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Bee plants in your garden

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  • sarinkasarinka BedsPosts: 239
    Cornflowers (especially the blue ones grown from Johnson's double blue cornflower seed)
    Mint flowers
    Lavender
    Buddleia
    Lobelias (I have a long row of them, two actually, and it is teeming with bees and other insects constantly)


  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,124
    The plant with the most bees I've ever seen, was at a garden we visited locally a couple of weeks ago, and I think it was Echinops Bannaticus, but maybe not the most common cultivar, Taplow Blue, as the the flower heads were quite pale. However it was hard to see most of them as there were so many bees on them, one head we counted 10 bees! It is known to be rich in both pollen and nectar and we first noticed it because my daughter was looking for the source of the sweet scent. (Her nose is much better than mine). It is already on my shopping list for next year :)
  • AstroAstro Posts: 269
    For me the absolute bee magnet was borage,  they love it. Foxgloves too were very, very popular.
    The most noticeable others were/are chives, hellebores, allium -purple sensation, nasturtiums, geranium-johnsons blue, eryngium, echinops, Echinacea, cosmos, salvia- amistad, passiflora-caerulea.
  • sarinkasarinka BedsPosts: 239
    Oh! Just found a bee greedily tucking into a just opening cosmos bud, and noticed that the salvia hotlips had about four bees on it despite being quite a small plant as yet
  • JamesS-BJamesS-B Gateshead, Tyne and WearPosts: 245
    sarinka said:
    Oh! Just found a bee greedily tucking into a just opening cosmos bud, and noticed that the salvia hotlips had about four bees on it despite being quite a small plant as yet
    I forgot about Hot Lips.  Mine flowered for MONTHS and was always covered in bees.  A good choice. 
  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 895
    edited 25 August
    I have the following book which appears to have all the information anyone could want to know about bees and plants, I intend to read it over winter. It was on my last birthday list, and gratefully received.

    Whilst it does list all the plants that different bees like throughout the seasons, I particularly wanted to know the experiences of gardeners and the plants they actually have that bees love..


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,148
    I think it's a good idea @LeadFarmer. We will have variations on populations and species, depending on where we are.
    There would be no point in me growing plants which attract a specific species, if those bees don't exist up here.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • SueAtooSueAtoo DorsetPosts: 120
    This has been a very instructive post as it's about what actually happens. I read that dandelions are favoured by bees, but big banks of them here are totally ignored. Old pulmonarias are popular with my bumbles in spring. I'm going to make a (big) list ready for next year.
  • SueAtooSueAtoo DorsetPosts: 120
    I'd forgotten my shrubby honeysuckle. Tiny scented flowers. 
  • sarinkasarinka BedsPosts: 239
    My new clematis, French marigolds and cornflowers were all bee-filled these last few evenings. (Or wasps on the clematis? My eyesight and insect knowledge are both rather bad.) The bumblebees really like the marigolds in particular.

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