WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR BEES?
Honey bees all around the world are in decline because of Varroa mite infestations and other threats. Pesticide misuse is killing bees. Habitat degradation takes away flowers which supply nectar and pollen, their essential food.
Bees are now dependent on humans to protect them. Here are some ideas for trees when you are planting.
Native plants are the best choice to increase “on-farm” native biodiversity and benefit both the honey bee and the environment.
Native Trees for Bees
LEGEND: Common Name (Scientific name) --- Life form, Maximum height in metres, Months of flowering
Black maire (Nestegis cunninghamii) --- Tree, 20m, Oct-Nov
The tree has rough, cork-like bark, and produces red or yellow fruits. Black maire is now only found in small areas of North Island forest because of its high value as a hard timber and for firewood.
Cabbage tree (Cordyline australis) --- Tree, 15m, Oct-Dec
Its fruit is a favourite food source for the New Zealand pigeon and other native birds. In spring and early summer, sweetly perfumed flowers are produced in large, dense panicles (flower spikes) 60 to 100 cm (2–3 ft) long, bearing well-spaced to somewhat crowded, almost sessile to sessile flowers and axes. The flowers are crowded along the ultimate branches of the panicles. The bracts which protect the developing flowers often have a distinct pink tinge before the flowers open.
Five-finger (Pseudopanax arboreus) --- Tree, 8m, Jun-Aug
The compound leaves with five to seven leaflets, hence the name, are very characteristic of the tree and easily recognized.
Seven-finger (Schefflera digitata) --- Tree, 8m, Feb-Mar
It prefers damp, shady parts of the forest and is common along stream banks and on shady forest roadsides.
Haekaro (Pittosporum umbellatum) --- Tree, 7m, Sep-Jan
Leathery dark green leaves. Fragrant red flowers in spring. Endemic to the east coast of the North Island.
Hinau (Elaeocarpus dentatus) --- Tree, 15m, Oct-Feb
The leaves are dark green, with a toothed edge. On the underside of the leaf small pits are present. Clusters of small white flowers are produced in spring, and in late summer the flowers form into a fleshy fruit.
Horoeka (Pseudopanax crassifolius) --- Tree, 15m, Jan-Apr
The leaves are stiff and leathery with a prominent central rib, about 1 cm wide and up to 1 m long with irregular teeth, all growing downwards from a central stem.
Kāmahi (Weinmannia racemosa) --- Tree, 20m, Dec-Jan
It has small creamy-white flowers in erect spikes. a medium-sized tree of the family Cunoniaceae, is a very common tree in New Zealand, occurring in lowland, montane, and subalpine forests and shrubland from the central North Island south to Stewart Island.
Kohuhu (Pittosporum tenuifolium) --- Tree, 6m, Oct-Nov
is a small evergreen tree (up to 10 meters) native to New Zealand, known by the Māori as kohuhu and kohukohu, or as Black Matipo(though it is not really a matipo tree). It is sometimes grown under the cultivar name 'Nigricans', so called because of its black stems. In horticulture it is valued for its coloured foliage (cultivated variations include purple, "silver" and variegated leaves), and for its tolerance of some horticulturally difficult growing conditions, including dry soils and shade. The flowers generally go unnoticed because of their colour, a very dark reddish-purple, and are scented only at night. It is found growing wild in coastal and lower mountain forest areas up to an altitude of 900m.
Lacebark (Hoheria populnea) --- Tree, 10m, Mar-Apr-(Jun)
A very fast growing native tree found naturally in lowland forests of the northern North Island. Hoheria populnea, Lacebark has oval pointed leaves with serrated edges and abundant white scented flowers in late Summer / Autumn.
Lemonwood (Pittosporum eugenioides) or Tatata--- Tree, 10m, Oct-Dec
Is a tree which grows up to 12 metres tall with a strong lemony smell. It has attractive showy flowers in October, followed by distinctive black seed capsules
Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) --- Tree, 20m, Dec-Jan
Renowned for its vibrant colour and its ability to survive even perched on rocky, precarious cliffs, it has found an important place in New Zealand culture for its strength and beauty and is regarded as a chiefly tree (rākau rangatira) by Māori.
Pokaka (Elaeocarpus hookerianus) --- Tree, 8m, Oct-Jan
Is a native forest tree of New Zealand. A cold tolerant plant, E. hookerianus can be found from valley floors to mountainous areas.
Raukawa (Raukaua edgerleyi) --- Tree, 10m, Nov-Mar
The adult aromatic shiny green leaves (7-15cm x 3-5cm) are long-oval and are not serrated but have wavy margins. The juvenile leaves are deeply incised on the margins and have pale green to reddish brown undersides. Small 3-4mm star shaped greenish flowers.
Rewarewa (Knightia excelsa) --- Tree, 30m, Oct-Dec
The leaves are alternate, leathery, narrow oblong, 10 - 15 cm long and 2.5 - 3.5 cm wide, and without stipules. The flowers are 2 - 3.5 cm long, bright red, and borne in racemes 10 cm long. It was called "New Zealand honeysuckle" by early European settlers but the name has fallen into disuse in preference for the Māori name. Rewarewa flowers are a great source for honey production.
Tawhero (Weinmannia silvicola) --- Tree, 15m, Sep-Dec
Flowering occurs spring to early summer and the white inflorescence are at the branch tips and are 8-12 cm. long racemes holding the individual flowers on pedicels that are 2-3mm long. These flowers are not overly perfumed. The capsules ripen through summer. The dry capsules release tiny seeds which are dispersed by the wind.
For more information ask your local garden centre or visit, www.nba.org.nz or www.treesforbeesnz.org
or contact email@example.com
A joint project of the National Beekeepers’
Association and Trees for Bees NZ