Choosing the right plants for a bee-friendly garden is not always easy. Here you will find 15 great bee bushes for the garden.
When you think of bee-friendly plants, most people immediately think of colorful blooming flowers. However, it is not only bee-friendly flowers that lure the little hummers into the garden – numerous shrubs and woody plants often provide the animals with a profitable source of food, even if it may not seem so at first glance. Often the most inconspicuous flowers, which are hardly appreciated in our garden, are particularly important for the bees. You can find out here which bushes are ideal for bee pastures and which do not help the small animals.
Shrubs are an absolute must in garden design because they add height and structure to the bed. If you are careful when choosing the right trees, you can also help the bees at the same time. But not all shrubs are suitable for bees: Conifers, for example, do not provide any food for wild bees. Even exotic plants, such as forsythia (Forsythia), cannot be used by beneficial insects because their flowers produce neither pollen nor nectar. You can find out which plants are better suited for creating a bee-friendly garden in our Top 15.
Would you like to offer the bees something very special and thus offer the bees a habitat in your garden? Surely you have a free, quiet corner in your garden where you can set up a bees and insect hotel. The insects will thank you!
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The exotic hibiscus (hibiscus), also known as rose hibiscus, is extremely popular because of its large, colorful flowers. In the past, the mallow family (Malvaceae) was particularly popular as a houseplant, but the hibiscus is also increasingly found as a garden plant. Here, the plant with its spectacular flowers is also popular with bees. In fact, it offers little nectar to the small insects, but hibiscus is considered a good source of pollen. Its flowering period from July to September is also particularly beneficial for the bees, as many other perennials have already faded and the food supply is slowly becoming scarce.
If you are looking for an insensitive and at the same time easy-care hedge, you will quickly find it with the privet (Ligustrum vulgare): It impresses with its densely branched habit, rapid growth and its evergreen foliage. But not only people benefit from the robust beehive – the privet is actually one of the few bee-friendly hedge plants. From June onwards, the plant adorns itself with delicate, delicate white panicles of flowers that exude a wonderful scent and attract numerous beneficial insects.
- Copper rock pear
The copper rock pear (Amelanchier lamarckii) has long been one of the relatively unknown types of fruit, but has recently gained significantly in popularity. No wonder, after all, the plant can have some advantages. Visually, the copper rock pear is particularly impressive with its impressive play of colors: the leaves are copper-colored when they shoot, turn green in summer and finally take on an intense autumn color. But also their tasty fruits and their easy-care nature make the rock pear very popular. In April it forms numerous star-shaped flowers, which prove to be a real magnet for bees and attract dozens of beneficial insects.
The hawthorn (Crataegus) is a popular shrub in garden design because it is particularly undemanding and easy to care for. Particularly difficult soil conditions as well as drought and heat hardly affect the plant. With its densely branched branches and the often spreading crowns, it is not to be despised visually either – some species even develop an exceptionally beautiful autumn color. In May and June the plant shows an almost endless number of small white or pink flowers and is therefore very popular with bees.
With its long, arching branches, the snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus var. Laevigatus) is a particularly elegant shrub plant even in summer. If it shows its numerous white berries from June, which remain on the plant all winter, it becomes a real eye-catcher. Bees also like the modern-looking shrub: the small bell-shaped blossoms that the plant develops between June and September look very inconspicuous at first glance, but they are a particularly rich source of nectar for bees and bumblebees.
With the barberry (Berberis) perfect hedges can be created, which not only reliably keep curious glances and unwanted intruders away, but are also particularly easy to care for. The evergreen shrubs impress with their elongated leaves, which often show a great autumn color, and their small fruits, which are popular as snacks for humans and animals. But while the dense foliage and the pointed thorns of the barberry ensure that unwanted guests stay outside, the small yellow flowers attract countless insects. Sand bees in particular, but also bumblebees and other beneficial insects, find a valuable source of food in the barberry.
- Finger bush
Whether you should speak of a shrub or not rather of a ground cover with a size of only 15 centimeters is up to you. The finger shrub (Potentilla tridentata) impressively shows that it’s not just about size: hardy, robust and easy to care for, the plant feels at home almost everywhere. The finger shrub looks particularly beautiful in May, when the dark green leaves contrast with the white star blossoms. These often bloom well into August and thus ensure that bees have a long supply of food.
The willow (Salix) is one of the most famous trees in our region. In addition to the shrubs that are often found, there are also creeping species and large trees. Their duplex nature makes the willow something special – so there are both purely male and female willows. While the male plants develop particularly conspicuous flowers, which mainly contain pollen, female flowers provide bees with the coveted nectar. In fact, some species of sand bees have even specialized in pastures, as these are a particularly good source of food. The Sal willow (Salix caprea) in particular is very popular with striped beneficial insects – thanks to its early flowering and its high pollen and nectar content, it is an important source of food for wild bees.
- False jasmine
The false jasmine (Philadelphus coronarius), also known as scented jasmine or peasant jasmine or pipe bush, is probably one of the most popular scented plants and can therefore be found in many gardens. With its elegant, overhanging growth and dull green leaves, the bee-friendly shrub is a modern eye-catcher in the garden. But it doesn’t look particularly beautiful until the end of May – then the plant transforms into a sea of seductive flowers that bathe the garden in a brilliant white and give off an intense smell. But not only people love the wrong jasmine, bees are also real lovers of the plant, which offers them plenty of food.
- Cornelian cherry
Even if the Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) has a similar name to our cherry tree (Prunus avium), the two trees are not related to each other. Instead, the cornel belongs to the dogwood family. The only thing they have in common: the Cornelian cherry also bears shiny red fruits in summer, which are very similar to cherries. However, their fruits are much tart and sour in taste. Bees particularly like the Cornelian cherry because of its lemon-yellow flower umbels, which the plant already shows in February. The Cornelian cherry is one of the first to bloom in spring and offers the bees a particularly good opportunity to replenish their reserves after the long winter.
- Wild roses
Roses (pink) are rather unusual in connection with bee-friendly plants: the plants are often criticized because their double flowers block the insects’ way to nectar and pollen and thus to their basic foodstuff. However, this only applies to modern cultivated roses – wild roses such as the vinegar rose (Rosa gallica) or the potato rose (Rosa rugosa) form a strong contrast and are almost besieged by bees and bumblebees, as they offer a plentiful supply of food. But other animal species also benefit from wild roses: Birds like to use the rose hips as food, and the dense shrubs also offer protection and cover for many native animal species such as the hedgehog. By contrast, wild roses are popular with gardeners because of their easy-care nature and their natural charm, which does not have any double flowers.
- Beard flower
With its impressive blue inflorescences, the bearded flower (Caryopteris clandonensis) causes envious looks: From July the plant turns into a veritable sea of flowers, which give the plant a unique look until the first frost. But also their aromatic scent and their elongated green-gray leaves make the plants a real asset to the garden. Even bees love the easy-care subshrub. The bearded flower not only offers you an almost endless selection of flowers over a very long period of time, but also produces a lot of nectar and pollen during this time.
In April and May, the sloe (Prunus spinosa) bears countless small, white flowers that envelop the beehive like a cloud. A paradise for the small, striped beneficial insects that are looking for food for the first time at this time of year. Fortunately, the sloe flowers not only look good and smell wonderful, but also provide the hungry beneficial insects with enough nectar and pollen to replenish their supplies. But even after flowering, the sloe is not to be despised visually: The thorny, black shoots, which have also given the plant the name blackthorn, ensure an appealing appearance in combination with the dark, dull green leaves. In autumn, the sloe also produces tart, aromatic fruits that not only birds but also people taste.
Ivy (Hedera helix) as a bee pasture? Although the umbels of the ivy are so inconspicuous that they are often not even noticed, the climber is one of the most important sources of food for beneficial insects such as bees and native butterflies. In fact, the plant is one of the few real autumn bloomers: from September to October, ivy provides insects with easily accessible pollen and nectar, which allows them to extend the animals’ feeding period again. But the plant is also a real asset for people: easy to care for and robust, it is not only ideal as a privacy screen or wall greening, but also belongs to the air-purifying plants.
- Berry bushes
Currants (Ribes), raspberries (Rubus idaeus) or gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa) – for many gardeners, berry bushes with their sweet fruits are the most beautiful thing in the whole summer. But not only people enjoy the delicious delicacies, bees cannot get enough of them either. In fact, almost all berry bushes produce very good nectar and pollen production, which makes them an important source of food for the small insects. The raspberry in particular is extremely bee-friendly: not only does it have the highest pollen and nectar value of all berry bushes, its long flowering period, which can range from May to August, also makes it a reliable source of food.
Would you like to do something good for the bees and other insects? Then plant flowers that bees really love. I can recommend a good seed mix that I personally use in my garden. The bees love these plants. So you can actively do something good for nature!