Hardy Perennial Bee Garden
So far this is what I've found to be the best honeybee perennials for season long bloom and interest. I live in NY zone 4/5. Lavender and Anise Hyssop top the list. Im also waiting on Yucca and Hibiscus.. Can anyone add to this list I was thinking strictly garden perennial flowers or bulbs..
All Coneflower color varieties
All Globe Thistle varieties
Sea Holly-eryngium planum
Pink Cranesbill Geranium
Re: Hardy Perennial Bee Garden
This year in my bee garden, they foraged heavily on Oregano, Holland shallots - nice beautiful white globe flower, perennial, just not usually thought of as ornamental, anise hyssop, bluebeard (Caryopteris), white clover, Sedums. They were less active on plants I expected more activity on, mints, catnip, lemon balm. I think it varies a lot by region, and possibly by bee preference. I had lots of buddleia bloom, which bumblebees foraged but mostly not honeybees.
Next year, I want to grow more Anise hyssop, sedums, bluebeard, asters, shallots, echinacia, lots more oregano. he sedums are ready to divide, so I can have more for free. I have a small, young orchard. Around each tree is a circle of straw mulch, and each has a type of plant for the honeybees - mint, or lemon balm, or oregano, thyme, chives, or other herbs. Those should be more productive next year. Established plants can be divided to make a lot more.
I also added some shrubs and trees mainly for bees. Buddleia - which may not be so useful, California lilac - foraged heavily - wild plum, grown from seeds, and crabapple.