Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Brilliant blue Ceanothus blooms for bees

It seems to be a good year for Ceanothus (Californian lilac). Shrubs in gardens are so laden with brilliant blue flowers that you often barely see the leaves. Ceanothus seems to be very attractive to pollinators; especially bees like the flowers and we often see quite a number of different species busily collecting pollen and nectar, even on less sunny days.

Ceanothus needs a sheltered sunny spot in well-drained soil, away from cold winds. It will flower in spring and the flowers attract an array of pollinators. Bumblebees, solitary bees and honeybees will be the most frequent visitors but you can also spot the occasional hoverfly.

So why not plant a Ceanothus this year if you have a suitable spot in your garden and want to attract pollinators? 

Here are some of the pollinators we have found visiting Ceanothus flowers:

Bombus pratorum (Early bumblebee)
Ashy mining bee (Andrena cineraria)
Another mining bee (Andrena sp.)
A bee-mimic hoverfly
Bombus hypnorum (Tree bumblebee)


  1. Ours is a hive of activity with numerous types of bees. I love taking photos of them too.

  2. I Love it...Bee-ing natural. Photos are great!

  3. Not all ceanothus attract bees - we had one in a house we moved into and it was covered with them, we have moved house twice since and bought ceanothus and neither of them have attracted bees at all. Research needed to find ones that really work.

  4. Most likely there is no hive where you are.If there was your ceanothus would be teeming with bees