In our front garden we have an established Cotoneaster horizontalis which I think has to be one of the best plants that you can plant for bees. It has been flowering for about 3 weeks and is always covered in bees. Even in the evening when the honey bees have gone home the bumble bees are busy on it. It is literally coverered in flowers – must must have one of the highest flower to plant area ratios in the world! This afternoon I spent a few minutes watching it and I counted 4 sorts of bees in that short time. The added bonus is that it sets tiny red berries which the birds guzzle through the winter.
I don’t know how much nectar or pollen it yields, but the bees adore it and it is a pleasure watching them at work.