At the Beekeepers' Spring Convention I toddled along to a lecture by Andy Willis on bee plants. It was interesting fare. You hear so much advice on bee plants which is either misleading or wrong that it was refreshing to hear from someone who has made this a lifetime's work, and who bases his views on personal observation. Many "good" forage plants will only produce a decent flow of nectar in specific circumstances, so he emphasised the need for diversity. I hadn't also fully appreciated that honeybees value flowers like Field Poppies (Papaver rhoeas
) for their pollen, but not for their nectar. He ran through the year, providing a list of plants to provide continuous sources of pollen and nectar, which is one of the things we're hot on too.
Some of his ideas included:
January: Winter Cherry (Prunus x subhirtella
March: Winter flowering Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima
), Almonds (Prunus dulcis
), Apricots (Prunus armeniaca
June: Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia
July: Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa
September: Golden Rod (Solidago spp.
October: Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica
December: False castor oil plant (Fatsia japonica
We've got the trees for sale now in our "trees for bees"
section on the website.