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Follow our progress as beekeepers, running the nursery, creating our own bee-haven and conducting research into the best plants for bees

Flowering ivy: the last nectar of the season

ivy flowering in mid-October providing late season nectar

ivy flowering in mid-October providing late season nectar

Ivy, particularly the rampant native hedera helix, is one of the last flowering plants of the year. The flowers are an unattractive khaki colour and hardly recognisable as flowers at all but they can be very plentiful on establish plants.

I spotted this clump in our village on a day last week when we have a brief spell of sun; it was buzzing away and I counted 12 honeybees, 2 carders and a couple of flies all working it.

The nectar if rich but quick to crystalise which means that is can be preserved in the hive as a great source of food, as long as the bees find enough moisture to dissolve it again.

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by rosi