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Here we have a lot of what my family always called dog fennel. It's a small weed with yellow flowers that tend to grow in high traffic barn lots.

My bees never work it.
 

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Waste ground in coastal California often becomes dominated with fennel (or wild ainise as it is called locally). This is the European weed Foeniculum vulgare
See: http://sbwildflowers.wordpress.com/wildflowers/apiaceae/foeniculum/foeniculum-vulgare/

Fennel is worked by crowds of western Yellow Jackets (Vespula pennsylvanica) in the fall (and famously supports the larvae of Swallowtail butterflies).

Except in the most extreme dearth, the honey bees mostly ignore it in my yards, sometimes briefly stopping on the flower crowns before moving on. One can observe both abundant pollen and nectar, so I am not sure why it unfavored by the bees.
 

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I concur with JWC. The bees just don't like it the same way the vespids do. I have it my garden in the hope that Swallowtail butterflies will regard it as a nursery for their young...that's not happened yet, though it's established itself as a weed. They also don't like dill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
all i see on the fennel are flies, wasps and small non-honey bees

on various sites i read that honey bees forage on it - so i am really surprised
 
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