Attract bees to your garden with non-native trees

Habitat Aid is launching a range of eight bee-friendly non-native trees. This will complement the native trees and nectar plants that they already have on sale.

Among the trees, which are recommended by the British Beekeepers’ Association, are the Indian bean tree, the snowy wattle and the Judas tree.

Habitat Aid’s Nick Mann, who is himself a keen beekeeper, said: ‘Although native trees are excellent for bees, lots of people aren’t as interested in growing them, so we wanted to offer an attractive alternative.

‘These tree species are all nectar rich and have profuse blossom, which appeals to bees. They’re also very beautiful, so people won’t have to sacrifice the aesthetic of their garden—and, after all, you should enjoy seeing wildlife!’

Many of the selected trees flower out of season, which could prove vital to bees that are emerging during the exceptionally warm winters and struggling to find food sources.

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The project is part of Habitat Aid’s work to protect and promote biodiversity in the UK. Half of the profits from the sale of the trees will be donated to the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects at the University of Sussex.

You can purchase bee-friendly non-native trees through Habitat Aid. To find out more about bees and beekeeping, visit the British Beekeepers’ Association.

Habitat Aid non-native trees

Acacia dealbata (silver wattle)
Excellent and very attractive nectar plant, with fragrant yellow flowers through the winter and early spring, and feathery blue-green foliage
Flowers: January–April
Soil type: Fertile, well-drained, neutral to acid soils

Acacia dealbataAmelanchier lamarckii (snowy mespilus)
Small, highly decorative tree; attractive flowers in spring followed by berries in summer and red/orange leaves in autumn. Perfect for smaller gardens
Flowers: March–April
Soil type: Most moist well-drained soils

amelanchier lamarckiiCatalpa bignonioides (Southern Catalpa or Indian bean tree)
Spreading medium-sized ornamental tree with pretty, large leaves and showy white flowers
Flowers: June–July
Soil type: Moist, well-drained soils

catalpa bignonioidesCercis siliquastrum (Judas tree)
Pretty, small tree with delicate leaves and attractive clusters of rose-purple pea flowers
Flowers: May
Soil type: Light, non-acidic, well-drained soils

Cercis siliquastrumEucryphia glutinosa
A fresh and healthy-looking small tree, producing fragrant white rose like flowers
Flowers: August–September
Soil type: Moist, well-drained neutral to acid soils

Eucryphia glutinosaHalesia carolina (Carolina silverbell or snowdrop tree)
A medium-sized, fast-growing ornamental tree with masses of delicate white flowers in late spring
Flowers: May
Soil type: Moist, well-drained neutral to acid soils

Halesia carolinaPaulownia tomentosa or imperialis (foxglove tree)
This fast-growing Chinese ornamental tree produces large Catalpa-like leaves in late spring, and sprays of fragrant foxglove flowers. Attracts bumblebees
Flowers: April
Soil type: Most fertile, well-drained soils

Paulownia tomentosa Sophora japonica or Styphnolobium japonicum (Japanese pagoda tree or Chinese scholars’ tree)
Attractive specimen tree with pale, delicate foliage and pretty white flowers
Flowers: September
Soil type: Light, well-drained soils

sophora japonica

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