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Bee friendly plants for dying bees......


There was a tv programme on the plight of the honey bee. It made me feel very sad and desperate to ensure we all do a little to help our wonderful little creatures. They are very under appreciated and are really struggling in todays climate. The chemicals used in agriculture, the disappearance of hedgerows, the weather, viruses, all these conspire against the poor things.

A pesticide free garden will be a bee-friendly garden. Sprays containing bifenthrin and bendiocarb are a real danger to bees. Think twice before using them if you want to share your garden with bees. Btw, male bees do not possess a sting! And bumblebees can beat their wings up to 11,400 times a minute!

So, from a book and magazine, I’d like to list some plants we can all try and grow in our garden. There are probably more, and I will update this list if I find anymore, or feel free to write a note below if you like. These plants provide nectar, not just pollen.

Where possible, try to obtain a native and original species. Many popular flower varieties are hybridized for features that are valued by the gardener, like disease resistance, flower size/colour/bigger/longer blooms. Sadly, much hybridization has reduced the production of nectar and pollen and sometimes leaves the resulting plant completely sterile and useless to bees and other pollinators. Native plants are also 4 times more attractive to bees than exotic flowers. Double glowered plants are also not suitable for pollination. Single and small flowers are easier for bees to pollinate! Bees also don’t like Insecticides (even organic!) or bedding plants:

Apple mint
Berberis Vulgaris, Barberry
Bell Heather
Black eyed Susan
Broad bean flowers
Buddlea Davidii
Butterbur (Queen bee!)
Clover, inc. Red clover
Crab apples
Deadnettles (red and white)
Field Poppy
Field Scabious
Flowering cherry
Flowering currant
Geranium (simpe)
Globe Thistle
Greater Knapweed
Hedge Woundwort
Kidney Vetch
Lavender (but not the french one)
Limnanthus Douglasii
Poached egg
Pussy Willow
Rosa Canina, Dog Rose
Runner beans
Sea Holly
Single flowered roses
Sweet peas
Sweet Sultan
Symphoricarpus albus, Snowberry
Thistle like flowers
Viburnum Oplus, Guelder Rose
Viper’s bugloss
Wild Foxglove
Wild Thyme
Winter flowering heather

1. Don’t use pesticides
2. Use local native plants
3. Choose several colours: blue, purple, violet, white and yellow
4. Plant flowers in clumps
5. Include flowers of different shapes
6. Have a diversity of plants flowering all season
7. Plant where bees will visit (ie sunny and sheltered from wind)

For further reading:
The humble bumblebee by FWL Sladen, ISBN 0-9510242
Bumblebee economics by Bernd Heinrich ISBN 0-674-08581-7
Bumblebees by Oliver E Prys-Jones ISBN 0-521-27781-7

I’m going to see if I can borrow these above from the library!

Please also read this, Rosina kindly mentioned it to me:

Another website to visit is: on the garden bumblebee.

I will write another blog on how to make a nest.

That’s all folks! ttfn!

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This is Fantastic CraftN if u want to see more Plants/Flowers which can help just click the "Plants 2 Attract Bees & Butterflies" Found Under Your Icon Pic :)

29 Apr, 2009


In this months BBC Gardeners World mag there's a great article about Bumblebees and other bees they are doing a survey monitoring bumblebees, you spend 1 hour monitoring bumblebee species noting which flowers each one visits, results need to be in before June 30th, for details on joining survey go to and for more advice on bee identification and growing bee friendly plants visit

29 Apr, 2009


Thanx for that SK :)

29 Apr, 2009


Agree Craftnutter,a very sad state of affairs.This list is very useful,and am sure other members will find it so.We have some of the plants in already,but had decided to plant teasels this year for the goldfinches...glad will also help the bees : )

29 Apr, 2009


I agree Craftnutter, Its very sad and also very worrying. I've heard that wild flower seeds can help aswell. and anything that is blue or yellow as bees see in these colours.

29 Apr, 2009


Thanks for your kind comments folks. I'd love to buy a beginners kit for beekeepers, but can't afford it at the moment! (

29 Apr, 2009


this is fab craftnutter , loving the list, love bees they seem such happy go lucky creatures



x x x or should it be zzzzzz

29 Apr, 2009


Thanks Craftnutter, it's so true about the hybrids too, especially things like double flowers that must just tease the bees with pollen they can't get to bless them. SK that article is brilliant, I never realised we had so many different types of bee and that they all needed differing varieties of flowers.

29 Apr, 2009


I never realised either Reebeesfleurs! When my hubby told me last year on the decline of the honeybee, that was when I felt sad about it and started investigating more about them. I never realised how important they are to the world, the economy and food in general! Never again do I take them for granted, altho' I always did love the gentle bumblebee "bumbling" round the garden!

Here's hoping the governments can get the scientists to help the poor honey bee. I know in Britain (forget where exactly) they are trying to see if they can breed a stronger version of the honeybee. The only CCD virus free honeybees left in the world are in Australia. If they get infected, there will be real problems! At the moment, that is where the US "hires" them from to pollinate their crops!

29 Apr, 2009


My hubby went on a bee keeping course last month and the tutor said that something similiar happened to the native honeybee in the 1940s and we lost all of them. the honeybees we have now are the descendants of bees imported from Italy after the war. Dont forget to add ivy to the list as these flower in late winter and are important food sources for early flying insects

29 Apr, 2009


ps thanks for bringing this to everyones attention

29 Apr, 2009


God bless the bees, i love them, i ahve some nesting in the ground, i am unsure which ones they are but well they are there for a reason and i have no intention in evicting them, ladybirds are so rare too did you know, we also desperately need these as they get rid of the aphids, i am going to buid a bee box and a ladybird box, i hope i can encourage them to live in them.

29 Apr, 2009


sorry i forgot to add today i have seen four bees in my garden all nice and fat buzzing around.

29 Apr, 2009


I think I should add that they love my hypericum hidcote. They buzz around this all day and also the lilac. Tref.

29 Apr, 2009


They are certainly in decline in North America too. May I add 'Bee Balm' or Monarda to your list. They love mine. The flowers are never without several bees on them. They also really like Echinacea which is a native North American plant.

Great blog CN

30 Apr, 2009


Thanks for all your kind notes, I'm sure future Goy'ers will read all these!

Mageth, that's really interesting. Does that mean you'll keep some bees? Let us know if your hubby does!

Gilli, I think we added the bee balm at the same time, lol!

30 Apr, 2009


Not likely, my daughter is terrified of them, it was just something he is interesred in, maybe when we retire.......

30 Apr, 2009


My garden used to be full of honey bees and I was regularly stung by them as I brushed past the shrub veronica when it was in flower as it was at the entrance to my greenhouse. Please understand that I am not complaining as it was a small price to pay for having so many bees around, I only felt sorry for the poor bee who stang me as he would die afterwards and didn't understand that I meant her no harm. In recent years I have not only kept the veronica but have planted many more flowering plants especially to attract other insects and bees, but I now see very few bees. Bumble bees seem to be fairly plentiful but the honey bee is sadly missing. I have never used pesticides so hat is not the reason.
Gilli. Momarda is in the list but it is under the name "Bergamont".

30 Apr, 2009


Aw, glad to see you didn't get rid of the Veronica, most gardeners would have done, well done, you've been helping them these years without knowing! Nice to know there's a gardener like me who doesn't use any chemicals!

30 Apr, 2009


Very interesting and useful information. Thanks.

30 Apr, 2009


So it is Toto.....thanks for pointing that out.....I must have missed it. :o)

1 May, 2009


On my lavender bush last year I had loads of bees and on the foxgloves to. We Cut lengths of bamboo canes into short lengths tie them altogether and enclose then in an empty drinks bottle with the bottom cut off and hang them in a tree and the bees hide inside when it raining!! I have seen bees going under ground also. I would love to have a hive unfortunately I am allergic. Without bees we will all starve to death. Their job pollinating are food crops is the most important job in the world. We owe our bees a heck of a lot!!!! We ALL need to protect them. So come one everyone lets make a pact to save our bees by planting the right plants in our gardens!!!

12 Apr, 2010


Lots of children are scared of being stung. My grandson, 11 yrs, included. I have got my hive and hope to get bees and at first he said he would not go near them. However, I explained the theiory that if the bees disappeared we would only be a few years behind and pointed out that if he was only afraid of getting stung and I put him in a beeproof suit he had nothing to fear. It was like magic - he could see the sense of that and I think is quite curious now. Educating the younger generations is an important factor and I am so pleased that many schools are inviting local beekeepers to explain to the pupils something about the bees. In my home town (Hereford) I think there have been bees in the library from at least the 1950's - they fly out across one of the main streets yet no-one seems bothered. From inside the library/museum a glass panel allows visitors to see the bees in action. My local association created a 'bees in the curriculum' pack and this website has built on that start

27 Jun, 2010


thanks for the link nell

29 Jun, 2010


Thanks Craftnutter - great list of bee friendly plants.
I did a magic course earlier this year on NATURAL BEEKEEPING run by the Natural Beekeeping Trust - you can find them here - - so much better than conventional beekeeping as a lot of the traditional practices seem to be contributing to the rapid decline of our sweet honeybees.
Here's another good site -
With natural beekeeping:
1. Interference in the natural lives of the bees is kept to a minimum.
2. Nothing is put into the hive that is known to be or likely to be harmful either to the bees, to us or to the wider environment and nothing is taken out that the bees cannot afford to lose.
3. The bees know what they are doing: our job is to listen to them and provide the optimum conditions for their wellbeing.
Which is where bee friendly plants come in :o)

29 Nov, 2010


Thank you for the link Nelletap I will try to plan a lesson on bees for the early years children that I work with.

30 Nov, 2010

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