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Attract Bees to your Garden with Ornamental trees

Whether you like them or not, bees are of critical importance to our environment: they are pollinators for fruit and vegetable crops, and they are producers of honey and other medicinal foods.

Unfortunately, with the global bee population in decline due to habitat and disease problems, the pollination of fruit trees and cultivation of fruit and vegetables is in jeopardy. Yet garden owners can do something small to counter this, by planting a number of ornamental/fruit trees in their back garden to attract bees, helping them on their way to provide vital food sources and to keep our fruit-bearing trees pollinated.

Firstly, you may want to be aware that certain flowers are more accommodating to bees than others. Single flowers tend to be your best bet, as they are larger, and therefore more accessible for insects to find the nectar and pollen. In contrast, many double flowered plants do not produce nectar at all.

It also may be worth maintaining a varied seasonal plan, in which your flowering season stretches from early spring to the very last days of summer. If you plant too early, there is a large chance the pollen will be all used up in a short space of time. Aiming for what we might call ‘staggered interest’, with a variety of perennial plants, will see the flowering season extend from early spring right up until the end of summer, giving the bees a great deal of support over the longest period of time.

In terms of suitable species for attracting bees to your garden, English Woodlands has a number of suggestions:

  • Spring – ornamental crab apples and pears, such as Malus and Pyrus species
  • Early flowering Cherries such as Prunus cerasifera Nigra
  • Hawthorns such as Crataegus prunifolia and Crataegus Monogyna

As for summer flowering trees, Tilia lime trees are certainly attractive to bees (although some species are more so than others, for instance, some have a soporific, almost narcotic effect).

In late spring and early summer, shrubs such as Elder and Cotoneaster cornubia are valuable sources of nectar, while climbers such as Honeysuckle will all variety before the autumn.

Finally, as late summer gives way to autumn, Arbutus unedo, a strawberry tree, has both flowers used as a pollen source for bees and fruits for birds, while the shrub Elaeagnus ebbingei has small white fragrant flowers, making it a bee-friendly option as a hedge plant.

arbutus enedo

For any more tips on which trees are best for attracting bees to your garden, or for any general inquiries, please get in touch with us. The knowledgeable English Woodlands team are available Monday-Friday on 01435 862992, or you can leave an inquiry on our contact page and our team will gladly get back to you.

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