The goldenrod appears to be blooming in full force here in Northfield, MN this week. It makes for a beautiful site along the road side ditches and in old pastures. Goldenrod is commonly mistaken as a weed of abandoned fields that have not been mowed in several years, but it is an extremely important food source for honey bees. It’s the last true bloom of the late summer/autumn season and many hives rely on the rich pollen and nectar of goldenrod to make it through the winter.
Goldenrod does not always make tasty honey (it tends to be a little bitter), so many beekeepers will remove their honey supers before the bloom, do colony inspections and then allow the bees to keep the honey produced during the autumn goldenrod harvest.
If you are out and about on the Minnesota byways in the next couple of weeks, take time to stop on the roadside near a stand of goldenrod and observe the busy harvest. It’s important to take a moment of appreciation for these late summer days with perfect splashes of sunshine.
Dr. Eva Reinicke