Bee-plant of the week: agastache (mid Aug)
We grow agastache foeniculum from seed collected from our own plants and both honeybees and bumblebees love it. The first central spires of flowers started to bloom at rosybee in early July when it was still hot and dry. Then in the last two weeks the secondary spires have matured and a second wave of purple is now added to the first.
This plant smell of licorice but is actually a member of the mint family (they could have a whole sweet shop going on here!).
Its also a great plant for ‘bee watching’ because the spires have many tiny flowers and the bees work their way systematically and slowly around the flower spike in a fairly upright position. This typically means the bees stay ‘posed’ on the flower for at least 20 seconds, and are still enough to allow identification.
So if you like to watch your bees and find out what type they are I recommend you grow agastache