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Lime trees


Total Posts: 1

Joined 2013-08-31



I am new so apologies for jumping right in but I was hoping to get some advice.

I’ve been gardening a couple of years now and while I’m not particularly good at it, I’m really only interested in planting for bees. As such, I’ve been learning as I go along and a neighbour pointed out to me today that a tree that belongs to another neighbour next to us is a lime tree. As I do with any plant I’ve just identified, I go and look them up and see what use they are to bees.

What I’ve found out to my dismay though is that lime trees can be toxic to bees apparently so obviously I’m now concerned about this particular tree. I’ve found conflicting input in internet searches however with some saying it depends on species and others saying they aren’t actually toxic but put bees in a stupor or something.

Can anyone advise me? I’m very fond of this tree but I’m not happy at all if it turns out to be killing my bumblebees that I work so hard for otherwise.

If it’s any help, I have this (not very good) photo of the tree in question which is the large one to the right.

Any help identifying it or advising me on toxicity issues would be much appreciated.


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Total Posts: 7

Joined 2012-04-23


Welcome to the forum, beepherd!

It’s a tricky one to answer, and the scientific evidence still doesn’t point at any clear answer. On the whole, lime trees probably do benefit bumblebees, and only one species - Tilia tomentosa is regarded as being very harmful, the others less so. Lime trees also bring great benefits to the other kinds of wildlife that use them, so we certainly wouldn’t recommend cutting one down.  There is a bit more information on this on our website, here: http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/faqs/#row9

BBCT Outreach Officer