What are the best flowers for honeybees? What kind of flowers do bees like? How do i attract honeybees to my garden?
Being a beekeeper, I pay a lot of attention to what flowers honeybees are attracted to, and in the late summer and fall, the forest edges of my yard are full of Woodland Asters, and these flowers are full of honeybees. Woodland Asters bloom late, and keep their flowers quite a while into the cold days of fall. They are an edge of forest plant, they wont grow in direct sun, and are inconspicuous before they bloom, then all of a sudden, they are there in front of you. Full of honeybees too. Asters are one of the best plants for honeybees in the fall.
The flower world calls these White Wood Asters, my neighbors call them Woodland Asters, the experts call them Eurybia divaricata, which is a mouthful. The name Aster comes from Greece, meaning 'star'. The name fits the flowers, these have white petals that shoot straight out with a yellow center. This particular aster is considered threatened in Canada, but it grows in pockets around my area. According to Wikipedia, it is common in the Appalachian Mountains.
Project Native, a cool group up in Massachusetts, sells several seed mixes that have different native asters, I'm thinking most of the asters are honeybee attractant plants - flowers.
If you have asters in your yard, but don't see honeybees on them, just wait. Honeybees focus on a particular plant for a while, then move on to the next plant species that is ready for them. The honeybees in your area may be working another kind of flower, like Goldenrod, and when they are done with that, they'll move on to the asters. Honeybees don't hop from one aster to another goldenrod, they focus on one flower type, then shift to new plants.
What flowers do you see honeybees on in your yard? Let us know below: