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:
Bees love our beebalm and lavander (I just planted a grosso variety) and they even will buzz around on our crocosmia.
I have found that my honey bees are really busy on the catmint that is planted around our deck,and if I stagger dead heading them I have steady supply of flowering plants. In fall they like the Russian sage but they have to compete with the bumble bees.
Eric Gunnar Rochow
i have some catmint but have not seen the bees on them, interesting. the bumble bees like the herbal sage in the garden. thx, eric.
andrea (andrea meyers)
I am so happy to see posts/ videos by beekeepers about flowers, plants, trees etc etc ... about pollination and more.
I realize many beekeepers already may have trees etc they WANT pollinated... but.. the more the merrier. and to have all sorts of life that comes in various times in spring and summer...so bees (and others) . varied plants-varied bees ..etc.
and organic! if buying seed or growing -be sure they come from a place where no pesticides are used..at all...so to start out in a "true" organic way
I know.. you and all here know about this already...
I am just S happy to see more and more of ALL links that are about ...HEALTHY ...bees.. and all others.. and HEALTHY flowers plants and trees. -herbs. I wish more would see a "garden" as "free-growing" -wild. but also with some "help" to make for even more life for foraging etc.
I am just so happy to see when any beekeeper talks more than about the "how-to's" of keeping a healthy hive. other things are just as important..
I truly believe the varroa mite (and others) are linked with..well--all pesticides and etc.. I already read about such links... I think the bees immune systems are compromised which opens to mites-and even the infestation of these mites and others.
Actually-- do you know about wild bees (far enough away from civilization -are varroa mites an issue in these areas? or other parasites? (just curious... I am going to look this up today)
I wrote a comment on one video-but deleted. I don't want to write often.. but when I do.. it is because I respect you and some others - and learn from you. I am definitely going to learn and etc all I can -workshops etc-once I move to Northern CT.. (out of the city... where I am now) I want to raise bees (beekeeping--but more for learning and helping than for honey.. but I will harvest some honey for me and family-and friends etc. (I am an artist.. so-my $ is not / won't be linked to honey).
Anyway.. Please know I will only write seldom.. so I hope a longer post like this won't upset you.. -please let me know if it is a problem tho-- if so--feel free to delete it.
Thank you for all you do!
@andrea thanks for the kind words. around my area, there are few, if any, wild hives. I think the varroa mite has killed off most of the feral bee colonies, unfortunately.
I have so many honey bees around my Catmint every Summer. I love it!
yeah, catmint is a big honeybee attractant. thx!