Local Sources of Food for Bees & How to Help

May 26, 2018

 A lot of times, people get really interested when buying honey from us and end up asking a lot of good questions. Usually one question that seems to always come up is, “what can we do to help the bees!” There are a lot of things you can do to help the bees and provide a diversity of food for them. A bee friendly garden at your house can provide a great benefit to the local bees around where you live. Many flowers that we all think are pretty and look nice the bees like too!  Bees need flowers because flowers are the bees food. The nectar is what the bees live off of and the nectar and pollen, together, are what they raise their young with.


As you know, we really care about the bees and are always trying to help them in any way we can. We try and help increase the diversity of food, year round, for the bees by wrapping each of our soap bars into wildflower seeded paper - but we need your help! Buy a bar and when you unwrap the soap, take the wrapper and place it under a thin layer of soil, keep moist, place in a sunny location, and watch the wildflowers grow and bloom! You can not only enjoy the soap but the flowers too, and the bees will enjoy them as well!




Deadnettle & Purple Henbit

These are plants that you may or may not have noticed before very early in the spring. They blanket large grass areas or dormant fields along country roads you drive on, maybe even in your yard. They are key to the early food sources for the bees. The flowers are so small you might not even realize they are a flower.


Honey Suckle 

Honey suckle is a bush that wasn’t around years ago. It has a very bad reputation because it is so invasive and occupies what used to be open wooded floors. Despite these negative characteristics, honey suckle provides whats usually the first ‘flow’ of the season. A honey flow is a term beekeepers use to describe a time when a nectar source is in full bloom and bees are bringing back the nectar and making honey in abundance. Honey suckle honey is very light in color - almost clear with a slight golden tint.


Black Locust

This food source is not a small flower plant or a bush but a tree. Black locust trees have long thorns that seem to grow from about anywhere on the trees surface. These trees produce a very delicate flower that can be knocked off with high winds or heavy rain. Because of this, honey collected from this source isn’t a guarantee every year, but when the weather is right, the bees love are all over these flowers. 



Clover is an extremely common flower that a lot of honey is labeled as. It’s a very small, white flower that is in almost everyones yards - unless you treat your lawn for weeds. Although perfectly green lawns looks so neat, they lack clover which the bees use as food. Keep this in mind next time you plan on treating your lawns!



Golden rod is a very late season, tall, yellow flower that produces a very dark, bold honey. This flower provides one of the last major flows that a beekeeper will see in the year. It’s also once of the last times that the bees have time build up enough food stores to get them through the winter months until next spring.


Those make up a small list of the major nectar sources for bees in our area. As you can see they all flower at different times throughout the year so the bees can eat all year long. That’s also why we have different varietals of honey available at different times throughout the year. All honey is not equal and they all taste a little different since they all come from different sources. Stop by throughout the year and taste the difference!





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Address: 5149 St. Route 156

PO Box 102

Waterloo, IL 62298

Phone: 618-317-4353

Email:  walterscreekapiary@gmail.com

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