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

Bee-plant of the week (1st wk Aug): Hyssop


Hyssop appears to be a forgotten shrub; you don't see it in garden centers or mentioned on the TV gardening shows but it really is a very valuable plant both for bees and gardeners. Hyssop is a sub-shrub which looks and behaves a bit like lavender but unlike lavender does not tend to go 'leggy' so quickly. From July til September it bears a series bright blue flowers along the full length of the new growth forming a compact ball of blue.  The bees go crazy for it and this week I counted more bees on this plant than any other on site; up to 18 per square meter, which is extremely high.

This seems to attract all types of pollinators: honeybees, bumblebees, carders, moths and butterflies, hoverflies, and some solitary bees.  Its categorised as as herb and supposedly good in casseroles, a bit like thyme but I cannot say I have tried it ...yet.