We’re buzzing over these beautiful blooms.

Contrary to popular belief, bees aren’t just a summertime inconvenience. Sure, it gets increasingly hard to relax outside on long, scorching days and hot, sticky nights with a swarm of insects buzzing around, but the fact still remains that we need bumblebees and honey bees for our survival. Not only do bees pollinate about a third of our food supply and crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cocoa beans, but they also make it possible to live in a world with honey. I mean, what would we Southerners do without sticky-sweet honey drizzled over fluffy biscuits? And just like we need our black and yellow-winged friends for delicious eats, bees, in turn, need flowers for food as well.

We’ll spare you the in-depth science lesson here, but the pollen and nectar from plants and flowers acts like a food source for bees. The nectar, like any sweet elixir, gives adult bees their “buzz” or energy, while the pollen is more like protein. And lots of garden blooms offer both sources for bees throughout the growing season. The following 12 sun-loving plants attract the stingers, keeping them from dying out and providing enough forage during spring and summer. So, the next time you’re in your garden planting a plot, take a moment to stop and smell the flowers—the bees and our planet will thank you.

1. Lilacs

Lilacs come in seven colors and are easy to grow. Most shrubs grow at eye-level and give off a sweet, floral fragrance to keep the bees and butterflies coming back for more.

2. Lavender

Lavender plants are much-buzzed about when it comes to honey bees—possibly because of their long bloom time and the fact that they’re rich in nectar.

3. Wisteria

Wisteria vines are quite fragrant, and when blossoms start to bloom during its short growing season, you can expect to see a swarm buzzing around this charming climber.

4. Mint

When it’s hot outside, Southerners will find any excuse to sneak a little mint in their cocktails, main dishes, and desserts. So it should come as no surprise that bees love the plant too, especially water mint.

5. Sunflowers

Sunflowers are tall with big, prolific heads that contain smaller flowers inside the circular disc. It’s basically a nectar and pollen playground for pollinators, but we also benefit from the crop because it yields seeds and oil.

6. Poppies

This showy spring flower provides a banquet of food or pollen, where honey bees often frequent the plant’s flowering buffet

7. Black-eyed Susan

We welcome the cheerful addition of this bright Missourian favorite and Maryland state flower in any garden or bouquet. Bees love feeding on its nectar and pollen-filled center.

8. Honeysuckle

The sweet smell of honeysuckle is known to attract the birds...and the bees.

9. Lantana

The small flowers in tiny clusters of lantanas yield big results for pollinators.

10. Snapdragons

The snapdragon is a unique flower, in scent, shape, and color. Bumblebees are typically active during the day, and this is the time when snapdragons release most of their scent. Fun fact: Bees can’t see red. However, they do see yellow and blue, which makes the color of snapdragons attractive to bees as well. Its bell shape also gives bees easy access to its sweetness.

11. Sedums

Sedums grow in the later months towards summer’s end, making it possible for worker bees to store up food for the winter. Also, sedums’ starry flowers grow low so they’re easy to reach for short-tongued honey bees.

12. Pale Purple Coneflower

No buzz kill here. Purple coneflowers produce a lot of flowers, and they’re perfect for drawing bees and butterflies.