What mix of perennials works to attract bees?

Coneflower is among the best flowers to plant to attract bees, a University of New Hampshire researcher says. Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle/AP File

DURHAM, N.H. — A University of New Hampshire researcher says golden rod, asters, black-eyed Susans, and coneflowers are among the best wildflowers to plant to help attract bees.

Cathy Neal of the Agricultural Experiment Station says the goal is to have something in bloom for the bees from May through late October.

She says establishing a wildflower-intensive meadow is a three-year process. The first year is spent on site preparation, the second will produce green seedlings, and the blooms appear in the third year.

Pollinators are essential for most of the fruit and vegetable crops produced in New England, but the abundance of and diversity of pollinators are declining in many agricultural landscapes across the United States. And in New Hampshire, habitat loss associated with development has threatened pollinators.

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