EcoBlog

The latest thinking on ecological landscapes. Useful tips to improve our environment

ecobeneficial-trademark-shadow-new2
Kim Eierman

Kim Eierman

Founder of EcoBeneficial!

Available for virtual and in-person landscape consulting, talks and classes.

Buy a copy of
The Pollinator Victory Garden!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Honey Bee on Corylus

High-Value Pollen Sources for Honey Bees: Get Planting!

For honey bees, pollen is essential for brood-rearing, and they need a lot of it: an average colony collects 50 to 125 pounds per year.  Pollen is honey bees’ main source of protein, lipids, vitamins and minerals.  They need pollen with 20% protein;  10 of the amino acids in pollen protein are essential to honey bee development.  Not all plants provide equally nutritious pollen, or the same amount of pollen.  And, honey bees do not seem to choose pollen based on its nutritional content.

How can you help honey bees get the nutritious pollen they need?  Plant a variety of plants which provide pollen at different times of year.  No one species can provide all nutritional needs.  I suggest favoring native plants which are adapted to your region in favor of exotic plants, cultivars or hybridized plants.

Here are 10 great native woody plants which provide quality pollen:

  • Willows (Salix species)
  • Tulip Trees (Liriodendron tulipifera)
  • Hazelnut (Corylus species)
  • Maples (Acer species)
  • Elms (Ulmus species)
  • Ash (Fraxinus species)
  • Poplars (Poplus species)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus species)
  • Cherry (Prunus species)
  • Crabapples (Malus species)

Happy Pollen Planting from Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!

Photo: Honey Bee Gathering Pollen from Corylus

Photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy
www.flickr.com/photos/adulau/3376009550/sizes/m/in/photostream/

More from EcoBlog

Why Locally-Sourced, Locally-Grown Native Plants Matter

Have you visited your local farmer’s market lately or picked up your weekly allotment at a CSA?   If you are a locavore, like so many of us, you might be asking some pretty specific questions of your suppliers when you are vetting your food choices, such as: Where was this…

Read More
Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Easy Native Perennials to Start from Seed: Economical and EcoBeneficial!

Biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems but species diversity is crashing and getting worse in the face of climate change.  How can you help?  Skip the clones of native plants (grown from cuttings or tissue culture) and plant native seeds to increase genetic diversity to support our challenged…

Read More

The American Gardener: Book Review of The Pollinator Victory Garden

Book Review from The American Gardener: The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening Kim Eierman, Quarry Books, Beverly, MA. 160 pages. Publisher’s price, paperback: $26.99 Having worked as a garden designer for 15 years, I’m aware of the importance of native plants, but communicating…

Read More