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Author Topic: Planting a woodland for bees  (Read 2595 times)

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Planting a woodland for bees
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2022, 10:06:49 am »
Willow,
flowering current good for early spring.

Any and all fruit trees and bushes (if it makes fruit it must make a flower first which needs to be pollinated).
Horse chestnut, cherry - bird and wild, sycamore (although everyone hates it it’s actually good for pollinators and makes good firewood and responds well to coppicing.

I observe bees on my oak trees and Scots pines, I think they must be after the sap or something, not sure but they’re there.  When in doubt go for diversity.

I’m also planting cotoneaster shrubs and Budleia bushes for pollinators.

Don’t get too hung up on whether it’s for honey bees or bumbles or butterflies or hover flies.

Sounds like you’ll have space to do some more ground/herb later plants: a herb garden - thyme, sage, mints, etc, etc,  and anything that is from a cottage garden or weedy old flowers like Mullen, Vipers bugloss, self heal, rather than anything professing to be “better, new, improved” -it isn’t. Extra colour and double flower heads are pretty much useless for bees, most roses, daffodils, etc, are useless to very poor.
If you’ve got a space and in any doubt do clover/vetch/birds foot trefoil/ dead nettles. Archangel is good under trees.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Planting a woodland for bees
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2022, 10:45:04 am »
for bees, most roses, daffodils, etc, are useless to very poor.
If you’ve got a space and in any doubt do clover/vetch/birds foot trefoil/ dead nettles. Archangel is good under trees.
Interesting about daffs, always presumed as early flowers they were good, as usual, I've been prompted to have a read up..
I think they must be desperate round here, I'm sure I've seen bees in there, (I try and grow scented ones, maybe they are different?) Something to watit for and observe. ☺

naturelovingfarmer

  • Joined May 2021
  • Ohio River Valley
Re: Planting a woodland for bees
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2022, 12:03:39 pm »
I'm adding to Steph's list here:

Yarrow, black eyed susans, echinacea, siberian wallflower, siberian peashrub, flax, false flax, foxglove, shasta daisy, coreopsis, cosmos, sunflower, sweet allysum, marigold, and zinnia.
Turn your problem into a solution. Learn new things. Adapt as you go. Plans should be fluid and subject to change. I start planning for things years in advance and by the time I do them they have usually changed radically.

"Fall down 7 times, stand up 8" ~Bodhidharma

Glencairn

  • Joined Jun 2017
  • Dumfriesshire
Re: Planting a woodland for bees
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2022, 07:35:41 pm »
If you have space - I would plant a couple of lime trees (as in Tilia cordata, not the sour variety for your gin and tonic). I know it is a longterm thing, but The local lime trees are absolutely buzzing when in flower. We are planting a couple in our field this winter/spring.

Thank you Anke (and Rosemary and Fleecewife) I've had a small leaf lime, bird cherry (thanks Steph Hen) and a couple of others delivered to bring them on at home before I expose them to the extremes of the woodland.

We have abundant amounts of willow and a bit of hazel already well established. I have a hazel at home and might see about planting it out.

Thankfully the snowdrops are out at last and there's signs the daffodils are on their way.

I've got ambitions to get some aconites out within the next couple of years, will probably see if there's potential to put primroses out or similar because I would like to get the coverage of flowers throughout the year as much as possible winter permitting.

Glencairn

  • Joined Jun 2017
  • Dumfriesshire
Re: Planting a woodland for bees
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2022, 10:10:27 am »
Update, Celandine have come through. Snowdrops arrived, but it was minus seven so died off again.

Have planted a lot of crack willow and have twenty goat willow to put in.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gardening-blog/2015/apr/03/goat-willow-start-your-own-bee-orchestra

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Planting a woodland for bees
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2022, 12:49:34 pm »
Keep an eye out as you’re going about the countryside. Where you see bees on trees, that must be a good one. Some willows are loved by different species. When you see a new one you can take a cutting to grow at home.

Glencairn

  • Joined Jun 2017
  • Dumfriesshire
Re: Planting a woodland for bees
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2022, 07:14:13 pm »
Thanks Steph Hen, I saw a load of bees on the catkins on the crack willow in my garden, it lifted my spirits to see and made me glad I had been propagating cuttings from it for the woodland.

 

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