I think I mentioned in a post just after Christmas that MT got me bees for Christmas. An old schoolmate of his runs a beehive management business, and either Tuesday or Wednesday next week, after dark, he's delivering our hives to us. MT has decreed that all the bees will be named Barry. I've pointed out that all the worker bees are female, which temporarily stumped him. I'm sure by the time I finish this review he'll have rallied. Stay tuned.
Anyway, my garden is pretty close to jungle status as is, but I'm always looking for excuses to plant new things, and our bees need to feel welcomed. But I know not all flowers are bee friendly (size, shape, and whether or not they make pollen/nectar), so I wanted a list of particular plants the bees would love. Our bee guy recommended this book, and MT bought it for me for my birthday, and I guilted him into giving it to me a day early, because he also gave me this cold.
The Bee guy did not steer me wrong. This is a great book for anyone who just wants to attract more bees to their garden. It's a tiny bit preachy - he's (rightfully) passionate about NOT spraying your garden - but there's a lot of compelling reason to preach it. Without bees we can kiss about 80% of our food goodbye and bees are in serious decline world wide.
The Bee Friendly Garden is strongly geared toward Australia, primarily in the chapters where he discusses native bees (some of which are SO cool), but more than half the book would be useful to anyone, as a lot of the suggestions are geared toward the European honey bee and the plant lists are almost universal in their availability.
I now have a list of plants to look for at the nursery. Now I just have to find a place to put them.
Update: MT has named all the bees Betty.