Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hickory, NC, USA
    Posts
    72

    Default Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Hi,

    This is my first year with bees in NC and I had heard that the Goldenrod Bloom would bring a good flow to get hives ready for the winter.
    There is lot of bloom in my area (Hickory) but i currently dont see much new nectar in the hives. The bees are bringing in pollen though....
    any tips would be great.
    Thanks,
    Jantsen

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Searcy, AR, USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Same here in Central AR. In fact, I've never seen bees on Golden Rod here, with the exception of one here and there occasionally. For some reason they just don't use it and I suspect that it hasn't produced nectar in any volume big enough to attract the honey bees. All I see on those blooms here is lightening bugs.
    Rick Brooks: Keeping bees and pastoring a church are similar...I try to keep them both from swarming.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,406

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    I always see lots of goldenrod in bloom in my area, and never get more than a few frames of nectar out of it. I don't know if the bees use it all for brood rearing or not. I've heard there are multiple strains of goldenrod, only one of which produces sufficient nectar for surplus. I've also heard this one strain is the one that blooms later in the season, closer to the middle of October in the Piedmont, and anything earlier is the kind of no use to bees.

    In the end, I don't know, but goldenrod has never been anything of value in any of the locations I've been at in Greensboro, Cary, or Raleigh NC. Maybe it's different elsewhere though.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,822

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    I've heard there are multiple strains of goldenrod, only one of which produces sufficient nectar for surplus. I've also heard this one strain is the one that blooms later in the season, closer to the middle of October in the Piedmont, and anything earlier is the kind of no use to bees.
    That is interesting to know about goldenrod. I have a bunch of volunteers in my yard that have not bloomed yet, but the ones along the roadside (which are much shorter) have all bloomed out. I was thinking of yanking mine out after this season since they get 6' tall and lean over if we get any amount of rain. Now I will have to watch them to see if the bees work them over when they start blooming in a week.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Marietta, OH
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Here in S Ohio, I have watched at least 3 separate goldenrod species bloom. The first two were shorter species and started the end of July through August. The last species is 4-5 feet tall, started blooming about 2/weeks ago. This last bloom is the only one to produce the "goldenrod" smell and copious nectar in the hives. All 3 seemed to produce pollen. This jives w my notes from last year also.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    I am in Southern Pines. We get a fair amount of pollen during Goldenrod flow but not enough nectar for bees to put away. Still getting pollen as of this past weekend.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,903

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    I'm in East TN, just a bit west of NC - most of it, anyway. There is a lot of goldenrod on my property, and I have seen lots of native pollinators working it, but not any honeybees. The other evening several members of my local beekeeping club mentioned similar experience this year, although in some cases goldenrod pollen was reported coming in. But we have had a fairly dry past few weeks, and I suspect the lack of rain has contributed to the dearth of goldenrod nectar.

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 09-23-2014 at 05:14 PM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Chapel Hill NC
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    My experience has been honey bees won't work the early blooming goldenrods and the shorter ones. They have been on the 5-6 foot goldenrod. We have Solidago canadensis (canadian) and Solidago rigida -- (stiff goldenrod) at the house, rigida is also a favorite of monarchs if you want to attract them to the yard.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    902

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Lots of goldenrod here in NE Kansas right now and for the past few weeks. I'm not sure of the exact species as there are apparently several in our area. I got interested in it after reading some threads by beeks who say it makes an amazing honey. There's apparently a very unique odor too, when it's being ripened. I think my bees are bringing in goldenrod pollen. I'm speculating a bit of course. This thread is a favorite of mine on the subject of goldenrod. https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ells-like-crap
    Brent
    Zone 6a, Started April 2014

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    I'm here in Western WV and have seen at least 3 types of goldenrod bloom since mid july. The bees have yet to even look at them here. I've seen them on lots of other things, including aster and giant ragweed, and they love both of them, putting away honey from both, but I've got a 26 acre farm with lots of goldenrod that they snub. I've only seen a few bees with the goldenrod pollen going into the hives. I'm beginning to think someone got it wrong on the bees liking goldenrod all together..
    Thomas Bartram

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Same here. Mine are blooming now. They smell like a lotus flower in bloom or the fresh wheat outside.
    But I have never seen any of my bees on them yet. My bees rather fly 5 minutes to a nearby pumpkin patch.
    I got the Solidago rigida -- (stiff goldenrod) at my house. Don't know if this GR is for the nectar or pollen only?
    My guess would be only in a dearth situation when nothing else is blooming that the bees will work on them.
    What do you think?
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    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
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    699

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Most of our goldenrod is done for the year but what is left I have seen lots of native polinators on.....The remaining GR and astors are the only thing left, and some red clover in the hay fields, but I was in the hives last weekend and they are still drawing lots of BRIGHT YELLOW comb so they must be getting some nector yet from the GR.....We are getting heavy dew most mornings that lasts untill late morning so maybe thats when they are getting the nector to draw comb,,,,Maybe???

    ==McBee7==

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
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    2,064

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    For those interested, I just found a website article that may explain why we aren't seeing our bee work the goldenrod this year in some areas while others are seeing it as normal. Take a quick look and read into it... Here you go... http://blog.beeculture.com/index.php/on-golden-fields/
    Thomas Bartram

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    helenwood,tn.usa
    Posts
    348

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    goldenrod has been blooming here since early aug. i check it almost daily to see if bees are working it. no activity and its about done. same last year. now that caramel smell that everybody talks about has just started in the last week still no bees on the remaining goldenrod. i got a lot of smart weed around here and about 3 days ago they started working the smart weed hard. i also noticed yesterday they are all over the white asters. that bloom is just gettin underway. last night that caramel smell was strong in the yard. i have never smelled that caramel odor befor the white asters start bloomin. so i'm wonderin does that smell realy come from goldenrod. i think it comes from the white asters.
    first colony out of a log 1983 beekeeping about 15 years. Warning i could be an idiot. I'm from South Jersey.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    763

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    I'll jump in on this one. Three years in beekeeping now, and I have never seen a honeybee working goldenrod. I am always looking for it too during the late summer/early fall. Like Rader said, I have also seen other pollinators working it, mostly wasp species. I am of the opinion that there are plenty of other species of flowers for the bees to work, and preferable over goldenrod, at least in this region.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
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    1,291

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Ditto what you folks have reported. I have seen a lot of bumblebees and wasps on goldenrod around here, and not a single honey bee.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,903

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    On the other hand, Beesource member Cleo C. Hogan, in Kentucky - just north of Tennessee and not that far from NC - graciously shared with me a jar of his excellent goldenrod honey a couple of years ago. I am quite confident that Cleo has enough experience to accurately identify that as goldenrod honey.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    steeds, north carolina, USA
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    My bees are working the tall goldenrod that has been blooming for about a week. I also have noticed that the smell that everyone associates with goldenrod only starts when the white asters start to bloom, so I also think that it is the asters not the goldenrod that causes this smell.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
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    2,425

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waggle View Post
    .... I also have noticed that the smell that everyone associates with goldenrod only starts when the white asters start to bloom, so I also think that it is the asters not the goldenrod that causes this smell.
    That may be true in your area but not here in PA and not up in Maine, where the smell of Goldenrod nectar is noticeable in the bee yard long before asters come into bloom.

    Wayne

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    435

    Default Re: Goldenrod in NC.......Lots of Bloom But No Nectar?

    Rain is the key. If you have enough mositure and the right species you have good chance of getting a flow. WE got 1 3/4 in. of rain last week. I am getting a good flow now.
    Don't think you are on the right road simply because it is a well worn pathway.

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