Twelfth North American Prairie Conference
Cedar Falls, IA
A preliminary field plot was established in 1986 to assess the suitability of various species of native, perennial mint family plants (Lamiaceae) as food plants to support honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). This report summarizes honey bee preference data collected over three growing seasons, along with general information on these plants' range of adaptation and ease of culture. In general, Agastache populations had the highest levels of honey bee visitation, followed by populations of Pycnanthenum. Honey bee activity on populations of Monarda and Salvia was much less. Within Agastache and Pycnanthemum populations, bee preference differed greatly among plant populations. The most promising populations of Agastache and Pycnanthemum from the preliminary field plot are now being evaluated in a replicated trial.
Widrlechner, Mark P., "A field evaluation of native mint family plants as honey bee forage in Iowa" (1990). NCRPIS Conference Papers, Posters and Presentations. 9.