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Bee-friendly trees and shrubs are indispensable in every garden - this is the only way for honey and wild bees to find enough food. So that you can find suitable flowering trees and shrubs rich in nectar and pollen, we have listed the 65 best species here.

In a nutshell

  • Choose shrubs with different flowering periods to ensure long-term food supply
  • species with flowering times in early spring and from July are particularly in demand
  • only choose varieties with single, single flowers, double flowers are unsuitable
  • colorfully mixed hedges and flowering shrubs in the garden ensure bee supply
  • many types of wood are also suitable for bumblebees, moths and beetles

Bee friendly trees

Not only flowers and flowering perennials are essential for the survival of the various bee species, numerous trees and shrubs are also unimaginable without these insects. Not only do flowering trees provide plenty of nectar and pollen, the plants are also dependent on cross-pollination - without honey bees there would be no apples, hazelnuts or other fruit. So that the insects find enough food all year round, we have sorted the best bee trees according to their flowering times.

Flowering time February / March

Tree hazel (Corylus colurna)

  • slow growing
  • heat and drought tolerant
  • up to 20 meters high
  • Flowers very early between February and March
  • edible fruits
Source: Botaurus-stellaris, Corylus-colurna-20-09-2009-08, edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

Mountain cherry (Prunus sargentii)

  • tree-like ornamental cherry
  • lush flowers from mid-March
  • gorgeous autumn colors.

blood plum (Prunus cerasifera)

  • beautiful reddish brown foliage
  • tolerate almost any soil
  • for a sunny to partially shaded location
  • early heyday
  • flown by numerous bees, wild bees and bumblebees

Ash maple (Acer negundo)

  • Flowering early from the end of March
  • dioecious
  • only male specimens are suitable as bee pasture

Red maple (Acer rubrum)

  • up to 15 meters high
  • like all maples important bee pasture
  • Flowering begins early in March
  • primarily male specimens visited by honey and wild bees
  • prefer male varieties like 'Summer Red', 'Somerset' and 'Brandywine'
  • for a sunny to semi-shady location with nutrient-rich and moist soil

Narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia)

  • very suitable for a hot and dry location
  • Bees and bumblebees fly to the blossom
  • Art is an excellent source of pollen
Source: Lazaregagnidze, Fraxinus syriaca syrian Ash-Tree სირიული იფანი (2), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

White willow (Salix alba)

  • also known as head willow
  • Willow trees indispensable as bee pastures in spring
  • yellow catkins appear from the beginning of April
  • lime loving
  • for a sunny to semi-shady location with soil that is as moist as possible
  • also tolerates drought

Norway maple (Acer platanoides)

  • very bee friendly species
  • should not be missing, especially in the urban environment
  • blooms between April and May flowering species
  • often flown to and easily accessible nectar source
  • small, yellow-green flowers always appear before the leaves
  • The 'Globosa' variety, for example, is well suited for small gardens
  • also known as ball maple
Norway maple, Acer platanoides

Quaking poplar (Populus tremula)

  • valuable bee nutritive wood
  • the 'Erecta' variety, for example, is well suited for the garden
  • can be grown as a large shrub or a small, slender tree
  • this variety flowers earlier than other poplars
    Flowering April / May

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)

  • valuable bee tree (like all fruit trees)
  • but is also popular with bumblebees
  • the 'Kioto' variety in particular flowers very early and profusely
  • for a warm and sunny location
Source: apple2000, Apricot tree05, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Pear (Pyrus communis)

  • very good pollen and nectar donors
  • frequented by both bees and bumblebees
  • Pears bloom at about the same time as apple trees
Pear tree, pyrus, pear

Cultivated apple (Malus domestica)

  • one of the best nectar and pollen donors ever
  • Extension of the flowering period through clever choice of variety
  • combine summer, autumn and winter apples with different flowering times
Apple tree, malus

Tip: Ornamental apples are also very bee-friendly shrubs, which - depending on the type and variety - even fit into small gardens. The very early blooming multi-flowered apple (Malus floribunda) or the three-lobed ornamental apple (Malus trilobata) are particularly recommended.

Peach (Prunus persica)

  • Flowering time just before the cherries
  • very good pollen donors
  • for warm and sunny place
Peach tree, Prunus persica

Plum (Prunus domestica)

  • many varieties: plums, damsons, mirabelle plums, greengage
  • Blossoms coveted bumblebee and bee pasture
  • Plums bloom a little later than cherries

Sour cherry (Prunus cerasus)

  • excellent bee pasture
  • blooms shortly after the sweet cherry
Prunus cerasus, sour cherry

Sweet cherry (Prunus avium)

  • open the blossom dance on the fruit trees from the beginning of April
  • very bee friendly wood
  • excellent supplier of nectar and pollen
  • grow up to 20 meters high
Prunus avium, wild cherry, sweet cherry

Tip: All ornamental cherries are also very good bee pastures, although you should always prefer the unfilled varieties to the half or filled ones. Only these can be used by bees, wild bees and bumblebees, since filled cultivated forms are useless as pollen and nectar donors.

Sweet Almond (Prunus dulcis)

  • for a warm place in the garden
  • other almond trees are also suitable as bee pasture, e.g. B. Palatinate fruit almond (Prunus amygdalus)
  • self-fertile cultivated form of the sweet almond
  • Almond trees are covered with countless pink blossoms
Source: Michelangelo-36, Almendras en el arbol, Edited by Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

Bird cherry (Prunus padus)

  • native rose plant
  • Flowering time between May and June
  • heavily flown by bees and bumblebees
  • black, berry-like fruits in July and August
Bird cherry, Prunus padus

Quince (Cydonia oblonga)

  • bloom from mid-April
  • usually together with the late apple varieties
  • Differentiation between apple and pear quinces
  • Depending on the variety, the tree can also be grown as a shrub
Quince, Cydonia oblonga

Field maple (Acer campestre)

  • native, robust deciduous tree
  • blooms together with apple trees
  • valuable bee pasture
  • pruning-tolerant species, very well suited for high hedges
  • provides both nesting sites and shelter for birds

Tip: In addition to the Norway and field maples, other types of maple are also important bee pastures in spring. For example, the sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) or the late-blooming fire maple (Acer tataricum ssp. ginnala) are good pollen donors.

Yellow-flowered horse chestnut (Aesculus flava)

  • frequented by bees and bumblebees
  • distinctive species for large gardens
  • also known as Appalachian horse chestnut or yellow baboon
  • flowers after the better-known red-flowering variety
  • up to 30 meters high
  • develops a dense, broadly conical crown

Red flowering horse chestnut (Aesculus x carnea)

  • flowers about one to two weeks later than the common horse chestnut
  • mainly attracts bumblebees
  • less endangered by leaf miners

Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

  • very important pollen donor for bees and bumblebees
  • Flowers both male and female

Tupelo tree (Nyssa sylvatica)

The forest tupelo tree is also a particularly bee-friendly tree, but only flowers from an age of 15 to 20 years. The tree, originally from North America, grows up to 20 meters high, provides valuable nectar and is just as important for other insects and birds. However, tupelo trees have very specific site requirements, they need

  • an acidic and moist soil
  • a pH between 5.5 and 6.5 is ideal
  • nutritious
  • sunny to partially shaded location

In the course of climate change, the tupelo tree is a good alternative to other, more sensitive species.

Source: Nicholas A. Tonelli from Northeast Pennsylvania, USA, Thickhead Mountain Wild Area (5) (10585265783), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0

Flowering time May / June

American Yellowwood (Cladrastis lutea)

  • rarely planted
  • short-stemmed tree
  • develops long, white paniculate flowers just before the small-leaved lime
  • Blossoms are often flown to
Source: Archibald Tuttle, Cladrastris-fleurs-02, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Bluebell tree (Paulownia tomentosa)

  • Bluebell trees commonly found in the USA
  • Varietal honeys from the blue-violet panicle blossoms are popular there
  • tolerates drought very well
  • is considered to be fast growing.

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

  • native wild wood
  • provides ample food for a wide range of insects as well as birds
  • white panicle flowers attract many insects
  • offer a pretty sight in the months of May and April
Source: AnRo0002, 20150515Sorbus aucuparia2, Edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

Serviceberry (Sorbus torminalis)

  • bee-friendly wood for the garden
  • native species
  • lime loving
  • rarely planted
Source: AnRo0002, 20220421Sorbus torminalis5, Edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

Common whitebeam (Sorbus aria)

  • various Sorbus species are considered to be particularly bee-friendly
  • as well as the common whitebeam and its relative, the Swedish whitebeam (Sorbus x intermedia)
  • the latter is a hybrid of rowan and whitebeam
Source: Ivar Leidus, Apis mellifera - Sorbus intermedia - Keila, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Black Locust / Mock Acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia)

  • Acacia honey is a delicious delicacy made from black locust flowers
  • is growing in popularity with us
  • feels particularly comfortable in dry locations
Robinia pseudoacacia, Source: AnRo0002, 20150513Robinia pseudoacacia3, Edited from Plantopedia, CC0 1.0

Service Tree (Sorbus domestica)

  • highest nectar content of all Sorbus species
  • native species
  • up to ten meters high
  • also produces apple- or pear-shaped edible fruits
  • Fruit varieties such as the 'Sossenheimer Riesen' are particularly productive
Source: Haeferl, Forchtenstein - Natural Monument MA-026 - Service Tree - Leaves and (unripe) fruits, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT

Flowering time July to September

Bee tree / Stinkash (Tetradium daniellii)

  • also known as the thousand-flower shrub
  • develops very rich flowering
  • numerous large, greenish-white panicles
  • extremely bee-friendly wood
  • readily approached by many other insects
  • also provides food and shelter for birds.

Sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa)

  • excellent late bee pasture
  • Flowering occurs after that of the small-leaved lime

Linden (Tilia)

  • most important bumblebee and bee pastures ever
  • they bloom very profusely and with nectar-rich flowers
  • different species flowering at different times
  • in total, the linden blossom lasts about six weeks
Linden trees are generally easy to care for.

Tip: There are no linden species that are poisonous to bees or bumblebees, as was claimed until a few years ago. The dead bumblebees found mainly under silver linden trees are instead due to the general lack of food during the flowering period.

Oleaster (Elaeagnus angustifolia)

  • grey-leaved shrubs
  • bloom together with the small-leaved lime
  • show lightly scented blooms
  • small yellow flowers
  • is often flown heavily

Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

  • deciduous tree species native to the USA
  • also planted with us for several years
  • blooms just before the summer linden
  • valuable bee nutriment
  • also heavily flown by bumblebees

Hedges and shrubs for bees

A whole tree does not fit in every garden, instead numerous shrub-like trees and shrubs are suitable as bee food. Here, too, we have listed suitable shrubs according to their flowering time, as this allows you to plan and plant a varied bee pasture that blooms throughout the growing season.

Flowering time February / March

Bloodcurrant (Ribes sanguineum)

  • all Ribes species, such as the golden currant (Ribes aureum) are heavily flown, bee-friendly trees
  • also very popular with wild bees and bumblebees

Hazelnut (Corylus avellana)

  • very bee friendly shrubs
  • provide nectar but plenty of pollen
  • are mainly flown to by honey bees
Corylus avellana

Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas)

  • Large shrub or small tree
  • bloom very early
  • valuable pollen suppliers for sand and honey bees
Cornelian cherry, Cornus mas

Sal willow (Salix caprea)

  • like all willows, valuable wood for bees
  • Catkins provide a lot of nectar in addition to pollen
  • Bumblebees and moths can also be found at this food source
Foliage of the willow

Hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora)

  • magical attraction for various species of insects, especially on sunny days

Sloe (Prunus spinosa)

  • belongs to the Prunus species
  • native, widespread shrub
  • important bee pasture
  • mainly flown by wild bees, bumblebees and butterflies
Prunus spinosa

Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)

  • blooms very early in the year
  • important food source for wild, honey and carpenter bees as well as for bumblebees

Flowering April / May

Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

  • very popular for centuries as a hedge and topiary
  • inconspicuous flowers provide honey and wild bees with valuable food

Serviceberry (Amelanchier lamarckii)

  • native species
  • Valuable food for insects and birds
  • It even produces edible fruit in autumn
Source: Joan Simon from Barcelona, España, Amelanchier ovalis (5650554609), Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 2.0

Evergreen barberry (Berberis julianae)

  • evergreen variety of barberry
  • blooms very early
  • is heavily flown
  • tolerates drought well
Berberis thunbergii

Evergreen viburnum (Viburnum x burkwoodii)

  • like all viburnum trees bee-friendly
  • is also well visited by bumblebees
  • the snowball that blooms a little later is also a coveted wood for bees

Mahonia (Mahonia aquifolium)

  • evergreen shrubs
  • lush yellow flowers
  • very well flown by honey and wild bees as well as by bumblebees

Ranunculus (Kerria japonica)

  • popular ornamental shrubs in the garden
  • If possible, choose varieties with unfilled flowers, as only these are flown to

False quince (Chaenomeles japonica)

  • belongs to the rose family
  • blooms profusely with red, pink, orange or white flowers
  • produces yellow, hard fruits in autumn

Willow-leaved Pear (Pyrus salicifolia)

  • grey-leaved shrubs
  • bloom much like pears
  • are visited by bees and bumblebees just as much as these
Source: Averater, Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' 03, Edited by (MKr), CC BY-SA 3.0

Flowering time May / June

Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea)

  • attractive ornamental tree
  • very heat tolerant
  • heavily flown by numerous insects - in addition to honey bees, wild bees and bumblebees
  • large selection of different cultivars for the garden

Mother of pearl bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis)

  • also known as Kolkwitzie
  • beautiful ornamental shrub for the garden
  • Flowers are often visited by bees
Linnaea amabilis, Kolkwitzia, mother-of-pearl shrub

Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria)

  • Flowers rather inconspicuous
  • but all the more popular with many insects
  • Shrubs are very suitable for hedges due to their broad, bushy growth
  • Red-leaved varieties such as 'Lilia' or 'Royal Purple' are particularly attractive
Smoke bush, Cotinus coggygria

Pipe tree / farmer's jasmine (Philadelphus coronarius)

  • vigorous wood
  • Blossoms may be simple, but they don't just smell heavenly for bees and bumblebees
  • blooms before the summer linden
  • also known as farmer's jasmine
Philadelphus coronarius, peasant jasmine

Red Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)

  • native species
  • owes its name to the wood, which turns bright red in winter
  • bee-friendly flower attracts numerous other insects - bumblebees, beetles and butterflies
  • in addition, the fruits (unfortunately poisonous to humans) are an important food source for birds

Weigela (Weigela)

  • bloom between late May and mid-June
  • numerous varieties with different growth patterns
  • are very suitable for low or high hedges
  • attractive, usually crimson calyxes
  • often visited by honey bees and bumblebees

Hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata)

  • Blossom of the native hawthorn is very important for many insects
  • is between the fruit blossom and the linden blossom
  • in addition to honeybees and wild bees, bumblebees, beetles and butterflies also fly to the shrub

Flowering time July to September

Fingerbush (Potentilla fruticosa)

  • grows stocky and usually stays low
  • scores with a very long flowering period between May and October
  • golden yellow flowers
  • is eagerly visited by honey bees, wild bees and bumblebees

Garden marshmallow (Hibiscus syriacus)

  • warmth-loving
  • popular food for bees
  • large, attractive flowers in a wide variety of colors
  • Small shrub can grow up to two meters high

Common privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

  • easy to care for and easy to cut
  • especially popular for hedges
  • ecologically extremely valuable
  • wintergreen
  • blooms continuously between June and July
  • feeds not only various types of bees but also bumblebees, butterflies and beetles.
  • the gold privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium 'Aureum') with its up to ten centimeter long flower spikes is also popular

Love Pearl Bush (Callicarpa bodinieri)

  • also called beauty fruit
  • blooms profusely and profusely in July and August
  • Valuable source of food for many species of bees, bumblebees and birds (because they are fruity in autumn).
Callicarpa bodinieri in the garden bed

Snowberry (Symphoricarpus albus)

  • colloquially known as firecrackers
  • impresses with its long, bee-friendly flowering period between June and September
  • prefers a sunny to semi-shady location
  • is rather undemanding in terms of soil

Seven Sons of Heaven Shrub (Heptacodium miconioides)

  • large shrub
  • late flowering between August and September
  • real bee magnet
  • however, it is also frequented by other insects and butterflies
Source: peganum from Henfield, England, Heptacodium miconioides (15227383878), edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 2.0

Summer lilac / butterfly bush (Buddleia alternifolia and Buddleia davidii)

  • It is not named without reason, because its large panicle flowers attract numerous insects
  • in addition to butterflies, bumblebees and various types of bees
  • very bee friendly and therefore indispensable species in the garden

frequently asked Questions

Are there also bee-friendly conifers?

No, there are no bee-friendly conifers - with one exception. The male specimens of the European yew (Taxus baccata) are used by honey bees, wild bees and bumblebees to collect pollen. However, these flowers do not contain nectar either.

Are there bee friendly roses?

Roses are generally not considered to be particularly bee-friendly shrubs, because the cultivated roses, which usually have double flowers, are not suitable as food plants for insects. Nevertheless, there are many good bee pastures among the roses, especially the wild and climbing roses are highly recommended for this purpose.

Which shrubs are good for hedges?

There are many beautiful flowering shrubs suitable for bee-friendly hedges. For example, privet, sal willow, cornel, bird cherry, copper pear, weigela, snowball and cinquefoil can be used very well.

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