Amongst them are Radishes and bees seem to love their flowers.
|Radish flowers are great source of nectar and pollen in Autumn|
Radishes are easy to grow and I will collect many seeds this year for the next season. Brassica family is another late bloomer. Our Mizuna Cabbage is blooming now as well as Broccoli and I see bees pollinating their flowers.
Aster is another plant which flowers in Autumn. Not to forget the fabulous Himalayan Balsam which seeds I started collecting big time :)
Autumn is the very last train for bees to collect pollen and nectar before the cold of winter. For that reason I will focus a lot to plant what's blooming between the August and October. According to some studies bees which have good Autumn source of pollen are the ones best fit to survive winter. Without pollen bees can't "fatten up" for the winter.
|Honeybees on Aster flowers at the end of September (shade temperature 9'C)|
"Bees not only store pollen and honey in the combs, but they also store food reserves in their bodies. This is done mainly in the form of a compound called “vitellogenin.” vitellogenin is classed as a “glycolipoprotein,” meaning that is has properties of sugar (glyco, 2%), fat (lipo, 7%), and protein (91%) (Wheeler & Kawooya 2005). Vitellogenin is used by other animals as an egg yolk protein precursor, but bees have made it much more important in their physiology and behavior, using it additionally as a food storage reservoir in their bodies, to synthesize royal jelly, as an immune system component, as a “fountain of youth” to prolong queen and forager lifespan, as well as functioning as a hormone that affects future foraging behavior!"
Thanks to Vitellogenin bees can live long throughout the winter. No wonder that beekeepers have huge winter losses in apiaries close to mono-crop agriculture using Neonicotinoid pesticides. Such pesticides affect the bees ability to create fat reserves. Without fat reserves in their bodies they have very little chance to overwinter successfully.
So its not just honey/sugar they need to overwinter but ample amounts of pollen too to build up fat reserves in form of Vitellogenin. Can bees find enough pollen in Autumn if surrounded with mono-crop fields which give no pollen at all at this time of the year? I don't think so! And because of this it is of great, ney, alerting importance to plant for the bees as much as possible personally but also to try and make our politicians understand how important it is to create a sustainable biodiverse environment. Farmers will not change their habitual perspective of only thinking about profit so we must have a program to assist farmers to plant around their fields bee friendly plants, shrubs and trees to sustain the bees throughout the whole year. Large scale mono-cultures as seen in California Almond fields is to be banned in my opinion. They represent Eco-cide on grand scale and are showing us year in, year out that they are nothing more but deserts for the insects and birds.
So join your local environmental group and try to make a difference in your locality, your village, town, county. We are on the verge to destroy life on earth as we know it! Lets not fool ourselves by ignoring this fact and running away from it into our TV shows, PC games, various hobbies and other entertainment, etc ... Even if you choose to ignore them, facts still remain (I think Huxley said that).
Read more about the importance of Vitellogenin HERE