Flowering plants that provide nectar, pollen or both attract bees, according to the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab. Bees prefer a single plant type in large patches of at least 10 square feet, since this allows bees to remain in one area for a longer period of foraging.
Bees are most attracted to blue, purple and yellow flowers, notes Gardener's Supply Company. Because they provide more pollen and nectar, single flowers with one ring of petals are more attractive to bees than are double flowers. Plants with flat, shallow blossoms, such as daisies and zinnias, attract the largest variety of bee species
Sunflowers and other plants in the Asteraceae family are attractive to bees, states the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab. Plants in the Lamiaceae, or mint, family are good sources of nectar. Examples include the herbs basil and lemon balm. Other recommended food sources for bees include the California poppy, lilac, manzanita and wisteria.
Lavendar, sumac, elderberry, maple and fruit trees are some of the several types of shrubs and trees that supply nectar and pollen that attract bees, according to Organic Gardening. Annuals like cosmos, perennials such as cornflowers and forget-me-nots and bulbs, including golden crocus and purple flowering onions, are also recommended for attracting bees.