Bee in Double Rose of Sharon Bush
When I first started beekeeping, I thought there would be some discipline to what plants bees would visit.
Not that there isn't. Bees do prefer high pollen-producing plants, such as dandelions, clover, sunflowers, buckwheat and blue salvia.
There are a number of books that explain how bees chose their flowers and what flowers they might prefer. Bees visit 2 million flowers and fly 55, 000 miles to produce one pound of honey. One bee colony can produce 60 to 100 pounds of honey per year. An average worker bee makes only about 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its six-week lifetime.
Considering that bees make honey for winter food, flower visitation is important to the bees success in getting honey stored before winter.
I had just finished reading one such book, which basically said bees need to have clear access to pollen. Double-bloomed plants, although very pretty, are not supposed to be good bee plants.
My bee buddy David and I were discussing the book when I spotted one of his honeybees visiting a nearby double Rose of Sharon bush. We watched for several minutes as the bee moved around the inside of the plant. When it left, its little leg pouches were stuffed with a cream-colored pollen.
Add Double Rose of Sharon Bush to a honeybee's favorite plant list!