Pollinators, in general, are a vital part of a healthy environment. Native bees are North America’s most important group of pollnators. Patches of flowers can be grown almost anywhere and will form an important resource for bees.
Choosing the right flowers
To help bees and other pollinators, like butterflies, you should provide a range of plants that will offer a succession of flowers, and thus pollen and nectar, through the whole growing season. Patches of foraging habitat can be created in many different locations, from backyards and school grounds to gold courses and city parks. Even a small area planted with the right flowers will be beneficial, because each patch will add to the mosaic of habitat available to bees and other pollinators.
Read more about what consumer products to avoid to help bees survive.
In the Garden: Attracting Bees to Your Garden (KEZI-TV – Aug. 2013)
Caleb Johnson, Johnson Brothers Greenhouses
- Cultivating A Bee-Friendly Wildflower Garden (PDF)
- Read the full 2-page brochure from the Xerces Society, “Plants for Native Bees in North America“
- Bee-Friendly Gardening Resources (from Pesticide Research Institute)
- Managing Landscapes with Pollinators in Mind (Beyond Pesticides)
- Bee Safe Gardening Tips (Tips for gardeners to help save bees – Friends of The Earth)
- Good Bug, Bad Bug – Is it a beneficial insect or a garden pest?
ALSO from Beyond Pesticides:
Pollinator-Friendly Seed Directory
Growing plants to protect managed and wild bees, butterflies, birds and other pollinators
Given that plant starts in many garden centers across the country are grown from seeds coated with bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides, or drenched with them, Beyond Pesticides has compiled a comprehensive directory of companies and organizations that sell organic seeds to the general public. Included in this directory are seeds for vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Specific questions on each seller’s seeds can be directed to their customer service line.
|Seed Distributors||Location||Website||Type of Seeds/ Description||Phone||Catalog|
|Adaptive Seed||Oregon||http://www.adaptiveseeds.com/||Certified organic since early summer 2013: Rare and heritage varieties, mostly adapted to the Pacific Northwest and other short season northern climates.||541-367-1105||Not available|
|All Good Things Organic Seeds||California||http://www.plantgoodseed.com/||Certified organic – variety of vegetable, herb and flower seeds.||805-705-9550||Not available|
|Annie’s Heirloom Seeds||Michigan||http://www.anniesheirloomseeds.com/||Organic Seed section – certified organic (vegetables,flowers & herbs).||1-800-313-9140||Not available|
|Blue River Hybrids||Iowa||http://www.blueriverorgseed.com/||Certified organic – grown especially for organic farmers (organic seed corn, organic soybeans and organic forages).||515-233-3090||Not available|
|Botanical Interests||Colorado||www.botanicalinterests.com||Supplies organic flower, herb, and vegetable seeds.||303-410-1677||Download|
|Burpee||Pennsylvania||http://www.burpee.com||Organic vegetables and herbs||1 (800) 888-1447||Can be requested|
|Fedco||Maine||http://fedcoseeds.com/||They have associated sites with tubers and trees, a co-op. A wide variety of organic seeds.||207-426-9900||Download|
|Harris Seeds||New York||http://www.harrisseeds.com/||Vegetable, herb and flower seeds, perrenial with untreated, treated and organic options.||Not available|
|High Mowing Seeds||Vermont||www.highmowingseeds.com||Supplies organic vegetable, herb, flower, and cover crop seeds.||802-472-6174||Download|
|Horizon Herbs||Oregon||http://horizonherbs.com/||Mostly herbs, but they’ve started carrying vegetables. Always organic if possible.||541-846-6704||Not available|
|Hudson Valley Seed Library||New York||https://www.seedlibrary.org/||heirloom and open pollinated (vegetable, flower and herb seeds) Certified organic farm and Certified organic handler.||845-204-8769||Not available|
|Johnny’s Selected Seeds||Maine||http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-organic.aspx||Organic farm seeds and cover crops, organic flowers, organic fruit, organic herb seeds and plants, organic vegetables.||877-564-6697||Download|
|Mountain Rose Herbs||Oregon||www.mountainroseherbs.com||Certified organic -herbs, teas.||800-879-3337||Not available|
|Peaceful Valley Farm (GrowOrganic)||California||http://www.groworganic.com/peaceful-valley-groworganic-coupon#freeseeds||Organic vegetable seeds, heirloom seeds, cereal seeds etc.||(888) 784-1722||Download|
|Renee’s Garden Seeds||California||http://www.reneesgarden.com/||Supplies organic seeds (vegetables, flowers, and herbs)||1-888-880-7228||Not available|
|Sand Hill Preservation Center||Iowa||http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/||Certified organic (2008) and sells heirloom seeds -vegetable and herbs.||563-246-2299||Not available|
|Seeds of Change||California||www.seedsofchange.com||Supplies organic vegetable, herb, and flower seeds, as well as organic live plants. Direct-buy or catalog.||888-762-7333||Download|
|Seeds Trust||Colorado||http://secure.seedstrust.com/||Organic vegetable, native wildflower, native grass, and medicinal herb seeds.||720-335-3436||Not available|
|Southern Exposure Seed Exchange||Virginia||www.southernexposure.com||Offers over 700 varieties of vegetable, flower, herb, grain, and cover crop organic seeds. Catalog-based business. Supplies retail locations in multiple states.||Download|
|Sustainable Seed Company||California||www.sustainableseedco.com||Sells a wide variety of organic and heirloom vegetable and melon seeds. Also supplies flower, tobacco, herb, and grain seeds, as well as specialized seed products for poultry feed, etc. Also supports saving of seed catalogs as containing valuable seed information. Online orders.||707-703-1242||Can be reqeusted|
|Territorial Seed Co||Oregon||http://www.territorialseed.com,||Many organic seeds.||800-626-0866||Can be requested|
|Tomato Fest||California||http://www.tomatofest.com/||Certified organic heirloom tomato email@example.com||Not available|
|Uprising Seeds||Washington||http://www.uprisingorganics.com/||Certified Organic.||Not available|
|Wild Garden Seed||Oregon||https://www.wildgardenseed.com/||Certified organic (vegetables, herbs).||Not available|
|Wood Prairie Farm||Maine||http://www.woodprairie.com/||1-800-829-9765||Not available|
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- Recommended resources
- Background: The threat to bees
- Read about Consumer Products to Avoid
- What are neonicotinoid pesticides?
- Read about the economics of saving bees: Bees by the numbers
- Gardeners Beware 2014 Report
- Read about Eugene, Oregon’s ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, the first of it’s kind in the nation
- Save Oregon Bees Home Page
- Join Beyond Toxics
- Contact us
Beyond Toxics is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. Please consider giving a gift of a Beyond Toxics membership to a friend or family member!