Bee plant survey results
In the attached .pdf files, you will find the results of the Honey Bee Suite Bee Plant Survey that you answered at the end of November 2014. In that survey, I asked where you lived and which plants you actually saw bees foraging on—both honey bees and native bees.
The list is unique because it is not theoretical as in “your bees should like this.” Instead it was derived from actual observations of current beekeepers. I did not distinguish between nectar plants and pollen plants, but only considered whether they were bee popular plants.
The lists below are sorted in various ways. The master lists contain all the listed plants alphabetically according to common or scientific name. There is a USDA Hardiness Zone list, and lists for geographic areas as well as individual states and provinces. If your area is not represented, it is because no one from your area answered the survey.
When selecting bee plants, remember that local variations known as micro-climates will affect how well a particular plant grows. Also remember that when a bee forages, she is highly influenced by what else is in bloom. A plant that is very popular with bees in one locale may not be as popular in a place where other more tempting plants are growing. The bees will pick their favorites from the choices available to them.
As I studied the original survey answers, it was obvious that a certain handful of plants are almost universally popular, whereas others are only popular in specific areas. Rainfall, temperature, soil type and a host of other factors can have a huge effect on the amount of nectar and pollen a plant can produce.
In any case, I hope you find the survey useful. Again, I wish to thank Miriam Valere for doing the bulk of the work, including looking up the scientific names, hardiness zones, finding sources of information and photographs, and then organizing and typing the whole thing.
So here are the lists. Let me know what you think.
Plant lists sorted in various ways:
Note: The international list is still to come.