Plants for Year-Round Bee Forage

Nov 13, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. As much fun as it is to plant showy annuals and herbaceous perennials to attract pollinators, a more sustainable path is to add woody plants to our landscapes that will still be providing nectar and pollen for insects, birds, and mammals long after we’re gone. The University of Georgia has a publication called Pollination: Plants for Year-round Bee Forage that lists pollinator friendly plants in the order they bloom. The authors say that bees and especially bumblebees need to have resources constantly available during the summer; as summer ends bumblebees start rearing reproductive males and females that will mate and provide gravid females to overwinter and perpetuate the species.  The list includes both native and non-native plants – I’ve often cut stems of quince, native to Asia, on warm February days that were covered with buzzing insects working those showy blossoms.