Bees provide many benefits to a gardener, particularly in pollinating plants. But there are times when you do not want to attract bees into your environment, especially if you or someone in your household is allergic to bee stings. You want to avoid plants that will attract bees to your yard and, instead, grow the trees, shrubs, and plants that do not entice bees and may even repel bees.
The flowers on trees appeal to bees for the nectar and easy accessibility for the insect. Bees are attracted to the flat shaped flowers or clusters of small flowers which many trees have. To deter bees in your landscape do not select any ornamental tree that will flower, but, instead, choose trees that use the wind to pollinate, like oaks, birches, elms and hickories.
Like trees, many shrubs in landscapes are ornamental and for a time during the growing season will burst into bloom. Conifer evergreens are an ideal selection for landscaping a yard without bees, but you may want more variety to your landscaping. Early spring blooming shrubs, like pussy willows, forsythia, and spiraea, often flower before bees are active. These plants then become attractive leaf bushes and shrubs for the remainder of the growing season.
Landscapes without flowering plants tend to have a static appearance, but since bees are attracted to the sweet aroma of the blossoms and the colour of the blooms, it can be difficult to find flowering plants to add to your yard. There are herb plants, however, that bees dislike and will avoid because of the fragrance the blossoms or leaves emit. The herb feverfew, with tiny white daisy-shaped flowers, has an odour that bees dislike and will avoid. The plant blooms in mid summer and again in late fall. It will reseed itself and may become invasive. There are other herb plants, such as curry, wormwood, tarragon, mugwort, and southernwood, that do not produce distinguishable flowers and but have fragrant leaves the bees dislike and will avoid.