Sunday, August 23, 2009

Late Summer Flowers for Honey Bees

I have made notes in my bee journal on the flowers that I see honey bees are visiting for nectar and pollen. From about July 1 to August 1, the Sourwood trees were flowering, providing nectar. Since then, I have spotted honey bees on field and garden flowers.

Honey Bee on Knapweed (Brown?)

In late July, I photographed honey bees on this knapweed which covered a pasture in a nearby county. I had been pulling up this alien plant where I have found it so now I am rethinking that because this plant seems to provide a good source of nectar and pollen. After my bee sighting, I went up to our pasture (about 3 years since it has been brushhogged). It took awhile but I did find a few honey bees on the knapweed but not on the brown-eyed susans and Queen-Anne's Lace that were also there.

In nearby Blacksburg, I saw honey bees on Russian Sage (and earlier in the summer on lavender) which prompted me to buy a couple of the Russian sage plants at the local Home Depot. While I was there, I noticed honey bees on purple coneflower, yellow jackets on penta flowers, and flies on another flowering plant. It's wierd that the bees have changed the way I garden. I think about what my bees might like to have!

In front of my dog vet's office, I saw honey bees on an unfamiliar shrub while they seemed to ignore all the other flowers in his great garden. When I went back to pick up my dog, the vet handed me two pots with cuttings from the shrub and the name: Blue Mist BlueBeard.

Blue Mist Bluebeard (Caryopteris clandonensis)

This shrub also is not native but does not look like it is invasive either so I think I can plant it in my yard. Now that the weather is finally sunny and not so hot today, I will go out and look for more honey bees.


  1. I was photographing bees on thistle plants earlier today!

  2. Japanese Knotweed

    There are various different methods of Japanese knotweed removal. Using a Japanese knotweed rhizome barrier may be one of the methods to prevent the local spread of the plant. This will prevent the spreading across a land boundary as the barrier is buried along the required margin. The barrier is comprised of a thick sheet of plastic that cannot be penetrated by underground growth of the knotweed.

  3. Wanda--I have some nice photos of butterflies and native bees on thistle but didn't see any honey bees. My honey bees are pretty mysterious.

  4. Phlorum--I had identified the plant before as Japanese Knotweed but wasn't too sure this time. I have removed this around my house but it doesn't seem to be too invasive in my old pasture.

  5. Phorum--After looking at your website, it's definitely not Japanese knotweed that's growing here--it's either Brown or Black Knapweed.

  6. So cool that you are planting to attract the bees. More people should do the same! Thanks

  7. Beautiful post! I love looking at the bees buzzing around flowers!

  8. My neighbor just started keeping bees this summer, and I have seen them in my garden almost from the first day. On the bee balm, lavender, and liatris, and several other plants. They also drink out of my birdbaths regularly.