Translate this page:
bob the bee man BSc (Ag)

EXOTIC PLANTS
Just a selection of observations

In general these have been added because of their observed value for foraging for bees. Very often a visit to a nursery will result in finding a table of plants in flower with sufficient numbers of stingless bees in particular in attendance. This is always a good way of picking such plants, let the bees choose. Just remember, when just a single plant is growing in a garden, that may not be enough to attract them, nor will it keep them coming. Plant a diversity, to keep the flowering happening.

PLANT
DESCRIPTION
   PHOTO
Bartlettina sordeda (Mexican Mist)
A medium shrub that seems to like moisture, with masses of blue -lilac flowers just loved by stingless bees for the high yield of pollen it produces.
Bartlettina
Largerstroemia (Pride of India)
Deciduous small tree, stands cutting back. The flowers of various colours are worked by various bees including leafcutters and stingless bees.
Largerstroemia
Grewia occidentalis
A scrambling, multi-trunked shrub with lilac flowers that are likes by an assortment of solitary bees including carpenter bees, resin bees, leafcutters.
Grewia
Gazanias
A tough, low growing edging plant that provides good forage for many types of native bees, solitaty and stingless
Gazania
Arctotus
A Sth African flowering plant that is used by stingless bees, but of more note, the silver leaves provide fibres for the nests of the introduced carder bee, also from Southern Africa.
Arctotus
Arctotus
Escholtzia
Small showy annuals, loved by stingless bees.
Escholtzia
Zygocactus
These are liked by stingless bees, good for hanging baskets, vertical gardens
Zygocactus
Buddleya
Known to be attracting to butterflies, it is called butterfly bush, this is also popular with the Amegilla bees, especially the BBB.
Buddleya
Nasturtium
This plant self seed, rarely stops flowering, and almost never without stingless bee visitors.
Nasturtium
Meterosiderus
(NZ Christmas Bush)
Liked by stingless bees
 
Abelia
Liked by stingless bees, and BBBs
 
Raphiolepsis Indica (Indian Hawthorn)
This shrub can be obtained in a low fruiting strain to lessen its weed potential, and is very popular with stingless bees
Raphiolepsis
Zephyranthes
 
 
Polygalis
Liked by carpenter bees
Polygalis
Leucophyllum frutescens
 
 
Perennial Basil
Perennial basil is a very long flowering herb, and it is VERY popular with many solitary and stingless native bees.
Basil
HERBS
Many of the herbs are enthusiastically worked by stingless bees. Vegetables that run to see like rocket, and the Brassicae, lettuce, even carrot, radish are well worked by stingless bees.
 
VEGETABLES
The Blue Banded Bee is a buzz pollinator and as such is an excellent pollinator of vegetable crops such as tomatoes, eggplant, and capsicum. The BBBs have actually bee developed for commercial use in greenhouses, to replace the mechanical vibrators that are used now. They offer great potential commercial, and are certainly of great value for this group of plants in the home vege garden.
 
Gamolepsis chryanthemoides (Paris Daisy)
Photo by Marc Newman
Gamolepsis
Chinese Plumbago (Ceratostigma willmotttianum)

Liked by BBBs and Teddy bear bees, both Amegillas

Photo by Marc Newman

Plumbago
Prunus avium (Cherry)

Leafcutter making good use of a cherry leaf, at Ballandean

Photo by Marc Newman

Prunus avium
Ceanothus (Blue Pacific)

Attractive exotic shrub that is loved by bees wherever it grows. That includes in Canada

Photo by Marc Newman

Ceanothus
Nandina domestica (Japanese Bamboo)
Photo by Marc Newman
Nandina
Bulbine spp
Popular with stingless and solitary bees.
Bulbine
Salvia spp
These come in many varieties, and a huge range of sizes and colours. Some are very valuable, long flowering bee plants. There will be one or more for every garden There is one self seeding Salvia that does become somewhat of a weed, Salvia coccinea that does keep reseeding in a garden. This ensures a supply of flowers for stingless bees which love it. Just remove the plants in inconvenient locations. S var, Indigo Spires is a great and popular variety for all bees.
Salvia
Kniphofia uvaria

Red Hot Poker, and a red hot favorite with stingless bees.

Photo by Marc Newman

Kniphofia
Gaillardia
Very much liked by stingless bees
Gaillardia
Camellia var Setsugekka
The choice of varieties of camellia by stingless bees seems to vary, even from season to season. This clearly was very popular.
Camellia
Prunus persica var nucipersica (Nectarine)
Low chill stone fruit are well served by stingless bees
Prunus persica
Malus domestica (Apple)
Low chill apples get similar attention
Escholtzia
Wisteria

While this has a short flowering period, carpenters bees make very good use of its early season flowers.

Photo by Marc Newman

Wisteria
Prunus persica (Flowering Peach)
Another in this group used by stingless bees.
Flowering Peach
Scilla peruviana (Cuban Lily)

Recorded at Ballandean

Photo by Marc Newman

Scilla
Helianthus (Sunflower)
A plant worth actually planting to produce nectar and pollen in the short term while others are growing.
Helianthus
Agapanthus
Well worked by stingless bees
Agapanthus
Aquilegia (Granny's Bonnet)
Even Granny's Bonnet is on their foraging list
Aquilegia

Next: Some weeds of note