• The Ultimate Guide to Honey Bee and Insect Pollinator Food Sources!

The Ultimate Guide to Honey Bee and Insect Pollinator Food Sources!

“All over the world, honey bees and other insect pollinators are facing problems of survival. There are many reasons and theories for this: decades of intensive farming, a reduction of wild flower meadows, the decline of hedgerows, overuse of pesticides and insect diseases. The list goes on..."                                                                                                                     -Excerpt from the British Beekeepers Association information leaflet

As the Northern Hemisphere begins to warm once more and the bees return to our gardens, it is important to remember that we can all do our part to keep them well fed and watered as they fulfil their earthly mission of pollinating the plant realm. Whether you have a garden, balcony, window boxes or even just space for a single hanging basket, each of these spaces can be put to good use, providing honeybees and other pollinators with a daily feast of nectar and pollen. This of course benefits us too; not only with the beauty provided by an abundance of flora, but as we get to enjoy the delicious honey and other foods that come as a result. All wildlife benefits from pollination too, from birds to insects and indeed the entire food chain. So we are all winners if we plan to plant!


Fragrant Earth is passionate about our bee population and works closely with the BBKA to ensure that our sources are not only sustainable and kind to the soil, but also provide a plethora of nectar and pollens for our insect friends. Following is a list of some of our favourite food sources for pollinators that will also bring years of joy to your life. Where possible, as well as the plant’s favoured season, each entry is identified with a (P) or an (N) to designate whether it is rich in pollen or nectar - both of which are essential to the healthy functioning of the hive.

Ornamental Trees (Small)


Winter Flowering Cherry. Nov-Mar (P)

Magnolia. Mar-Apr (P)

Crab Apple. Apr-May (P)(N)

Acer. May-June (P)(N)

Willow (P)(N)




Common or Cherry Laurel. Apr (P)(N)

Hawthorn. May (P)(N)

Firethorn. May-June (P)(N)

Portuguese Laurel. June (P)(N)

Holly. May-June (P)(N)

Cotoneaster. Evergreen or June. (P)(N)


Flowering Shrubs (Large)


Winter Honeysuckle. Feb-Apr (P)(N)

Quince. Mar-June (P)(N)

Cornelian Cherry. Feb-Apr (P)(N)

Ceanothus. Apr-May (P)(N)

Forsythia. Mar-April (P)(N)

Lilac. Apr-June (P)(N)

Broom/Common Broom. May-June (P)(N)

Escallonia. May-Oct (P)(N)

Vilburnum. May-June (P)(N)

Orange Ball Tree. May-June (P)(N)

Cotoneaster. May-June (P)(N)

Berberis. May-June (P)(N)

Abelia. Jul-Sept (P)(N)

Butterfly Bush. Jul-Sept (N)

Myrtle. Jul-Oct (P)(N)


Flowering Shrubs (Small/Medium)


Rosemary. Apr-May (P)(N)

Weigela. May-Jun (N)

Choisya. May-Jun and Aug/Sept. (P)

Rock Rose. May-Jul. (P)(N)

Lavender. May-Aug (P)(N)

Hebe. Jun-Oct (N)

Phildelphus. Jun-July (P)(N)

Deutzia. May-Jul (P)

Potentilla. Jun-Nov (P)(N)

Rose of Sharon. Jul-Sept (P)

Fuchsias. Jun-Aug (P)(N)

Viburnum. (V. x bodnantense; Nov-March (P)(N)/V.Tinus; Nov-May (P)(N))




Clematis. Dec-Feb and Apr-May (P)(N)

Hydrangea. May-Jun (P)(N)

Virginia creeper. Aug (P)(N)




Lungwort. Jan-May (P)

Cranesbill/Hardy Geranium. May-Sept (P)(N)

Geranium. Spring

Geum. May-Sept (P)(N)

Tree mallow. Aug-Sept (P)(N)

Ice Plant. Sept-Nov (N)

Christmas Rose. Dec-Apr (P)(N)

Catmint/Catnip. Jun-Sept (P)(N)

Salvia. Jun-Nov (P)(N)

Sage. May-Jul (P)(N)

Bell Flower. Jul-Sept (P)(N)

Poppies. May-Oct (P)

Red Hot Pokers. Sept-Oct (P)(N)

Japanese Wind Flower. Aug-Nov (P)




Cosmos. Jul-Aug (P)(N)

Pansies. Sept-May (N)

Viola. Apr-Oct (N)

Mallow. Jul-Oct (P)(N)




Snowdrop. Jan-Apr (P)(N)

Winter Aconite. Jan-Feb (P)(N)

Crocus. Feb-Apr (P)(N)

Grape Hyacinth.  Mar-May (P)(N)

Anenome. Mar-May (P)

Wood Anemone.  Mar-May (P)(N)

Chives. Jun-Aug (P)(N)

Allium. Jun-Jul (P)(N)


Our Manuka Range


Being such admirers of the bees and their pollinating friends, it should come as no surprise that Fragrant Earth has its own range of Manuka Honey products.  From our anti inflammatory facial wash to our antiseptic creams and soaps (very useful during current times), and even our antiviral throat lozenges, our Manukavantage range features the exceptional natural healing properties of premium certified New Zealand Manuka Honey 80+ and Manuka Oil.  Manuka Honey contains special antibacterial properties including an enzyme that produces Hydrogen Peroxide which is a proven antiseptic and antibacterial agent. To get yours today, click the link below…


Manukavantage Range

From all of us here at Fragrant earth, we wish you a Happy Easter, and may your gardens be blessed by the bees!


If you would like to find out more about the work of the British Beekeepers Association and the life of the honeybee, please visit www.bbka.org.uk


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