Follow our progress running the nursery, watching wild bees, keeping honey bees and creating our own bee-haven in south Oxfordshire

Bee plants - the trial plot in July/August

Its been so dry for the last few months and I had intended not to water the bee plant trial plot at all, leaving it to fend with the elements as it would in a field margin.  This has proved to be too tough a test as the soil is also very light and sandy so any moisture dries out very fast.  So I have to confess that I have provided some water but not a lot; about 6 watering cans in total. Just enough to save the plant but not enough to really encourage much production of flowers with nectar.  Depressing as a test but educational. The plants that have done well and provided some flower through this period and

  • echium vulgare
  • borage
  • oxeye daisy
  • malva moschiata
  • althaea officianalis (marsh mallow)
  • agastache foeniculum

And now the solidago (golden rod) is coming into flower.

What has also been very interesting is to observe that the bees pay no interest at all to some of the plants that are recommended for bees. This included the achilleas.Sadly the monarda (beebalm) flowered so poorly with the draught that the bees really didnt have much chance to show thier interest. This plant is one that will need more moisture to thrive.