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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 9, 2014 11:06 AM CST
I am interested in planting more for the bees, although I don't care for honey so am not thinking of an actual hive system (unless I could just set it up and forget about it, which doesn't seem likely). What have been your best plants for bee magnets? I have the following which are all good attractants: monarda, sunflower, borage, raspberries, blueberries, sedums, fruit trees, comfrey, pieris (trying to think back to more).

Also, any thoughts on adding structures or watering hole type things to encourage them to nest? I did have my husband drill me a mason bee structure, but haven't noticed anyone using it yet. Put it up last spring before the pieris bloomed, sited on a south facing wall near pear, cherry, and pieris.

I will do a search of our database, but am looking more for tried-and-true plants that others have seen large numbers of bees pollinating. Thanks - a winter planning project...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Sep 9, 2014 11:43 AM CST
These three were the biggest bee magnets this year:

Caryopteris Sunshine Blue
Greek Oregano
Perovskia Little Spire
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 9, 2014 11:49 AM CST
Thanks, Debra, that's exactly what I'm looking for -- the plants that are literally buzzing with bees for others. I'd forgotten that my plain jane common oregano was also pretty buzzy this year. I don't have a lot of luck with perovskia, but I do have one struggling plant that I'll try to nurse back to life. Do you cut it back hard in the spring as I've read several times? Mine never quite recovers from that, so perhaps is not a good strategy in my area. Or it may like a more alkaline soil, I'm pretty acidic.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Sep 9, 2014 11:57 AM CST
Two major bee magnets for me have been...
African Blue Basil (Ocimum 'African Blue')
Sage (Salvia Playin' The Blues™)
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Sep 9, 2014 11:59 AM CST
Deb, I cut it back almost to the ground in late February.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
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BrendaVR
Sep 23, 2014 7:46 PM CST
If you are looking for shrubs: Willows (totally a hit! Short early spring bloom period but VERY popular), serviceberries (Amelanchier sp) beautiful spring blooms too.

Agastache was a hit with my bumbles this year...and then the goldfinches liked eating the seeds...

Fall ones I love are any of the asters and goldenrods...I'm trying a few new ones this year from plugs hopefully have lots of flowers next year. (had Calico, it was always covered with bees, but it spread way to much from the rhizomes, worse spreader than Canada Goldenrod by far! Beautiful little rascal...) In my butterfly observations the Monarchs always seem to be nectaring on New England Aster so thats always a nice one too, should be fairly "well behaved" and beautiful colour too.
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Sep 23, 2014 8:46 PM CST
Top bee magnets in my yard--what fun to think about this!--I'd have to say:
for spring to early summer: penstemon (species), cosmos bipinnatus, monarda fistulosa, spirea japonica, lavender
for midsummer: salvia 'May Night', agastaches, yarrow, sunflowers, basil 'African Blue', catnip, cosmos sulphureus
for late summer to early fall: caryopteris, calamentha nepeta, celosia plumosa, fennel blooms, sedum 'Autumn Fire', aster 'Purple Dome'
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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jmorth
Sep 23, 2014 11:33 PM CST
Wild New Eng Aster is my greatest BF and bee magnet. It exceeds all others by multiple layers of magnitude. They get quite tall and try to self seed a lot, but these possible detractors have been manageable.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 24, 2014 11:49 AM CST
Good responses - I have some of these plants, will put others on my ongoing 'wish list.'
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Sep 24, 2014 1:25 PM CST
From today. I found four bees in this one shot, but there may be more.

Thumb of 2014-09-24/lovemyhouse/f2c5b7

If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Sep 30, 2014 8:50 PM CST
Bidens Deb. They account for 1/3 of honey bee nectaring. Find out which ones grow in your area.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 20, 2014 3:58 PM CST
Just read your Bidens article (nicely done) and reviewed the map link. Looks like B. beckii or cernua are the two that are native to my region. I'll keep my eye out for those, and try to introduce them to my front field. A neighbor used to keep bees and I always welcomed his buddies to my yard, but since his death several years ago, there are noticeably less. I don't really want to do the whole beekeeping thing - honey is not my favorite food - but do want to encourage more bees.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Oct 20, 2014 4:25 PM CST
Bonehead said: Looks like B. beckii or cernua are the two that are native to my region.

Here is what I see for Washington.

Native:
Bidens amplissima (rare)
Bidens cernua
Bidens frondosa

Adventive:
Bidens beckii
Bidens tripartita
Bidens vulgata
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Oct 20, 2014 5:50 PM CST
Jay you are a fount of information. Thumbs up

I was just out walking today & bees & wasps & butterflies were all mobbing the bidens but I am not fast enough nor my camera good enough to capture the little buzzers images. By the time I focus on one it goes zip! off to another bloom.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Oct 20, 2014 7:28 PM CST
Thanks, Horntoad - I'll add the natives to my Wish List (an ever-changing computer file I print out before going to a nursery). Does adventive mean it is introduced or has migrated over rather than true native?

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Oct 20, 2014 7:42 PM CST
Deb, adventive means not native and usually not yet well established.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Oct 20, 2014 7:44 PM CST
BONAP is a database of plants in North America so if a plants origin is outside of North American it is classified as introduced. If it is a North American native, but introduced to a particular region then it is an adventive plant in that region.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Oct 20, 2014 8:11 PM CST
That clarifies it. Thanks Jay.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Catmint/Robin
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Butterflies Forum moderator Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Echinacea
Region: Maryland Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 The WITWIT Badge
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Catmint20906
Oct 21, 2014 4:12 AM CST
Cool website, Jay--thanks!
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Name: Evelyn
Northern CA Sierra foothills -
Butterflies Seed Starter Foliage Fan Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Vegetable Grower
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evelyninthegarden
Oct 26, 2014 4:41 PM CST
Rosemary is the one that are many times filled with bees. Different varieties bloom at different times.

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