Was out giving the dogs a good run as well as scouting around for bee activity. For the last 10 years or so, there were honey bees on most every corner of the farm. Many were escapes from a neighbor that had been in bees for a few years. There appeared to be a thriving feral population for at least that many years. Not so this year. Not sure if it was a combination of early last summer's brutal heat/drought that dried up many of the early nectar sources or this springs cool, late and damp start extending into a damp summer, but the bees are not there like they were. Last winter wasn't severe. I fear the feral honey bee population took a hard hit either way.
I was also trying assess what late summer/fall plants are yet to bloom. Goldenrod isn't yet although I don't have much as the cows eat it. Is Perilla Mint (Perilla fructens)a good bee plant? I have plenty. In fact I am covered up in it. It hasn't started to bloom yet either. Ironweed has just started as is another 2 different weeds with white blooms that I don't know the species. One smells good to me.
I downloaded the old Bee Plants book, but there are now a number of "invasive" species that flourish here in the southeast that are not in the book. The Perilla mint for one.
So what ye say wise ones, what are some of the late bee plants? Hoping my one little hive can build up enough stores to winter. Thanks to this groups wisdom, I already gave it a boost in population with a frame of brood. The queen apparently liked the addition of the comb space as she is filling the empty cells with eggs as fast as the last occupant clears them.