Plants for Honey Bees
The state of our environment is essential to honey bees.
While there is a lot we can plant in our garden for honey bees and other pollinators, the countryside, in general, is the most important source of forage for them.
Below is a list of plants in Ireland for bees:
Wild Irish Plants for Honey Bees
Spring: Willow, Dandelion, Gorse/Furze, Sycamore Blossom, Horse Chestnut Blossom
Summer: Hawthorn/Whitethorn, Fuschia, Briar/Blackberry Blossom, White Clover
Autumn: Bell Heather, Ling Heather
Autumn/Winter: Ivy Blossom
Garden Plants for Honey Bees (flowering times are approximate)
This is not an exhaustive list, but is based on our own experience and also inspired by the book Plants for Bees by Kirk and Howes published by the International Bee Research Association (IBRA)
January & February: Box, Mahonia, Hellebores (Christmas Rose), Snowdrop
March: Cherry, Plum, Grape Hyacinth
April & May: Aubretia, Damson, Pear, Apple, Glory of the Snow, Cotoneaster, Forget me Not, Holly, Laurel, Brassicas, Barberry, Broom
June & July: Lime, Butterfly Bush, Portuguese Laurel, Thyme, Hyssop, Raspberry, Strawberry, Oregano, Sage, Catnip, Mint Lavender, False Acacia, Borage, Phacelia, Veronica, Beans, Peas, Tomato, Chive, Onion, Leek,
August: Staghorn Shumac, Heathers, Hebe, Globe Thistle, Sedum, Fuschia, Mallow, Poppy, Abutelan, Dahlia,
September & October: Michaelmas Daisy, Bell Flower, Golden Rod, Chinese Bee Tree, Buckwheat, Borage, Comfrey, Poached Egg
We always urge people to do what they can for honey bees and other pollinators.
This starts with planting and how we garden (not with getting a hive of bees, which is a huge commitment and, in our experience with beginner beekeepers do more harm than good).
An excellent reference for how you can help pollinators is the All Ireland Pollinator Plan found on www.pollinators.ie