The Q&A Archives: Euonymus and bees

Question: Do all varietes of euonymus attract bees? I am looking for an evergreen shrub to use as a privacy screen that will come up to the edge of the patio and would prefer not to attract to many bees. Any other suggestions would be helpful. I prefer a leafy plant.

Answer: Keep in mind that although bees may pollinate evergreens such as hollies, these plants tend to bloom over only a limited period in the spring when people are less likely to be using a patio. And, if the plant is clipped regularly, then many of the blooms would be prevented, too.

Some broadleaf evergreens that could be used for screening would include Aucuba, larger boxwoods, larger rhododendrons, hollies, and Pieris japonica.

Another option would be to look at wind pollinated plants such as Mugo pine (or other pines) or ornamental grasses as these would not attract bees at bloom time.

Additional bee avoidance strategies include avoid proximity to sugary food and drinks, keep trash cans cleaned, and do not prune in midsummer when bees or wasps may have nested deep inside the plant. Also keep in mind that bees tend to be most active at the warmest part of the day, say from ten to two.

If you are concerned about bee allergies, you might consider a screened enclosure for your patio as well.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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