EcoBlog

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Critical Early Trees and Shrubs for Bees

In very the early spring, trees and shrubs with early blooms are critical for honey bees and our native bees.  Some provide both nectar and pollen, and some only offer  pollen.  As the growing season progresses, more resources become available to bees, but you can help them out in early spring by planting some early blooming native trees and shrubs.  (For more information on these plants or to see what is native to your area, visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Database.

Some Early Blooming Native Trees and Shrubs for Bees

  • Acer rubrum     (Red Maple) zones 3 – 9
  • Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) zones 3 – 8
  • Acer saccharinum (Silver Maple) zones 3 – 9
  • Alnus incana (Speckled Alder) zones 2 -7     (pollen only)
  • Alnus maritima (Seaside Alder) zones 4 – 8 (pollen only)
  • Alnus rubra (Red Alder) zones 4 – 7 (pollen only)
  • Alnus serrulata (Smooth Alder) zones 3 – 10 (pollen only)
  • Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) zones 4 – 9
  • Cercis occidentalis (Western Redbud) zones 8 – 9
  • Crataegus douglasii (Black Hawthorn) zones 4 – 8
  • Crataegus marshalii (Parsley Hawthorn) zones 5 -9
  • Crataegus mollis (Downy Hawthorn) zones 4 – 7
  • Crateagus phaenopyrum (Washington Hawthorn) zones 4 – 8
  • Crataegus punctata (Dotted Hawthorn) zones 4 – 7
  • Crataegus viridis (Green Hawthorn) zones 4 – 7
  • Corylus americana (American Hazelnut) zones 4 -8 (pollen only)
  • Corylus cornuta (Beaked Hazelnut)  zones 3 – 8 (pollen only)
  • Hamamelis vernalis (Vernal Witch-hazel) zones 4 – 8
  • Lindera benzoin (Spicebush) zones 4 – 9
  • Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Poplar) zones 4 – 9
  • Populus angustifolia (Balsam Cottonwood) zones 3 – 6 (pollen)
  • Populus balsamifera (Balsam Poplar) zones 1 – 6 (pollen)
  • Populus deltoides (Eastern Cottonwood)  zones 4 – 9 (pollen)
  • Populus tremuloides (Quaking Aspen) zones 1 – 7  (pollen)
  • Prosopis glandulosa (Honey Mesquite) zones 6  – 9
  • Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite) zones 7 – 9
  • Prosopis velutina (Velvet Mesquite) zones 8 – 10
  • Salix amygdaloides (Peachleaf Willow) zones 2 – 7
  • Salix bebbiana (Gray Willow) zones 3 – 6
  • Salix candida (Sage Willow) zones 2 – 6
  • Salix discolor (Pussy Willow) zones 2 – 7
  • Salix exigua (Coyote Willow)  zones 3 – 9
  • Salix lucida (Shining Willow)  zones 2 – 7
  • Salix nigra (Black Willow) zones 3 – 9
  • Salix sericea (Silky Willow) zones 4 – 8

There are many more trees and shrubs which provide nectar and pollen to bees later in the season.   Check the website for more information.

Happy Planting from Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!

Photo: Honey Bee on Acer macrophyllum (Big Leaf Maple)
Photo credit: Flickr/Treebeard
www.flickr.com/photos/treebeard/6808224008/