Food for bees in fall

I'm not sure whether bees need pollen in the fall since they have finished laying eggs, but they certainly like nectar for energy.

Here's just a small sample of some of our plants that bees enjoy:

Bee on stiff goldenrod ©Janet AllenBee getting nectar from stiff goldenrod

You can tell by all the activity on this flower how good a source of nectar goldenrod is, especially this stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida).

Wasp on Fireworks goldenrod ©Janet AllenWasp on a goldenrod

Wasps are part of a healthy ecosystem, too. This wasp is getting nectar from a cultivar of rough-stemmed goldenrod called 'Fireworks' (Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks').

We got this cultivar before we became aware of the advantages of the species. We've since acquired the species (Solidago rugosa, and it's hard to tell them apart. Cultivars benefit industrial horticulture more than wildlife.

Bee on woodland sunflower ©Janet AllenBee on woodland sunflower

Woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) is a beautiful plant with lots of nectar. It's fairly tall and it does spread a bit, so it's important to find a place where that won't be a problem. It adds a lot of sunshine to a lightly shaded spot.

Bee on aster ©Janet AllenBee getting nectar from a native aster

We have a variety of asters, and I've lost track of which is which. I do know that they're native varieties (or at least 95% of them).

And I do know that they're a favorite of bees, especially since there's not much else around in late fall.

I'm always happy to know I've been able to provide nectar at this time of year.