I’m considering planting star jasmine on the south side of the house to keep the house cooler. Is star jasmine safe for bees? I love the perfume smell.
Great idea to cool your house down! While there is nothing inherently toxic about star jasmine to bees, some plants at nurseries are shipped treated with neonicotonoids, a class of systemic pesticides which are toxic to bees. Most big retailers (such as Home Depot or Lowes) will not have information about whether the plants about whether the plants have been treated, but smaller nurseries may. Try Glendora Gardens Nursery in Glendora, they have very friendly, knowledgeable staff who might be able to tell you if their plants have been treated. Also, you might want to consider planting a deciduous vine instead of star jasmine. Deciduous vines drop their leaves in winter, so they will keep your house cool in summer, while allowing the warmth in during winter.
Hope that helps!