Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - January 31, 2015

From: RICEVILLE, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pollinators, Wildlife Gardens, Trees
Title: Is Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) a major nectar source for honeybees?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is the Sweetbay Magnolia a major nectar source for honeybees?

ANSWER:

The Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) doesn't appear on our list of Special Value to Honey Bees, Special Value to Native Bees or Special Value to Bumble Bees from the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.  Indeed, on the species page under "Benefits" its Wildlife Use is listed as very low.   Its nectar is listed as taken by moths and beetles.  That doesn't mean that honey bees don't visit it, but it doesn't appear to be a major nectar source for honeybees—or any bees for that matter.   If you are looking for a tree that will be a major source for honeybees, visit our page for Special Value to Honey Bees and use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the left sidebar and select "Tennessee" from the Select State or Province slot and "Tree" from General Appearance slot.  You will find a list of 46 trees that grow in Tennessee that are major nectar sources for honeybees.

 

More Pollinators Questions

Do female possumhaws require male to bloom?
January 02, 2009 - Do female possumhaws require a male nearby to bloom? I've read that about yaupon hollies, but not possumhaws specifically. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Hummingbird Bushes for Broken Arrow OK
August 27, 2014 - I am looking for bushes that attract hummingbirds. I live in Broken Arrow, OK. Can you recommend some?
view the full question and answer

Pollinating Pawpaws
February 06, 2013 - We have many good sized pawpaw trees in our area but they never bear any fruit. I've checked them at different times in the fall over the years but no fruit. Someone told me that the flowers were po...
view the full question and answer

Need plants beneficial or attractive to bees in Dripping Springs, TX
January 27, 2014 - Can you provide a specific list of plants beneficial or attractive to honey bees in the Texas Hill Country (we raise bees in Dripping Springs, TX.) Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees buzzing in Taylor TX
October 20, 2012 - Is it possible for live oak trees to make a buzzing sound? We have heard this sound under our live oak and were worried it was bees but we don't seem to see any. I also heard the buzzing under my mot...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.