In the South, Goldenrod is basically the last true nectar and pollen source for your bees for the season. Goldenrod tends to mature at different stages. In our area, we can expect a 4 week to 6 week Goldenrod maturity.
The Goldenrod is NOT a real marketable honey. The honey actually has a bitter smell to it. But there are some people in this world that appreciate Goldenrod honey.
The honey produced will change the smell within your hive almost immediately and will remain in the hive until the Goldenrod honey is consumed by the bees in early spring. Goldenrod does not smell sweet as you would find during the traditional nectar flow from Spring to Summer. The nectar is extremely important nectar flow that will effect your hive in several ways:
(1) The nectar flow will stimulate the queen to produce more brood. Higher brood count is better so that your hive will go into winter with a very healthy colony that will be able to adequately warm the hive during those cold winter nights.
(2) The nectar will be turned into capped honey within the hive. The honey will also increase the honey stores to adequately feed your hive during the winter months.
Pollen is also important! The pollen will be consumed during the fall and winter months which will help sustain the bee’s health.
We have Goldenrod in and around our bee yards. We attribute our success, in part, due to Goldenrod fields around our bee yards. Yes, it is a weed, but an important food source for your bees.