29 June 2012 04:11 PM
I have to recommend these plants for the bees as they flower for so long and bees do seem to love them, even though this year I haven’t had many bees in my garden. :(
Scabious, Oregano, Cat Mint, Hyssops, Pink Pop, and Salvia’s. The scabious is my top plant as it flowers from March to October but does need dead heading but these flowers are very pretty in shades of lilac/blue and pink.
03 July 2012 01:34 PM #1
Yes Scabious are excellent for the short tongued bumble’s, they do flower for a long time and are very pretty too.
Good advice, as the plant doesn’t grow too big either, for those with limited space.
05 July 2012 09:33 PM #2
We find that the common or garden purple toadflax is well loved by Carder bees (B. pascuorum) - and it keeps going for ages. It is also a fairly tall narrow plant, which slowly gets bushier.
I’ve seen a pinkish form recently too, so colour varities may well be available.
06 July 2012 11:55 AM #3
I agree, Scabious is a great choice for a long lasting plant as long as you dead head often. I also agree that all this wet weather seems to have kept the bees in the dry :(
We tried to select different plants to (i) give different colours for a more pleasing view (ii) try to cater for long and short tongued bees (iii) add some wild flowers where possible (iv) spread the flowering time over as long a period as possible.
We only have a small garden sadly :( but along with Scabious some of the other plants we have, off the top of my head, that attract bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects are: Allium, Salvia, Snakes Head Fritillary, Cowslips, Comfrey, Wild Marjoram, Lavender, Teasel, Primrose, Cotoneaster, Campanula, Eryngium, Echinops, Hollyhock, Monarda, Pulmonaria, Penstemon, Erysimum, Ceanothus, Agapanthus, Lavatera and Buddleia.
I’m sure there are more but my memory isn’t what it used to be
I had bought the Gardening for Bumblebees book a couple of years ago from BBCT which helped and some of the Buzzword issues gave some great tips but now semi retired I do some garden work for myself and have done some with my brother who’s job it is full time (gardening that is ) and on one job in particular they had a great variety plants. It was easy to see which plants attracted the bees and so we bought a few of what I observed as the most bee visited species.
I hope that list helps but one last plant I didn’t mention above ... brains started to remember ... is Cephalaria gigantea, a scabious-like perennial (going full circle back to Scabious) which grows to about 4 foot and which the bees seem to spend a long time on.
07 July 2012 12:29 PM #4
I have found that garden centres are great places to discover which flowers bees like best at any particular time. In fact they are great places to see a variety of bees too.
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