I'm planning to plant a lot more bee-friendly flowers (including wild flowers & flowering veg!) in my garden. I was wondering if any of you have any favourite 'plants for bees' I should try? The British Beekeeping Association has a great list -here. (Thanks to missapismellifera for the info - & see her helpful comments on 'food for bees' on my blog.)
Heather is of course the very best plantable garden flower. Bee breeders take their bees to the heather, although superseded in some ways by taking it to the "rape" (seed) which is intensively rich in nectar. you cant really grow Rape in a private garden with any pleasure, whereas Heaths,heathers, Daboecia, calluna, and ling have national/ international societies for their propagation and study. Rape comes at the beginning of the Nectar gathering season and Heather mostly at the end of it.
I am told gorse has two species one of which flowers in early spring and the other in late Autumn (or something like. You aint going to take bees to the gorse either, but they certainly appreciate it for its pollen content.
If you want to specialize in a garden flower species AND keep bees, Heather is the answer.
Cotoneaster is adored by all the species of bee, so any spare wall should be topiaried with a cotoneaster shrub.
I hope that helps!
It's a long time ago since this discussion was started. The list from the BKA is great. What the bees love on my allotment is borage - and also blackberries.
Knowing what they don't like may be just as useful. I thought they didnt like Wysteria but I do occasionally see them on the Wysteria. Obviously any fruit tree they love. Berberis I don't see them on. Rhodos/Azaleas not liked.... price you have to pay for glorious color in Spring!