More bee flowers
In Farming Plans #1, we noted that this is excellent land for bees, partly because of the variety of blooming plants and trees. I will leave it to Andrew to do a guest post someday to give more detail. But, in the meantime, here is a bit more on two flowers in the area that bees love and which are especially valuable because they bloom in late Summer and into the Fall.
By way of contrast, in the Fraser Valley of BC the honey flow usually ends by early to mid Summer because there are few plants blooming after July. In this area, however, bees are able to make a great deal of honey in the late Summer and early Fall because of flowers like these. That means that they can enter winter with a lot of honey stored to keep them alive in the cold weather. In a good year, the beekeeper can even harvest some honey in the Fall, while in the Fraser Valley they often need to feed the bees sugar in August to keep them alive.
Most important of these is Goldenrod. Not only does it bloom from early August into early October, but there is a great deal of it. Even though there are a large number of other plants in our pastures, the fields seem to be turning yellow now because of the Goldenrod.
We are interested to note that in some areas, which seem to be drier with thinner soils, the Goldenrod grows only a little more than 1 foot high. But in the damper areas with deeper soils some of them grow as high as 6 and 7 feet tall.
Another late summer plant that bees love and is now coming into bloom is the Aster. It is not as numerous here as the Goldenrod but we have been noticing quite a few of them. We are used to short stemmed Asters in our BC garden but these grow 2 or 3 feet tall. Both have very similar flowers, which I understand are excellent for the bees to work.