Ask a Question forum→Vine that does not attract bees

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San Diego
newgardenerSD
Dec 17, 2020 12:53 PM CST
We are looking to cover an outdoor fence about 7 feet high in partial sun with an evergreen vine. Our son has a significant bee allergy so we are looking for one that has a very short flowering season or has a flower than does not attract bees. One that is not toxic to touch or dangerous for kids to be around. Preferably one that is more leafy than woody/stemmy. A low maintenance vine is a plus. The plantar in which the vine would be planted is about 2 feet deep and 70 feet long. We live in Southern California close to the coast. What would be your recommendation? Thank you!
Some options we are considering:
-Red mandevilla
-Creeping fig
-Grapeless grapevine
-Bower Vine
-Carolina jasmine
-Passiflora
-Beaumontia vine
-Bouganvillea
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Dec 17, 2020 6:26 PM CST
Well, most of those that are on your list will attract bees. Mandevilla, Jasmine, passion vine and Bouganvilla attract insects and butterflies.
I think that the Beaumontia will too. A couple of the vines on your list are very aggressive, spreading everywhere very quickly!
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[Last edited by BigBill - Dec 17, 2020 6:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Zoë
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover
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NMoasis
Dec 17, 2020 7:38 PM CST
I grew a red mandevilla a few years ago (it's an annual here). I suppose there are different varieties, but mine appeared to be a sterile hybrid and the bees pointedly ignored it—no visible pollen if I recall. Beautiful flowers.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
San Diego
newgardenerSD
Dec 17, 2020 11:48 PM CST
BigBill said:Well, most of those that are on your list will attract bees. Mandevilla, Jasmine, passion vine and Bouganvilla attract insects and butterflies.
I think that the Beaumontia will too. A couple of the vines on your list are very aggressive, spreading everywhere very quickly!


So, are any of them a good match?
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
Dec 18, 2020 6:29 AM CST
The only one on your list that doesn't bloom is creeping fig, and it can be very invasive. I can't think of any appropriate vines, but I'm sure some members will give you suggestions. Bees are very intelligent creatures; and the flowers that they are attracted to vary widely according to location and climate; so I wouldn't recommend ANY blooming vines at all.
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Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
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SonoveShakespeare
Dec 18, 2020 11:04 AM CST
Sweet potato vines and Ivy are good choices. You might want to do some research on ivy, as some species are invasive. Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) - is taller and less dense than English ivy, but looks beautiful under trees. It will grow up trees without harming them because it is deciduous.

As for sweet potato vines, they're annuals that don't produce flowers. They look excellent in pots and drape amazingly over retaining walls, especially 'Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas "Blackie")'. I don't think you're looking for annuals, are you?
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
Dec 18, 2020 11:10 AM CST
Uh, Ian. Actually sweet potato vines do produce flowers, but bees don't seem attracted to them. A good choice for an annual.

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“ Be kind whenever possible”
14th Dalai Lama
Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
Try Naturalizing perennials! :)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis Irises Daylilies Lilies Foliage Fan
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SonoveShakespeare
Dec 18, 2020 11:15 AM CST
D'Oh!

I forgot they do. It's a good thing they don't attract bees. Thumbs up newgardenerSD's child should be safe.
Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover
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NMoasis
Dec 18, 2020 11:52 AM CST
@newgardenerSD, Actually there is a way to reduce your son's risk of getting stung by bees, but it's going to take a bit of research on your end.

First understand that honey bees pose the greatest risk. You might already know this, but honey bees, being colonizers, are more likely to sting because they're protecting the hive (even if it's somewhat distant). Most native bees are solitary and virtually never attack or sting unless actively, individually harassed. They go about their work and aren't interested in humans.

So, one thing you want to determine is whether there are honey bee hives in your area. Then do some reverse engineering—find out what they like, then DON'T plant that. Likewise, to reduce even the natives, do the same thing.

Three resources come to mind: Your local beekeeping society can tell you about nearby bee keeepers and possibly what plants are NOT attractive to them:
http://www.sandiegobeekeepings...

Xerces Society. Their goal is to increase the pollinator population, but they definitely know what doesn't encourage the natives.
https://xerces.org/taxonomy/te...

The UofC Agricultural Extension Master Gardener's advice program. These folks have probably dealt with this issue before. They might be able to recommend plants specific to your area:
https://www.sandiegocounty.gov...

Having a child with a severe allergy must be frightening, and I understand your concern. I hope you can find a way to protect him and still allow him to grow up with a garden. Good luck Thumbs up
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
San Diego
newgardenerSD
Dec 18, 2020 12:00 PM CST
Thank you so much everyone for these kind and thoughtful responses. I will look into the bee research too. We would prefer perennial instead of annual if possible, but thank you.

We looked into Ivy but were told they were either poisonous or invasive, is there a species that would fit our criteria that is not?

What would be wrong with a Bower vine?
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover
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NMoasis
Dec 18, 2020 12:33 PM CST
Any large, flashy flower will attract pollinators, but color is a big determining factor in what it attracts. Bower's vine comes in lots of colors. Bees are generally not attracted to red, but hummingbirds are. Here is an article about how bees see that might help you decide which cultivar you choose.

https://www.beeculture.com/bee....
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.

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