As most of the hives DC Honeybees has set up are less than a year old, it’s recommended that those bees are fed sugar syrup around this time of the year to prepare them for winter. In addition to that, I wanted to supplement the sugar syrup with some late-flowing plants.

Luckily, DC has a relatively decent growing season — it’s in zone 7 — and there are still some flowering plants out there that honey bees enjoy. Plus, DC has an average first frost date of Oct. 30, and it’s been fairly warm lately. So, this weekend I was able to plant some Star Asters and Butterfly Bush, both of which provide nectar for bees and continue to flower into the fall. They’re both perennials, so they’ll come back next year as well.

In addition to those two, here’s a list of other late bloomers or continual bloomers. And, don’t forget about herbs like sage, thyme (which acts is an anti-microbial for bees) oregano and lavender.

Anise hyssop
Appalachian Mountain Mint
Mint and Cat Mint
Garlic chives

If you can find some Anise Hyssop and get it established before a frost, your bees will thank you for it. Come spring, the nectar-filled purple flowers will be covered in bees. And, the leaves make for a great herbal tea.

October 17, 2011