Although September has brought misty mornings and dampness, grey skies and little sun, there are still bees in the garden; their hum and buzz a lasting echo of summer. And here are the plants they are visiting; all late-flowering and nectar-rich, providing a feast for the bees as autumn takes hold:
Sedum herbstfreude ‘Autumn Joy’
Honeybees and bumbles all make a bee-line for the ample landing platforms of the sedums, and jostle over the mass of starry flowers in a frenzy. The flower heads often accommodate a mix of bees at a time, with honeybees, common carders, buff-tailed and white-tailed bumblebees all joining in the feast.
This star of our pollinator-friendly patch, which flowers right through the summer and on into the autumn, attracts not only bees but butterflies, hoverflies and dragonflies too. In September it’s frequented mostly by honeybees and common carder bumblebees.
The cheery little blooms of the asters are popular with the smaller bees, so are frequented by honeybees and common carders.
Large, buzzy garden bumblebees, whose long tongues can reach down into the flower tubes, love the nasturtiums. It’s fun to watch the bees reversing out of the flowers when they are done.
Caryopteris clandonensis ‘Heavenly Blue’
Another favourite of the common carder bumblebees who are small and agile enough to flit among the caryopteris’s delicate flowers.
What flowers are the bees visiting in your garden this month? I would love to know.