Bumble Bees Love Escallonia

It's very encouraging that so many people are keen to help the bees by providing lots of flowers and shrubs upon which they can feed.

I received one query from a gentleman in London, England regarding the identification of a particular species of shrub.  It happened to be one of my favourite shrubs for bees - Escallonia:

Bees And Escallonia

"I live in Balham, SW17, and have responsibility for one of the front gardens and have reached a stage where I can now think about what to do, for the immediate and longer term future of attracting bees to this garden.

Bumble bee on escallonia - Image courtesy of Mr Raymond Winslow.Bumble bee on Escallonia - Image courtesy of Mr Raymond Winslow.

I'm planning to discover the name of a flowering shrub that attracts loads of buff-tailed bumble bees in May and June, in Reading Street, near Broadstairs, Kent and if possible, plant one of these shrubs in my front garden.

I've left a photograph of the shrub with the RHS, having requested identification from them.  If anyone has an idea of where I might purchase such a shrub then please contact me via www.buzzaboutbees.net.

Is red clover another plant that attracts bees?  I read about this plant at Wakefield Place recently, as part of a display about meadows."

My response:

Dear Raymond

Good to hear that you are intending to help bees with bee friendly plants and shrub!

The photograph you sent, I'm pretty sure, is Escallonia.  It is certainly a lovely shrub for bees, and provides very useful food during the spring, although some varieties flower through summer and autumn.  They may be seen in crimson and deep red colours as well as white and pink.

And yes, red clover (and white clover!) is also loved by bees.

Bees love clover flowers.Bees love clover flowers.

Escallonia is an evergreen shrub and can be grown in full sun or partial shade.  It will grow up to 4 metres high but could take anywhere between 10 and 20 years to reach this height.

Our neighbour has an Escallonia bush, and every spring it is covered in bumble bees - it definitely seems to be a bumble bee favourite.

You can read more on my pages about gardening for bees, including lists of plants, trees, herbs, wildflowers and shrubs for bees.

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