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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Morristown, NY, USA
    Posts
    70

    Default 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..

    Hyacinth
    Tulips
    Oriental Poppy
    Lavender
    Anise Hyssop
    All Coneflower color varieties
    All Globe Thistle varieties
    Sea Holly-eryngium planum
    Pink Cranesbill Geranium
    Malva

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,179

    Default

    New England Aster

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    I love anything from the mint family.

    You may want to get a Johnny seed catalog. It is a great reference item. It lists medicinal use, beneficial to insects, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    I second Bjorn. By far the favorite flowers here are the catnip, oregano, and some minty thing that just grows in the yard and I mow around it. It is also covered with butterflies and bumbles.

    Liatris ( http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/b/bp/LIKOS.html ) is also a favorite of mine and visited by many insects, but I don't recall seeing the honeybees on it.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    Hollyhocks
    Cleomes(not perennial, but re-seeds)
    Dill(ditto)

    Never see too many on the dill, and the cleomes only for a short time of day, but the whole patch hums when they are on them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default

    Early here is also Carolina Beauty;
    also mints/herbs and white clover (also helps the soil);
    what helps here in the hot summer (around trple digit) is trumpet vine, it is invasive though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    goshen, ma
    Posts
    359

    Default

    I believe they are called salvia also check in on gayfeather, chive, hollyhock, and most of the clovers some of them are actually very nice looking flowers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Battleground, WA
    Posts
    15

    Default 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.

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