Harsh winters are no fun for anyone, but they can be especially tough on honeybees and other pollinators. Some bees start foraging for food as early as January, especially in regions where temperatures creep into the 40s and 50s during the winter. In the period from January to May, it can be difficult for bees to find enough food to sustain themselves.
If you’re looking for new ways to support the pollinator populations in your area, adding winter-blooming plants to your lawn and garden is a great place to start!
These early bloomers can provide pollinators with the essential protein and carbohydrates they need to stay alive until spring. Trees such as willows, maples and hazelnuts can offer bees an early dose of pollen around March and April as well. The important thing is to have a diverse variety of plants that bloom at different times throughout the year.
These low-growing plants thrive in shady woodland areas. Their delicate flowers begin blossoming in March, and continue to bloom into the summer. Primrose is easy to establish, and it can add a splash of color to your garden as winter draws to a close.
As its name implies, the flowers of the snowdrop plant can bloom even when there’s snow on the ground. These tiny plants take up very little room and offer pollinators food even in the coldest months of winter.
The bright yellow flowers of winter aconite are a welcome sight in the snowy depths of winter. These bulbs are easy to cultivate and thrive in cold climates. Just be sure to plant them in moist soil with plenty of drainage.
These are just a few of our favorite winter-blooming plants. Check with your local garden center to learn more about all of the winter-blooming options that are available in your area. Not only will they add a little life to your garden in the winter, they’ll also help protect pollinators from starvation during this difficult time of year!