. Please remember, the smallest acts of environmental stewardship are amplified by nature. Every positive action helps create and maintain healthy and diverse natural systems. One person, one action, can make a difference.