Bee plants for gardens

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Much of the best food we eat is pollinated by bees. NZ’s bee population contribute about $5 billion to our economy per year. Unfortunately, with loss of habitat, the increasing use of pesticides and the invasion of the varroa mite, the world’s bees are at risk.  As gardeners, we can play a part in helping their survival.

Hosting a beehive in your garden is a contribution to their survival. Hives can be rented or purchased, and courses are available through Beekeeper Clubs. Another way to help the bees is to plant a floral haven filled with nectar and pollen. Many common garden flowers, vegetable plants and fruit trees provide food for bees. The common clover that grows in lawns is a wonderful provider for bees. 

Blue, purple, white and yellow-flowering plants are bee favourites, and they generally prefer simple flowers with a single row of petals. Plant lots of different bee  friendly plants in your garden, including bee flowers for each season to provide a constant source of nectar and pollen all year round. Planting in generous groupings of each favourite plant will help the bees find them.

Old fashioned flowers like lavender, verbena, bee balm and alyssum are ideal. Of course bees love fruit tree flowers and the flowers of vegetable plants and herbs when we let them go to seed.  Native plants that are loved by bees include pohutukawa, rata, hebes and of course, manuka.  

Bee plants for gardens

 

Fruit

 

Apple

Malus varieties

Lemon, orange,mandarin, lime

Citrus varieties

Pear

Pyrus varieties

Persimmon

Diospyros varieties

Plum, apricot,peach, nectarine

Prunus varieties

Raspberries

Rubus varieties

Strawberries

Fragaria varieties

 

 

Flowering annuals

 

Cornflower

Centaurea spp

Hollyhock

Alcea spp

Michaelmas daisy

Aster novae-angliae

Penstemon

Penstemon

Blue tansy

Phacelia tanacetifolia

Salvia

Salvia spp

Alyssum

Lobularia marítima

Zinnia

Zinnia spp

Calendula

Calendula officinalis

Sunflower

Helianthus annuus

Foxglove

Digitalis varieties

Cosmos

Cosmos varieties

Nasturtium

Tropaeolum majus

Sweet pea

Lathyrus odoratus

 

 

Herbs

 

Basil

Ocimum basilicum

Chives

Allium schoenoprasum

Sage

Salvia species

Lavender

Lavandula varieties

Rosemary

Rosmarinus varieties

Mint

Mentha varieties

Sweet marjoram, oregano

Origanum varieties

Bee Balm

Monardia

Hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis

Thyme

Thymus species

Comfrey

Symphytum Officinale

Borage

Borago officinalis

Lemon balm

Melissa officinalis

Catmint, Catnip

Nepeta species

Fennel

Foeniculum vulgare

 

 

Flowering perennials

 

Echinacea

Echinacea purpurea and cultivars

Lungwort

Pulmonaria

Scabiosa

Scabiosa

Stonecrop

Sedum spectabile varieties

Armeria

Thrift

Cranesbill

Geranium varieties

Globe thistle

Echinops varieties

Pride of Madeira

Echium fastuosum

Queen Anne’s lace, cow parsley

Anthriscus sylvestris

Catmint

Nepeta x faassenii

Hot poker

Knifophia varieties

Verbena

Verbena varieties

Tick seed

Coreopsis varieties

 

 

Trees

 

Australian gum

Eucalyptus spp

Cabbage tree

Cordyline australis

Lemonwood

Pittosporum egenioides

NZ Lacebark

Hoheria populnea

Pohutukawa, Rata

Metrosideros varieties

Rewarewa

Knightia excelsa

Tulip tree

Liriodendron

Manuka

Leptospermum

Kanuka

Kunzea ericoides

Kohuhu

Pittosporum tenufolium

Karo

Pittosporum crassifolium

Titoki

Alectryon excelsa

 

 

Shrubs and climbers

 

Bottlebrush

Callistemon spp

Harakeke, NZ flax

Phormium tenax

Koromiko

Hebe varieties

Lavender

Lavandula varieties

Rosemary

Rosmarinus varieties

Old fashioned roses

Rosa varieties

Viburnum

Viburnum varieties

Wisteria

Wisteria varieties

Flax

Phormium

 

 

 

Find out more at Apiculture New Zealand apinz.org.nz

 

Look for these products, tips and advice at a Go Gardening Store near you.



13-Oct-2016

 

bee apple
Apple blossom

bee citrus
Citrus blossom

bee fennel
Fennel flowers

bee lavender
Lavender flowers

bee rose
Rose