African blue basil. I get tons of bees on it 12 months of the year. In fact, in the spring when I want my trees pollinated, I cut it way back because the bees would rather attend to the blue basil than my fruit trees.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
My 10 foot tall hibiscus (rose of sharon) is completely loaded with all kinds of bees right now! I am enjoying watching the bumblebees burrowing down into the flowers and getting covered in yellow pollen!
You have to be tough or dumb - and if you're dumb enough, you don't have to be so tough...
Bronze fennel - all kinds of wasps, tiny beetles, honeybees, and swallowtail butterflies
Cornflowers, Lamb's Ears, Blackberries - lots of honeybees
Scabiosa Atropurpurea 'chile black' - seems popular with honeybees but is also the favorite for monarch butterflies right now
For sheer diversity of smaller pollinators, the native Coyote Brush on our fence line is the definite winner. I don't know what most of them are, but seems to be a good mix of tiny bees, wasps, flies, and even some beetles.
I have this type of mint I call “fuzzy mint” that perfumes the air with the slightest touch. It grows about 3 feet tall, and when it’s in bloom it’s absolutely swarming with a myriad of species, it’s something to behold. I’ll take a pic and post it here later this year when it’s blooming
Despite this photo, the squash isn't my top pollinators plant. Depending on the time of year I always have an abundance of native wild flowers and I always let my herbs flower. They seem to prefer tiny masses of flowers to big showy blooms like these. Even the sunflowers are actually masses of tiny flowers growing together.
I'd give you a sunflower photo if any had started blooming yet. We're nearly there.
Location: Coastal Chesapeake, VA - Zone 7b/8a - Humid
It has been a long while since I started this thread. Still learning!
I believe I have moved 5 times since the thread was started. Many different ecosystems.
At the new place here in Chesapeake, VA I have some very large fields that have been absolutely covered in white and red(pink) clover for a very long time along with the native flowers.
Because of this the bumble bee population has absolutely exploded this year!!! Now that my garden is in bloom…. I have bumble and honey bees absolutely everywhere. Along with Pensilvania soldier beetles and many types of solitary bees.
There has to be many dozens of bumblebee nests within their flight range. They are all over my clover, wall of cucumbers, wall of melons, and wall of scarlet runner beans.
I even caught two honey bee swarms in my single swarm trap this year. Awesome!
Also, my field borders are surrounded by Sour wood trees. I was about to order a bunch online to plant for the honey… but mot now. They are about $15 each online.
The fastest and most reliable components of any system are those that are not there. Tiny ad: