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Follow our progress as beekeepers, running the nursery, creating our own bee-haven and conducting research into the best plants for bees

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

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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.