I am planning a small bed at my daughter's school and was wondering if rosemary would attract bees. They have been having a problem this fall with bee stings, and don't want to encourage bees.
Honey bees or bumble bees showed no interest in rosemary in my garden with four honeybee hives 100 feet away. One of the all time great fragrances though, Rosemary. Daylilies attracted an occasional bumble bee who quickly gave up (the pistil is too far from the stamen).
Roses attract fewer bees than you would expect, though Japanese beetles love them.
Sunflowers attract a lot of bees, and birds later. Cosmos attracts a lot of bumble bees.
All cucumber related plants attract bees (and gourds, pumpkins, etc). Big flowers, easy to get to the pollen.
Those were probably yellow jacket stings the kids got, not bee stings.
Yellow jackets like sticky, syrupy sweet stuff. Kids like that stuff, too. Kids and yellow jackets don't mix.
And then honey bees get the blame.
"not encouraging the bees" is an interesting position to take. Honey bees provide $14.6 billion in pollination value in the US this year. That's an enormous chunk, and frankly the honeybees need all the encouragement (and outright protection) we can provide.
My rosemary gets lots of attention from the honeybees....I haven't noticed them on the tall (tuscan blue?) rosemaries, but the scraggily groundcover variety is very popular in the spring (when it's blooming)
Very seriously searching for Fall blooming Rosemary as it is the only bee plant this time of the year. Have tried 2 kinds from the nursery, one that is tall and doesn't seem to bloom, and a shorter type (20" tall, light blue flowers) that I need 50 plants of, for my two hives. Possibilities are Blue Boy and Hill Hardy so far. Any other Fall blooming bee sources welcomed. Current bloomers are against a sunlit wall and blooming nicely on December 8th here on the desert side of the South Sierras in California.
I grow annual zinnias to provide nectar and pollen for bees, etc. when other sources are not as reliable. I don't know how they would grow in your climate. What about Verbena boniarensis? It is an annual for me, but is perennial in warmer areas. I don't know what it's bloom time would be for you. Best of luck maintaining your bees.