wanted: bumblee-honeybee lovin' roses: rugosa???
o.k. my future goal is to have enough flowers to raise an actual bumblebee hive in my yard. This may take a few years to gather enough flowers to support the hive and to have a yard that is so attractive to the bumblebees that they won't stray to my neighbors and get killed by all these insecticides.
But here is the problem. I love roses but bees just aren't that crazy about roses. It's me who's crazy about hybrid teas and crazy about bees so it's a clash and conflict. The only time that the bees ever come by is when Mr. Lincoln is in bloom and only then will they occasionally wander off to visit the other roses, but it's Lincoln which has to lure them in.
One rose that is famous for attracting bees is Heidesommer. It is a very rare and difficult to get rose which is not available in the U.S. or Canada. A kind forumer from New York is going to try to root a cutting for me. This Heidesommer is not a hybrid tea, LOL! so indeed I am expanding my taste in roses for roses that bees love.
Maureen mentioned that rugosas have good disease resistance. I saw a beautiful photo of Agnes but I am not sure whether it is fragrant and whether it is deeply attractive for the bees. I have space for about 2 rugosas. What I am dreaming/hoping for is that those 2 yet-to-be-planted rugosas and the Heidesommer (cross my fingers for the cutting) will allow me to have this bumblebee hive.
What is crucial is a very heavy repeat bloomer (so that the bees are continually fed) with lots of fragrance and which does attract tons of bees-I'm not talking about a handful-I want a crowd of bees. Does any one have any personal experience with a rugosa that has these qualities? I am really depending on those of you who grow these rugosas. Often times you'll just find a lot of advertising hype. What counts I feel is people who really specialize in raising rugosas.
Here is the Agnes rugosa.