Plants for honey bees and other flower visitors

Over the past 6 years the Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects (LASI) at the University of Sussex has been carrying out research to help bees. One area of this research is on garden plants with flowers.The research shows that garden flowers vary greatly in how many bees and insects they attract. The best attract 100 times more than the worst.


Gardeners and park managers can help bees at no cost by choosing good plants. Bee friendly plants are just as cheap, easy to grow, and attractive to humans.But which plants? Here we have set up some examples of bee and insect friendly plants that you may like to grow in your garden.You can see that they attract more insects than the “Not Good For Bees & Insects” varieties planted for comparison.Anyone can count insects on flowers on a sunny day to compare how good they are for insects.Different varieties attract different insects. Some attract more bumble bees than honey bees, for example. Some are especially attractive to butterflies.

Here are a few plants that LASI have studied and recommend, they attract a wide variety of flower visiting insects. You can download this PDF detailing all the plants listed here, and use the photographs to display for educational purposes in your garden, classroom or on land that you manage:

Information about plants for bees and other flower visitors


leaflet with bees and other insectsAn example of the photographs/information given in the downloadable PDF




Dahlia Bishops of Llandaff







Lamb's Ear


Purple Loosestrife

Hemp Agrimony


and a few examples of plant varieties that are not so good,e.g. Pelargonium





Please visit our You Tube Channel for a selection of videos to help you choose what to plant in your garden to attract bees and other flower visitors.