Plants for Honey Bees


Plants for Honey Bees

A wide variety of plants are available to all kinds of Bees but some plants are better than others for each Bee species.

The following list is what’s good for Honey Bees. The plants given are also good for most other Bees but differences of the Honey Bee anatomy mean what a Bumble can get too a Honey Bee may not.

You will quickly appreciate for growing the best plants (marked) for Honey Bees you’d need an orchard, a small piece of woodland, an area for growing fruit bushes & a meadow. Not exactly what’s going to fit in most gardens. So, to give a little guidance the plants best suitable for a garden are indicated in terms of garden size.

A crude guide for choosing plants & to helping plants to feed Bees,

1) Select plants that have simple open flowers, think daisy, dandelion.
2) Plant lots of them in one place to produce an abundance of forage the Bees can locate repeatedly.
3) Provide a mixture of plants that’ll flower across the seasons. e.g. celandine, crocus & snowdrops then to berberis, broom, ceanothus & aubretia etc.
4) You may already have trees & shrubs that Bees like. Consider giving them more growing room and a larger area for gowth when pruning or planting.
5) Let some herbs flower. As many as you can.

 

Plants are listed alphabetically. If you know the name or part of it use Ctrl-F in your browser or select from followings groups.

Pollen colours known are provided as backgrounds.  The colour is indicative.

Happy gardening.

Best plants are marked *.      Please see notes at bottom.

  Common Plant Name Type Garden Size Flowering Time
Feb
Mar
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Oct
Abelia Shrub All flower flower flower flower
Alder Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Alliums Flower All flower flower
Almond Shrub Medium/Large flower flower
Alstroemeria.  Peruvian Lily Flower All flower flower flower
Alyssum Flower All flower
Anchusa Flower All flower flower flower
Anemones (Pollen) Flower All flower flower flower
Anthemis Flower All flower flower flower
Apples * Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Arabis Flower All flower flower
Armeria Flower All flower flower
Ash (Pollen) Tree Large flower
Asters * Flower All flower flower
Aubretia * Flower All flower flower flower
Baby Blue Eyes * Flower All flower flower
Balsam Flower All flower flower
Bay Laurel Shrub All flower flower
Beech (Pollen) Tree Medium/Large flower
Bell Heather * Flower All flower flower
Berberis Shrub All flower flower
Bergamot Tree Medium/Large flower
Bergenias Flower All flower flower flower flower flower flower
Bilberry Shrub All flower
Bindweed Flower All flower
Birch (Pollen) Tree Medium/Large flower
Bird Cherry Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Bird’s-Foot-Trefoil Flower All flower
Blackberry * Bramble,  Rubus Flower All flower flower
Blackthorn or Sloe Shrub Medium/Large flower
Bluebell Flower All flower
Borage * Flower All flower flower flower
Box Shrub All flower flower
Brassicas Flower All flower flower flower flower
Broom Shrub All flower flower
Buddleia Shrub All flower flower flower
Buttercup Flower All flower
  Common Plant Name Type Garden Size Feb
Mar
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Oct
California Poppy Flower All flower flower flower flower
Campanula * Flower All flower flower
Candytufts Flower All flower flower flower
Cat Mint *   Catnip Herb All flower
Ceanothus Shrub Medium/Large flower
Celandine Flower All flower
Cherry.  Autumn Blossom Tree Medium/Large flower
Cherry * Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Cherry Plum Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Chestnut, Horse * Tree Large flower flower
Chestnut, Indian Horse Tree Large flower flower
Chestnut, Buckeye Tree Large flower flower
Chestnut, Sweet * Tree Enormous flower
Chinese Bee Tree Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Clematis (Pollen) Climber All flower flower flower flower flower flower flower
Clover, Red * Flower All flower
Clover, White * Flower All flower flower
Coreopsis Flower All flower flower flower
Cornflowers * Flower All flower flower flower
Cotoneaster * Shrub Medium/Large flower flower
Crab Apple Tree Medium/Large flower
Crane’s Bill Flower All flower flower
Crocus’s Flower All flower
Crocus Autum varieties Flower All flower
Currants *  Ribes.
Many species, varieties
Shrub
Fruiting
All flower flower flower flower
Dahlia (Simple flower varieties) Flower All flower flower flower
Daisy Bush Shrub All flower flower
Damson * Tree Medium/Large flower
Dandelion Flower All flower flower flower flower
Daphne Shrub All flower
Dead Nettles * Flower All flower flower flower flower
Deadly Nightshade Flower All flower flower flower
Deutzia Shrub All flower
Dogwoods Shrub All flower flower flower
Doronicum, Leopard’s Bane Flower All flower
Common Plant Name Type Garden Size Feb
Mar
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Oct
Echinops Flower All flower flower flower
Echiums Flower All flower flower flower
Elm Tree Medium/Large flower
Elderberry, Elder Tree/Shrub Medium/Large flower
Escallonia Shrub All flower flower flower flower flower
Eucalyptus Shrub Tree Small/Huge flower
Eucryphia * Shrub Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Evening Primrose  (Pollen) Flower All flower flower flower
False Acacia.  Black Locust Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Fennel Herb All flower
Field Beans Flower All flower
Figwort Flower All flower
Forget Me Not Flower All flower
Forsythia Shrub All flower
Fuschia Shrub All flower flower
Gaillardia * Flower All flower flower flower
Gentians Flower All flower flower
Geraniums.  Check variety! Flower All flower flower flower flower flower flower
Geums Flower All flower flower flower flower flower
Golden Alyssum Flower All flower flower
Golden Rain Tree Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Golden Rod   Solidago Flower All flower
Gooseberry Shrub All flower
Gorse, Ulex  Miniature variety. Shrub Medium/Large flower flower flower flower flower flower flower
Grape Hyacinth *  Muscari Flower All flower flower
Hawthorn * Shrub Medium/Large flower
Hazel (Pollen) Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Heaths * Flower All flower flower flower flower flower flower flower
Hebes. Check variety! Shrub All flower flower flower flower flower
Heathers Flower All flower flower flower flower flower
Hellebore * Flower All flower flower
Hogweed Flower None flower
Hollies Shrub All flower
Hollyhock Flower All flower flower
Honeysuckle, wild All flower flower flower
Hop Tree Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Horse Chestnut Tree Medium/Large flower
Hound’s Tongue flower flower flower flower
Impatiens * Himalayan Balsam Flower All flower flower flower
Indian Bean Tree Tree Large flower flower
Ivy * Flower All flower
Jacob’s Ladder, Polemonium Flower All flower
Judas Tree Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Juneberry
Snowy Mespilus
Serviceberry
Shrub All flower
Knapweeds Flower All flower
Common Plant Name Type Garden Size Feb
Mar
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Oct
Lady’s Mantle Flower All flower flower
Laurel Tree Medium/Large flower
Lavender * Flower All flower flower
Lavateras * Flower All flower flower
Leopard’s Bane * Flower All flower flower
Liatris Flower All flower flower
Lilacs Shrub Medium/Large flower flower
Limes * Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Ling Heather * Flower All flower flower
Lobelias Flower/Climber All flower flower flower flower flower
Loosestrifes Flower All flower flower flower flower
Love In A Mist Flower All flower flower flower
Lucerne Flower All flower
Lupins Flower All flower flower flower
Magnolias Shrub Tree All flower
Mahonia * Shrub All flower flower
Mallows Flower All flower
Maples *  (Not Japanese Acers) Tree Medium/Large flower
Marjoram * Herb All flower flower
Marsh Marigold Flower All flower flower flower
Meadowsweet (Pollen) Herb All flower flower flower
Medlar Tree Medium/Large flower
Mexican Orange.  Choisya Shrub All flower flower flower flower
Michaelmas Daisy Flower All flower flower
Mints * Herb All flower
Mock Orange.  Philadelphus Shrub Medium/Large flower flower
Mountin Ash Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Mullein.  Verbascum Flower All flower flower
Mustard Herb All flower
Oak Tree Medium/Large flower
Oil Seed Rape * Flower None flower flower flower flower
Onion Herb All flower
Oxeye Daisy Flower All flower flower flower flower
Common Plant Name Type Garden Size Feb
Mar
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Oct
Pagoda Tree Tree Large flower
Papavers Flower All flower flower flower flower
Peach Tree Medium/Large flower
Pear Tree Medium/Large flower
Phacelia * Flower All flower flower
Phloxs Flower flower flower flower
Plantains (not bananas) Flower All flower
Plum * Tree Medium/Large flower
Poached Egg Plant * Flower All flower flower flower flower
Poplar (Pollen) Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Poppies  (inc Eschscolzia) Flower All flower flower flower
Potentillas Shrub/Flower All flower flower
Privet Shrub All flower
Prunus *
Many species
Many varieties
Tree/Shrub All flower flower Includes

Plums, Evergreen Laurels, Fruiting & Ornamental Cherries, Almonds, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots & Bird Cherries.  A few flower in Autumn.
Purple Gromwell. Lithodora * Flower All flower flower flower
Purple Loosestrife Flower All flower
Pyracanthas * Shrub All flower
Quince Shrub All flower flower
Ragworts Flower All flower
Raspberries * Flower All flower flower flower
Red Hot Pokers * Flower All flower flower flower flower
Robinia. Check species! Tree/Shrub All flower
Rose (Simple flower varieties) Shrub/Climber All flower flower flower flower
Rose, Rock.  Sistus Shrub All flower
Rose, Wild (Pollen) Shrub All flower
Rosehip, Dog Rose Shrub All flower flower
Rosebay Willow Herb Flower All flower flower flower
Rosemary * Shrub All flower flower
Rowan Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Russian Sage Shrub All flower flower
Sage Herb All flower flower
Sainfoins Flower All flower flower flower flower
Saxifrages Flower All
Scabious Flower All flower flower flower
Scillas Flower All flower flower flower
Sea Lavender Flower All flower
Sedums * Flower All flower flower flower flower flower
Sidalceas Flower All flower flower flower
Silver Birch Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Smoke Bush Shrub All flower flower
Sneezeworts.  Achillea Flower All flower flower flower
Snowberry Shrub Medium/Large flower flower flower
Snowdrop * Flower All flower
Snowdrop Tree Tree All flower flower
Sorbus Shrub/Tree All flower flower
Sour Cherry Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Spiderworts Flower All flower flower flower
St John’s Worts * Flower All flower flower flower
Stranvaesia Shrub Medium/Large flower flower
Sweet Chestnut Tree Medium/Large flower
Sweet Gum Tree Tree Medium/Large flower flower
Sweet Williams Flower All flower flower
Sycamore * Tree Medium/Large flower
Common Plant Name Type Garden Size Feb
Mar
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Oct
Teasels Flower All flower flower flower
Thistless Flower All flower
Thrifts Flower All flower
Thymes * Herb All flower flower
Toad Lily Flower All flower
Toadflax, Common Flower All flower flower
Traveller’s Joy Flower All flower
Tree of Heaven Tree Large flower flower
Tulip Tree Tree Enormous flower flower
Veronica Flower All flower
Vetch Flower All flower
Viburnums * Shrub All flower flower flower
Violet Flower All flower
Viper’s Bugloss Flower All flower
Virginia Creeper Shrub All flower
Wallflowers * Flower All flower
Weigela Shrub All flower flower
Whitebeam Tree Medium/Large flower flower
White Bryony Flower All flower
Wild Clary Flower All flower flower
Willows * Tree Medium/Large flower
Willowherbs * Flower All flower flower
Winter Aconite Flower All flower
Winter Cress Flower All flower flower
Winter Heaths Flower All flower
Winter/Spring Heathers Flower All flower
Witch Hazel (Pollen) Shrub Tree All flower
Wood Anemone Flower All flower
Wood Sage Flower All flower
Yellow Melilot Flower All flower
Yew Tree Medium/Large flower

 

Naming. Some plants are listed specifically by name e.g. Wallflower & some are named by plant group e.g. Prunus.
Some plants within a group are useful to Bees and in some cases a complete plant group may be useful to Bees. Also there’s duplication of naming as different people may refer to the same plant by a variety of names.

Flowering Times. Allowances have been made for climate variations in the British Isles and plant variaties. When you’ve decided on a plant check when it’s supposed to flower to see if it fits in with your plan, if you have one.