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Shrubs That Attract Bees & Other Pollinators

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Let’s consider lots of bushes that attract bees!

A really lovely choice among bushes that attract bees is Cotoneaster. That’s because in spring the billowing, off-white blossoms of Cotoneaster lacteus are bee magnets. And this includes honeybees, yellow jackets, tiny black bees, flies, wasps, and more.

That’s because they can’t resist the bountiful nectar and pollen this easy-to-grow, rose-family evergreen shrub provides this time of year.

Cotoneaster: one of the bushes that attract bees

Other wildlife comes to these pollinator beloved shrubs too!

Later, the pollinated flowers will ripen into orange-red fruits. And these will feed wild birds late in winter.

So, if you need a small evergreen tree or shrub for your garden? And, if you’re in zones 6-8, this may be the tree for you to attract bees to your garden.

But, keep in mind these Eurasian-native shrubs can get weedy by producing lots of seedlings. And in some areas they are considered quite a nuisance. Still, volunteers are easy to pull if you get to them when they first pop up.

More shrubs that attract bees include…

There are so many trees and shrubs to incorporate into your garden to attract bees. However, not every plant will grow in every garden. Moreover, not every kind of bee comes to the same bush as another bee.

But, following are some our favorite bushes that attract bees. Bonus: some of these pollinator plants may be indigenous to your gardening place on planet Earth!

  • Snowberry is a beautiful PacNW native shrub that bees love.
  • And, Enkianthus isn’t indigenous to our area, but bees & other pollinators love it.
  • Too, one of the best, drougth-tolerant, evergreen bushes that attract bees is Ceanothus. (However, it may croak in a hard freeze.)
  • Plus, many other rose family plants from apple trees to rose bushes themselves are beloved of bees.
  • Plus, many Mediterranean herb shrubs like lavender are some of the best bushes that attract bees.

Its not just bushes that attract bees!

Gardeners can do so much more than just plant bushes for bees. Here are a few tips for gardening for bees (besides planting bushes that attract them):

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What about attracting other pollinators?

Bees aren’t the only pollinators gardeners should be supporting in their gardens. In fact, there are many other creatures like beetles, moths, butterflies, and birds that pollinate. One of our favorites are hummingbirds!

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden, planting bushes that attract bees can help. But if you’d like to learn more about attracting hummingbirds to your garden, be sure to check out our 3-part Growing a Hummingbird Habitat Garden seminar series!

4 comments on “Shrubs That Attract Bees & Other Pollinators

  1. Garden Mentors on

    Jean, site unseen, it’s impossible to know why your plant isn’t forming fruit. Many factors can contribute to this. You might bring in a consultant local to your area to help you evaluate your specific situation. Good luck!

  2. Jeff Wenschlag on

    I have several fruit trees in full bloom and I’ll be lucky to see several bees on the trees. 50 feet away I have a cotoneaster bush about 3 feet across in bloom. There are probably 100- 150 bees on it at any one time, any idea why they prefer the cotoneaster?

  3. Garden Mentors on

    Jeff, thanks for writing in. That’s a great question. Cotoneaster is in the rose family (as are many fruit trees). And rosacea plants are very popular with many bees. There are many kinds of bees with varying tongue lengths and hive “assignments”. It may be that the hive needs what the cotoneaster is providing more than what the fruit trees are. It may be that the cotoneaster offers pollen and nectar up more easily for the bees than the fruit trees. Or, it may be something else. Sounds like a fantastic scientific study to undertake! Good luck.

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