Of all the flowers in the United States, goldenrod is probably the second-most spoken of by beekeepers (the first is clover). But the funny thing is it usually goes untouched by bees. Or at least by my bees. I have goldenrod blooming here from August through October, and I check it often for foragers. It’s the soldier beetle I see dominating the goldenrod, covering the plants in a moving mass of feeding and mating through mid-September. Bees, on the other hand, are hard to find on the yellow flowers for most of their bloom period. It’s not until late September that I start seeing honey bees on goldenrod, suggesting it’s a little-desired flower for honey bees in my area. Only when there’s not much else to forage does goldenrod becomes a menu option. I’m not disparaging goldenrod. On the contrary, I’m grateful it’s available so late into the year; but it hasn’t been the panacea for fall honey harvests or winter food stores often touted by magazines, websites, and presentations at beekeeping clubs.