Hawai'i is home to around 70 species of native bees (Hylaeus sp.) and an additional 19 species of introduced bees, including honey bees. While some are distinguished by yellow or orange stripes, others are metallic blue and green. Bees provision their nests with pollen to feed their developing young. However, not all plants are equally good at producing pollen and nectar, so planning your garden to have good sources of both throughout the year is important, particularly in Hawaii's year-round mild climate. Many common ornamental plants are selected for their showy tropical blooms, but at the expense of nectar and pollen production. Planting native Hawaiian plants can help ensure your garden provides nutritious forage year round! Select your island below for a regional list of bee-friendly plants.
Not all pollinator habitats need to be ornamental. Consider this: 1 in 3 bites of food we eat relies on pollination. But we aren't the only ones to benefit from this interaction - plants produce nectar and pollen specifically to attract pollinators. A 100 sq. ft. vegetable garden can produce hundreds of pounds of produce throughout the year! If this seems daunting, consider an herb garden. Letting your herbs bolt will attract numerous pollinators to your garden!