Planting a bee friendly garden

Our resident bee expert, Benedict Hughes from The Practical Beekeeper has a lot of great tips for keeping backyard bees and also simple planting guidelines for attracting these wonderful striped pollinators to your garden. Even if you’re not inclined at this stage to keep your own hives, there are a few things you might like to keep in mind when planting a garden to attract bees.

The main thing to keep in mind is that pesticides used in the cultivation of bulbs and plants sold in some nurseries can be a big problem for a lot of pollinators. Of course our wonderful CERES Nursery always stocks plants that are safe for bees!

Benedict also runs the Bee Group at CERES and they meet monthly on the third Sunday at 10am. Come along and learn more.

By | 2016-03-09T04:12:30+00:00 March 9th, 2016|Nursery|2 Comments


  1. Suzanne December 3, 2017 at 7:57 am - Reply

    love your guide on a bee friendly garden. I agree that bees love Zinnia flowers. I am growing them this year. I do as much as I can to encourage bees, ladybirds and good predators. Even had a resident tree frog (Litoria Ewingii) for a year (escapee from nearby wetlands when the wetlands flooded) but in the end I think he left to return to the girls in the wetlands. But for that one year we could hear him calling in the garden almost every night.
    However your bee guide left out the number ONE flower that bees go berserk over in my garden and that is papaver nudicaule (iceland poppy) .
    I plant it out in autumn as soon as I feel the hottest weather is over, then I regularly remove any finished flowers to keep them flowering as long as possible.
    While I have many flowers in my garden, the iceland poppies are the bee favourites. As soon as the iceland poppies start flowering the bees arrive and it is not unusual to see more than one bee in the same flower at the same time. No other flower has the same reaction as the attention the bees give to the iceland poppies.
    One year I grew Shirley poppies for a change and the bees were not very interested in them at all.

    I also have a seriously huge and tall Eucalyptus Citrodata in the back garden, near the back fence, and when that flowers one can hear the noise of the bees and the noise goes on for several days as the bees collect the pollen. The canopy of the branches only starts a long way up the trunk of the tree, yet one can hear the bees, suggesting that a lot of bees descend on that tree annually.

    I think it would help the bees a lot if more people planted things that flower and are flowers that bees love.
    Thanks for a nice web site, Found your site while trying to find Galium Odoratum plants. Don’t want seeds, but do want the plants. No luck so far 🙁

    • Sieta Beckwith December 4, 2017 at 8:48 am - Reply

      Hello Suzanne. Glad you found our little blog and thanks for the helpful comments! If we hear about Galium Odoratum plants anywhere we will let you know. Sieta

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