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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

Borage; one of the very best plants for bees

honeybee on borage

honeybee on borage

At rosybee we plant about half an acre of borage each year, just because its so good for the bees. Its particularly loved by the honeybees - so I am hoping its boosting our honey - but we see plenty of bumblebees on it too.

For this season, I sowed a large section last September and it over-wintered well and started flowering in April. Now it is nearly over but the spring sowing should start to flower in a few weeks.

The honeybees go for the nectar and the bumblebees appear to collect both nectar and pollen, the latter being very pale, almost white.

Each week I try and pick as sunny day and count how many bees/ square meter. The average has been about 6 bees with a ration of 5 honeybees to one bumblebee (mainly bombus pratorum, hypnorum and a few laidarius and terrestris.)  Because of its sheer attractiveness and the number of weeks of flower, those two factors combine to make it one of the best bee-plants we have found. We will combine these stats with the results for all the other plants we grow and aim to publish a ranking towards the end of this year.

our borage patch

our borage patch