Plants for Bees

Northumbrian Plants for Bees Gallery

The purpose of this gallery is to record and identify the main plants within foraging range of my honey bees.  These photographs were taken in rural Northumberland in hedgerows, woodland, moorland, crop fields and gardens, when they were in flower.

They are sorted alphabetically by their common name.  Click on the Filter Buttons to see what is in flower each month.



Apple – Malus pumila Plant : Domestic Apple trees are an introduced species and are commonly grown in gardens for


Barberry – Berberis vulgaris Plant : Barberry is a large, spiky, deciduous shrub which can grow over 3 m tall. 

Bird Cherry

Bird Cherry – Prunus padus Plant : Bird Cherry is native to Northumberland and prefers damp woodland areas.  It is

Bird’s Foot Trifoil

Bird’s Foot Trifoil – Lotus corniculatus Plant : Bird’s Foot Trifoil is a native wildflower, which grows in meadows and

Blackberry Bramble

Blackberry Bramble – Rubus fruticosus Plant : Blackberry Bramble grows readily in hedgerow, shrub land and woodland in dense spiky


Blackthorn : Prunus spinosa Plant :  Blackthorn can be an important early season forage for bees.  It belongs to the


Bluebell : Hyacinthoides non-scripta Plant :  Bluebells grow in abundance in rural Northumbrian woodland, forming carpets of blue flowers, in


Bugle – Ajuga reptans Plant : Bugle is a native wild flower and is common in woodland, hedgerows and shrub

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush – Buddleja Davidii Plant : Butterfly Bush is a popular garden plant and has become naturalised across the region. 


Chives – Allium schoenoprasum Plant : Chives are an uncommon native plant but are commonly grown domestically as a culinary herb. 

Common Laburnum

Common Laburnum – Laburnum anagyroides Plant : All parts of the Common Laburnum is poisonous.  It is not a native species

Common Nettle

Common Nettle – Urtica dioica Plant : The common nettle grows in large patches on waste ground, hedgerows, shrub-land and

Common Ragwort

Common Ragwort – Senecio jacobaea Plant :  The Common Ragwort plant is toxic to livestock and humans.  It is a

Cow Parsley

Cow Parsley – Anthriscus sylvestris Plant : Cow Parsley is a native wild flower that grows in abundance along hedgerows,


Cowslip – Primula veris Plant : Cowslips are a native species and grow in hedgerows, woodland and meadows in rural


Crocus : Crocus vernus Plant :  Crocus is a popular garden plant providing welcome colour on sunny days, from late


Crosswort – Cruciata laevipes Plant : Crosswort is a native wild flower and is common in hedgerow, woodland and shrub


Daffodil – Narcissus pseudonarcissus Plant : Daffodil is a native species and also grown in gardens and parks to create


Daisy – Bellis perennis Plant : The humble daisy is a useful source of forage for bees throughout the season. 


Dandelions : Taraxacum Plant :  The Dandelion is hated by gardeners but should be loved by beekeepers.  It can be

English Yew

English Yew – Taxus baccata Plant : English Yew is a native species, which can be found in woodland and

False Goat’s Beard

False Goat’s Beard – Astilbe Plant : False Goat’s Beard is native to Asia and Northern America but is grown locally

Forget me not

Forget me not – Myosotis sylvatica Plant :  The Wood Forget Me Not plant has slender stems, with tiny blue

Germander Speedwell

Germander Speedwell – Veronica chamaedrys Plant : Germander Speedwell is native to the region and is common in hedgerow, woodland


Gorse : Ulex europaeus Plant :  Large patches of gorse can be found on moorland and hedgerow in rural Northumberland. 


Hawthorn : Crataegus monogyna Plant :  Hawthorn is good source of early spring pollen and nectar for honey bees, although

Hedge Bindweed

Hedge Bindweed – Calystegia sepium Plant : Hedge Bindweed grows on shrub land and woodland margins, although it is particularly


Hellebore – Helleborus viridis Plant : Hellebore is a native plant and occurs in woodland and shrub land, although it

Himalayan Cotoneaster

Himalayan Cotoneaster – Cotoneaster simonsii Plant : Himalayan Cotoneaster is an introduced species, although it is now widespread throughout the region. 


Hogweed : Heracleum sphondylium Plant :  Hogweed is a tall, spindly plant and can be seen along hedgerows, woodland and


Honeysuckle – Lonicera periclymenum Plant : Honeysuckle is native to Northumberland and grows in woodland, hedgerows and shrub land.  It


Horse-chestnut : Aesculus hippocastanum Plant :  The horse-chestnut tree is a very large deciduous tree, which produces “conkers” in the


Ivy : Hedera helix Plant :  Ivy is a woody, evergreen, climbing plan which can colonize the tallest of deciduous


Knapweed – Centaurea scabiosa Plant : Knapweed is a native wild flower, which grows in abundance in shrub land, hedgerows and

Large Thyme

Large Thyme – Thymus pulegiodes Plant : Thyme is often grown in herb gardens for its strongly aromatic scent.  It


Lavender – Lavendula augustifolia Plant : Although it is not a native plant, Lavender can be grown in domestic gardens in


Lilac – Syringa vulgaris Plant : Lilac is an introduced species, which is grown in domestic gardens and parks for


Lime – Tilia x vulgaris Plant : Lime trees can grow to 45m high and a single tree can be a

Ling heather

Ling heather : Calluna Vulgaris Plant : Ling heather produces blankets of purple moorland across large areas of rural Northumberland, in


Maple – Acer campestre Plant : Maple is a native, large deciduous tree, with distinctive palmate leaves and “helicopter” seeds. 

Meadow Crane’s-bill

Meadow Crane’s-bill – Geranium pratense Plant : Meadow Crane’s-bill is a native wild flower and is commonly found in hedgerow, woodland


Meadowsweet – Filipendula ulmaria Plant : Meadowsweet grows in abundance in rural Northumberland, particularly in damp areas, including hedgerows, meadows

Oilseed rape

Oilseed rape : Brassica Napus Plant : Oilseed rape has become a key feature of the beekeeping calendar and landscape in


Plum – Prunus domestica Plant : Plum trees are grown in domestic gardens for their attractive appearance and fruit, although it


Poppy : Papaver rhoeas Plant :  Poppy can occur in large numbers in agricultural field crops, particularly wheat, in rural


Primrose : Primrose vulgaris Plant :  Primrose typically grows in hedgerow banks, in woodland clearings and old grassland.  It grows

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife – Lythrum salicaria Plant : Purple Loosestrife is a non-native species, which is grown in domestics gardens for

Pyramidal Bugle

Pyramidal Bugle – Ajuga pyramidalis Plant : Pyramidal Bugle is a native wild flower, which grows locally on shrub land

Red Campion

Red Campion – Silene dioica Plant : Red Campion is a native species and very common in woodland, hedgerows and

Red Clover

Red Clover – Trifolium pratense Plant : Red Clover is native and common on grassland and verges.  It produces long


Rhododendron – Rhododendron ponticum Plant : Rhododendron is an introduced species, which has become well established in woodland and shrub


Rock-cress – Arabis caucasica Plant : Rock-cress is an introduced species.  It is often found in domestics gardens as a

Rosebay willowherb

Rosebay Willowherb : Chamerion angustifolium Plant :  Rosebay Willowherb is a good source of pollen and nectar for colonies raising

Rough Comfrey

Rough Comfrey – Symphytum asperum Plant : Rough Comfrey is an introduced species, often used as a fertiliser in organic

Russian Sage

Russian Sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia Plant : Russian Sage is a non-native species but is often grown in domestic gardens

Sea Holly

Sea Holly – Eryngium maritimum Plant : Sea Holly grows in coastal areas, as well as grown in gardens locally for

Skimmia Japonica Plant

Skimmia Japonica Plant : Skimmia Japonica is a non-native species but is grown in gardens for its evergreen foliage and


Snowdrops : Galanthus nivalis Plant : Snowdrops are hardy little plants and are one of the first in the year to


Sowbread – Cyclamen hederifolium Plant : Sowbread is an introduced species, although it is also grown in domestic gardens for decoration. 

Spear Mint

Spear Mint – Mentha spicata Plant : Spear Mint is grown as an aromatic pot herb in many domestic gardens.  It

Spear Thistle

Spear Thistle – Cirsium vulgare Plant :  Spear Thistle is widespread in moorland, rough ground, hedgerows and shrub land.  It

Sweet Rocket

Sweet Rocket – Hesperis matronalis Plant : Sweet Rocket is a member of the Brassicaceae family and is attractive to bees. 


Tulip – Tulipa Plant : Tulips are grown in domestic gardens for their colourful display in Spring, although the Wild

Vipers Bugloss

Vipers Bugloss – Echium vulgare Plant : Vipers Bugloss is native to Europe, although it is often grown in domestic gardens for

Water Avens

Water Avens – Geum rivale Plant : Water Avens is a native wild flower and common on river flood plains

White Clover

White Clover – Trifolium repens Plant : White Clover grows in abundance in meadows and pastures in rural Northumberland.  It

Wild Cherry

Wild Cherry – Prunus avium Plant : The Wild Cherry tree grows to 25m and a single large tree can provide

Wild garlic

Wild garlic – Allium ursinum Plant : Wild Garlic is native and grows in the dappled shade of damp woodland. 

Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry – Fragaria vesca Plant : Wild Strawberry grows in woodland, hedgerow and shrub land in rural Northumberland.  It

Wild Teasel

Wild Teasel – Dipsacus fullonum Plant : Wild Teasel is a native species and grows in shrub lands, hedgerows and

Click here to also see our Pollen Microscope Slide Gallery.

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