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Gillian it is not mad to support the bees everyone should try. The bees really like my pumpkin flowers at the moment which is a lovely sight to show the children. So if your mad then I must be to as I sit and watch the bees to.

My husband is bee mad, so I have planted loads of bee friendly plants. He says different bees like different flower forms so it is good to have a variety. Also choose flowers that are not only accessible to bees but also nectar rich. The number one bee magnet in our garden is Agastache, closely followed by nepeta. These both like a sunny position. Also good are cornflowers, cosmos and rosemary.


As well as all the great suggestions you've already had, I have a hardy geranium, and a jasmine (jasminium beesianum) that are both always crawling with bees. And a shrub they seem to love (and so do the birds) is Leycesteria.

The bees have loved our borage and foxgloves this year. Now the Allium Nectaroscordum are open enugh to sneak inside they are getting a lot of attention too. These are just a couple of pics taken earlier today. Really lifts your spirits hearing the buzzing.



Jim Macd

Hi Midget25,

well, anything that hasn't been messed about with by gardeners. So go for any British natives that flower. Seriously, I watched a bee the other day land on a grass stalk, it did a little shimmy all the way up it. That was odd, I thought, then it did it again on another, and another and another. It could only have been collecting pollen. I have over 365 different natives plus a few non-natives that I inherited. The bees love all the natives. Bugle, Vipers Bugloss, Foxgloves, Hesperis, Yellow Rattle, Common Rock Rose, Small Scabious,Field Scabious, Greater Knapweed, Bird’S-Foot Trefoil, Hemp Agrimony, Red Campion, Chives!, Clover, Speedwell, Broom, Viburnum opulus, buttercups, thyme, Lavender, wild roses and their close relatives, Oxeyedaisy, Corn Marigold, Cornflowers, Rasperry, Blackberry, violas but the natives ones don't go for messed up ones that are just for attracting nanas, Lesser Teasel, Teasel, Deptford Pink,  Spiked Speedwel. 

  I haven't mentioned many shrubs because most of mine are early flowerers and lately there just haven't been bees out at this time but Amelanchiers, Cherries, Plums, Apples, Crab apples, Pears but make sure they are NOT double and try if you can to go for ones that are grown for their fruit so that way you know the flower hasn't been messed about with and it's going to do its job which is to attract bees. Amelanchier smokey has great blueberry like fruit.   The biggest thing gardeners can do to help bees though is NOT use any pesticides above all things like ant killer. Grow organically. If you need to use loads of chemicals to grow something then find something else that hasn't been made helpless by breeders who's main aim is to attract people not wildlife.    Good luck. Jim


Jim Macd

Gillian53 wrote "The neighbours think I'm really mad now!"

Let them. Mine think I'm mad or lazy or both, because I grow Welsh poppies.

'They're weeds they are' piped up one on his way past. Laughing to himself as I collected seed from my Mechanopsis cambrica to sow in my meadow at the back.

'A weed is an unwanted plant' I replied, 'And, since I want 'em, then, they can't be weeds'. 

He frowned like I just spoke to him in Swahili and tugged his dog away that was peeing on the Jacobs Ladder that had been swaying in the wind as if singing a ballad to itself but now just spluttering and dripping dog pee,  another 'weed' no doubt.


The bees in my garden are loving this penstomen


 It's funny watching them on the salvias they work their way up the flower like going up an helter skelter.

 Not sure if you can spot the bee on this one, not the pot with the dailia, but front of photo is flower spikes of hecura plum pudding the flowers are tiny but the bees love them.It's a good foliage plant and bee freindly to

bees also on snapdragon, verbenas, foxgloves, hardy geraniumns, sweet rocket,

raspberry flowers. The only problem i have is there are bees nesting in the cavity wall of our house, they are going in through a air vent brick!


it's viper's bugloss today, covered in them

Miss Willmott's Ghost anyday now

hollie hock

Snapdragons here as soon as they flower, I get loads of them

 I decided this year to sow my whole front garden with Phacelia tanacetifolia. It is usually grown as a green manure and dug in before it flowers.

I let it flower and am know the proud owner of bee heaven. I estimate 20 to 30 bumblebees per square metre at peak times, have identified at least 7 different species and have tree bumblebees nesting in the eaves of the house.

The only down side is that I have read that Phacelia self seeds freely, so I may be growing it every year from now on, whether I like it or not.

C'est la vie.


Try and find room for a winter flowering honeysuckle shrub. Lonicera fragrantissima. It flowers on bare wood in the early spring and is always covered in the first emerging bees. Smells good too  Grow Helenium for autumn flowers. They love those too.


The early bees like Pulmonaria rubra, the first of the pulmonarias here, in a good year it's flowering for the New Year's day flower count

Jim Macd

Yeah, my native lungwort was flowering on Christmas day this year and was still in flower in May. It's a good palnt. But if there's no bees about then all the pollen and nectar in the world will go to wast. I have to hand polinate my apples and quinces. I didn't polinate the first quince and I've got nothing, not a one it.


not short of bees generally here Jim, but not honey bees, or very few.

Jim Macd

really? Oh, you're luck, it's really sad here, when I lived in london my wildlower window boxes up on the 5th floor were always teaming with bees and hover flies, each flower would have it own solitary bee. I live in the North East now near two nature reserves, not to mention farms and I hardly see any except for the bumble bees which have three hives in my garden but considering the three hives and a large stump filled with holes for them I really don't see that many. I don't think I'd have had the apples I have had I not done the polinating myself. I have two pears trees which didn't flower at the same time but my neighbours really large tree flowered throughout, I don't have a single little pear. Really sad. I'm glad you have lots though, so it's not all bad news. Send some to me.


Hi guys, great advice on plants, we found that leaving an old compost heap alone down the side of the house out of the way, that bees came and nested in it. They kept themselves to themselves and the dog stayed away and was great to see them in the garden.

My parents found some nesting under a saxifrage on their rockery! Fascinating to watch, Do check out the bee conservation website though, they do updates every month that you can sign onto online.

You can get charts of different bees to, to try to identify ... all good fun.


Jim Macd

Thanks Sunnydayz will have a look, By the way, it was wasps that made a home in a pile of wood chips that I had. I disturbed the nest while turning it, thankfully for both of us, the nest had only a few grubs in it which I left for the birds. Oh, my bumble bees make their homes in old wood mouse wholes. I've got three. I even made one from them but they prefer the real thing.

michael 58

This visitor and many more, really seemed to enjoy the marjoram during the summer months. I think i'll be taking some cuttings next year and have more growing around the garden. They absolutely loved it......and I in turn absolutely loved having them as my guests 



We're still getting worker bumble bees in the garden - I was watching one busily visiting the flowers on the Clematis cirrhosa Freckles just two days ago

michael 58

You name dropper you