What are all those tiny purple flowers in our lawns? They are Henbit, a prolific early-spring wildflower in lawns, gardens, orchards, and agricultural fields. The flowers are on low plants with crinkled, round leaves. The Henbit, along with its cousin, the Purple Deadnettle, is a member of the mint family. The mints, one of the important families of bee plants, are easily identified; they all have square stems. Beekeepers and those interested in protecting the wild pollinators welcome Henbit in their lawns. They don’t spray herbicides on their lawns for this broadleaf wildflower. It’s important bee forage.
Thank you for this post! I have recently found several henbit flowers in the bottom of our hives. Have you ever known bees to carry the flowers back to the hive? If so, can you shed some light on this subject for me? What is the purpose of the flowers inside the hive? Thank you- John IvyReplyDelete
You have made a curious observation. I am not sure, but I am guessing that if there were only a few flowers on the floor of the hive, they were brought in by foragers collecting pollen. In this case the flowers were stuck to the sticky pellets of pollen on the bees’ pollen baskets. I find bitterweed petals in my pollen traps quite frequently when I collect pollen in the summer. These are tiny composite flower parts that appear to adhere to the pollen pellets or the bees themselves.
If there is a large volume of flowers in the hive, I would check to see if a mouse is bringing in nesting material.