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Research for many, many plants that are beneficial to honeybees

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Golden Member
Golden Member
When we lived back on the coast, I totally got into honeybees. At the high point, I kept 10 colonies. During those years, I performed research into what were the most beneficial and attractive plants for honeybees, for pollen and nectar purposes. This is the list of what I came up with and compiled for myself, oh so many years ago, and for any others that would like to learn and listen. It might seem a little disjointed, I copied and pasted it from a table format. Enjoy and have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

List of Excellent Bee Plants
Researched by Cindi Quinlan

Bachelors button (cornflower) centaurea Hover flies love
Borage officinalis Bees love it, cousin to comfrey, not affected by rain because of drooping blue flowers
Agastache foeniculum (Anise Hyssop) Agastache anisata Twilight blue, favoured by bees
Comfrey Bees love it
Centaurea Bachelors Button Hoverflies love
Consolida (larkspur) Consolida ambigua attracts beneficials
Sea Holly Eryngium planum Bees are mad about this variety
Thyme Thymus. Vulgaris a good honey plant for bees
Canary Creeper T. peregrinum
Cosmos – valuable for late nectar source
Phacelia (Purple Tansy) Phacelia tanacetifolia attracts bee from miles
Poppy giganthemum p. somniferum poppyseed poppy
California poppy eschscholzia californica
Catnip Nepeta Cataria a good bee plant
Lemon Balm Melissa officinanlis Perennial, bees love it
Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis Perennial, bees, hoverflies
Lovage Levisticum officinale
Spearmint Mentha spicata blooms late summer, bees, hummingbirds
Helipterum (Acroclinium) helipterum roseum
Yellow rocket
Impatiens capensis grows wild around my house, great for late nectar/pollen, lasts til frost-kill
Great Blue Lobelia L. siphilitica perennial, dappled light, self-sows, flowers summer through autumn
Salvia Violet Queen S nemorosa particularly attractive to butterflies & bees Flowers 2nd year
Crimson clover Trifolium incarnatum outstanding cut flowers, annual
Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum bees love it, turn under 10 days after flowering to avoid seed drop
White Dutch Clover Trifolium repens beneficial insects
Clethra 'Ruby Spice' (Sweet pepperbush)
Spotted Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium maculatum atropurpureum
Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium fistulosum
(Himalayan Impatiens) Impatiens glandulifera - Bumblebees especially love these
(Goldenrod) Solidago Canadensis
Verbascum thapsus (Common Mullein)
Japanese Knotweed
English Wallflowers cheiranthus cheiri
Figwort Scrophularia nodosa
Motherwort leonarus cardiaca
Cerinthe cerinthe major
Lion’s Ear lionitis leonarus
Teasel dipsacus sativas
Argostemma (corn cockle)
Great Blue Lobelia l. siphilitica
Salvia violet queen s. nemorosa
Giant White Fleece Flower persicaria polymorpha
Obedience Plant physostegia virgensis (lavender colour advised)


Active Member
Active Member
I'd like to add Willow.  The ones with early catkins (pussywillows)  often provide the earliest nectar and pollen and are rich sources of these.  Also, although it's a nasty weed, the yellow flowers of Coltsfoot are one of the first flowers to bloom and are covered with wild bees in early spring.
Although syrphid flies  aren't bees, they are beneficial (and look like bees!)   so we grow 2nd year parsley for the blooms to feed  syrphid fly adults.  The adults just love the parsley blooms.

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