Ask a Bumble Bee: What Flowers Do Bumble Bees Prefer?

Listen to this Episode:

  • From this webpage:
    • Find the media player located under the episode picture.
    • Click on the green triangle to listen to the audio for this episode.
  • From your favorite podcast listening platform:
    • Search for “Backyard Ecology.”

Show notes:

I often get asked what people can plant for bees. I can give good general answers to those questions, because we have a good idea of what types of flowers tend to be attractive to bees in general. We can then use that information along with personal observations made by ourselves and others to fairly easy determine what we can plant in a given area for bees in general.

However, we still have a lot to learn when it comes to knowing what types of flowers certain types of bees prefer or what we can plant for specific types of bees. This is especially true when it comes to our native bees. Ask a Bumble Bee, is a new community science, or citizen science, project that is striving to answer some of those questions specifically for bumble bees. Finding out what types of flowers bumble bees prefer and what we can plant for them is especially important, because many species of bumble bees appear to be declining in number.

In this episode of the Backyard Ecology podcast, we talk with Jenan El-Hifnawi. Jenan is the Project Coordinator for Ask a Bumble Bee. Jenan joins us to talk about the project, the types of questions it hopes to answer, and how anyone who is interested can help out by observing bumble bees on flowers. Along the way we also share some of our own stories and experiences.


Episode image:

  • Bumble bee on purple coneflower
  • Photo credit: USDA, public domain

Do you want to make your yard more pollinator and wildlife friendly, but aren’t sure where to start?

Check out my book, Attract Pollinators and Wildlife to Your Yard: 15 Free and Easy Ways, for some easy, quick wins to get you started.

Backyard Ecology: Exploring Nature in Your Backyard
Nature isn’t just “out there.” It’s all around us, including right outside our doors. Hi, my name is Shannon Trimboli, and I am the host of Backyard Ecology. I live in southcentral Kentucky and am a wildlife biologist, educator, author, beekeeper, and owner of a nursery specializing in plants for pollinators and wildlife conservation. I invite you to join me as we ignite our curiosity and natural wonder, explore our yards and communities, and improve our local pollinator and wildlife habitat. Learn more or subscribe to my email list at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.