Florida Native [FALL] Nectar Bush – GROUNDSELTREE (Baccharis halimifolia)

Groudseltree aka Salt-Bush (Baccharis halimifolia)

Salt-bush is a native tree that “Bee Hill” has in abundance. This may change as landscaping is ongoing; however, I will do my best to save as many as possible by transplanting. Salt-bush is a huge nectar boost to the bees. I can not overstate the importance of native plants that produce nectar during dearth conditions. This is a very important tree.

The vast majority of all plants bloom in the Spring. Springtime normally marks the main flow of an area, the time when bees make the greatest excess of food stores (honey). Most *Nectar producing* plants will start to slow down or stop producing flowers after spring. In late summer to fall, they often go dormant.

On average, for our area in Zone 8a-8b, the hard dearth starts middle summer (after palms bloom) into fall. It is at this time that honey bees can starve.

Bees forage out to 3 miles. So, it is important to draw up a 3 mile radius FORAGE MAP of what is in bloom near your colonies. You may be lucky and have plants that bloom during the dearth. Protect them, know them, plant them..


These “late bloomers” provide a life support to colonies. Sadly, they’re likely not abundant enough to solve all your problems. When winter arrives, bees will spend a lot of energy shivering to create heat. They will need fuel in the form of carbohydrates and will eat the honey they’ve stored. Check the weight of your hives by tipping and supplement them with sugar water feed (2:1) as needed. Bees must stay inside and survive all the way to spring. Beekeepers often don’t realize that a colony has starved to death until it is finally warm enough open the hives. You can prevent this from happening through proactive management of your colonies.

Till’ Next time

Matt