The Q&A Archives: Burning Bush and Bees

Question: I love burning bushes and would like to use them to make a hedge along one side of our patio for some privacy from our neighbors. I was told, however, that they attract bees, which, of course, we would not want to attract around our patio. Is this true? If so, what would be a better choice for a hedge that doesn't grow too high, but gives a patio privacy. Thanks for your help. Nancy

Answer: Any flowering shrub will attract bees. Euonymus turkestanica var. nana is a Burning bush with an open, upright, growth pattern. The leaves turn brilliant colors of red to bronze in autumn. The red-brown flowers are followed by spherical, halloween lantern-like, pink fruit. Grows best in well-drained soil in full sun or light shade.

Euonymus verrucosus is another form of Burning bush. This one is a hardy, medium-sized shrub, that is particularly attractive in the fall, as the leaves turn a brilliant orange to red. The fruit are a very unusual combination of pink bracts holding tiny, round, black seeds.

It's been my experience that the bee season is short (when shrubs are in full bloom) and bees are generally so busy visiting the flowers that they rarely cause problems with people. If you're still concerned, though, you might be happier with a non-blooming shrub such as photinia or upright boxwood such as Green Giant.

Best wishes with your garden!

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