ACT - whats in flower in Winter - 2017 Canberra

Hello fellow Canberra beekeepers

thought I would create a month by month list of plants that are in flower and that our bees are actively working the flowers of these plants in search of pollen and nectar. As I find others that bees are actively ‘working’ this month I will edit this list and add images of these. Whilst it is agreed that a number of these floral sources aren’t known as the greatest honey bee plants at this time of the year honey bees can ill afford to be too fussy and the old adage of ‘something is better than nothing’ comes to mind. I am sure that the bees are grateful to still be collecting something.

Surprisingly ornamental pear (Manchurian Pear) is also flowering here and there and as this typically flowers in Spring it will be interesting to see how much it will flower when it should.

  1. Manchurian Pear (common small ornamental tree planted throughout Canberra)

  2. Pincushion Hakea (common garden shrub planted throughout Canberra)

  1. Caley’s Ironbark (common street tree planted throughout Canberra)

  2. Dandelions (in the lawns around Canberra)

  3. Lemons and Limes (ours are in large pots)

  4. Ivy (common ivy - along the rear fence)

  1. Loquat tree (fairly common around Canberra, at least six large specimens in our street alone)

Anyway, certainly interested from hearing from others have flowering in their neck of the woods that honey bees are ‘working’.



Good Topic Eric
Mine are very active on the common African Daisy as well as Rosemary plants at present. Noticed a few around the Roses that are in flower also.

Good stuff Eric.

Certainly still some nectar and pollen coming in.

Still some Red Stringybark (Eucalyptus macrorycha) around the Aranda, Cook & Weetangara areas. Dandelions flower abundance in the pastures has dropped down by approx 50% over the past 2 weeks.

Okay, walking around to also tripped over the following also in flower with honey bees working these actively at present here in Canberra

Abelia - small to large garden shrub, white trumpet shaped flower with five petals, a mass of flowers, related to the honeysuckle plant

Grevillea Canberra Gem - the one I walked past was just over one metre tall and was flower well and receiving plenty of bee attention.

(photo from ‘Patient Gardner Garden Blog’ as it was better than anything I could take using my phone, cheers.)

anyway, will keep my eyes open to see what else the bees are working this month.

Okay, who would have thought there would be so many good flowering plants in May in Canberra, additional examples from my walking about this week in Canberra include:

Argyle Apple (gum), just started flowering, Eucalyptus cinerea, is known by its round grey-blue leaves, cream coloured flowers, great honey source. Honey bees actively working the trees in flower that I saw in Canberra, Great plantings of this species in Weston Creek and Torrens. If you havent shut your bees down for winter as yet and still have room in your super for your bees to store a late but fantastic honey crop then you with this gum coming into flower, as it has in the past few days, you should be in for a great crop of honey even with the weather turning cooler. We have 15 of these trees in our street alone so the bees are working these at present like there is no tommorrow.

Purple Flowering Pigface, a succulent ground cover still flowering, bees actively collecting pollen.

Hello All

I have grevillea in the front yard that is just starting it wintering flowering and the bees are just starting t show some interest. Correa bush is still flowering and the bees love it. They are also working the neighbors Camellia. Ironbark in the neighborhood and a couple large banksia next door starting to flower heavily.

G’day Eric and readers…

The Argyle Apples in the Beconnen area are in heavy, full bloom, not every tree, but impressive nonetheless. Looks like the blooming will continue for another couple of weeks, perhaps longer with many buds to open. All my colonies are foraging actively, flying from as early as 6.30am and late comers returning as late as 5.20pm. The aroma of nectar/honey around the hives is amazing - even 3 metres away. A welcome flow in what has been a light season.

Some photos from Chifley this morning. Couldn’t believe the amount of bee activity on these blossoms with three large trees in flower near the shops (I will let others identify the species :smiley: ). Apologies for the quality, photos are from a phone.

Also buds at the back of Pearce.. once again.. please let me know what they are :smiley:

Might be time to admit I may have packed down a few weeks early this season! :grin:

Hey Sam

what you have pictured in your first two images in flower that the bees are working hard is Argyle Apple,Eucalyptus cinerea, the next photo of the the tree in bud is red ironbark,Eucalyptus sideroxylon, some have pinkish coloured flowers and others cream coloured.

Unsure about the last one, I will drive past the site and have a look to see what the bark is like before getting back to you.

As for packing down, I was about to but have held off when the Argyle apple started flowering in the street 3 weeks ago and the bees are hammering the trees in the street so I am glad I didn’t as they are certainly enjoying this late honey harvest.



Thanks Eric!

I went for a walk down Hindmarsh Drive and the bees are still working these blossoms heavily. Some of the blossoms are dying off, but other trees in the same row look like they are just starting to come out.

I managed to get some bees working the blossom as I had a camera in hand this time!

Hey Sam

whats interesting about this gum is that its very prominent species that appears to be all around Canberra and I noticed that the examples in Kingston are only just starting to flower this week and yet others, say where I am in Holder, have been in flower to at least 3 weeks.

This week the daily temperatures should see the bees as active as they have been the past week but agreed its great to see them working these flowers as hard as they are all be it so late in the season.


Hi Sam

Nice images. Following this thread I see you and Eric mentioning ‘shutting your bees down for winter’ and ‘packed down’. As someone new to bee keeping it would be great to get a better understanding of what you mean by these terms and what it involves.

I am sure the process varies from location to location depending on climate, but an overview of what this involves locally would be very useful.


Kurt, I started a new thread here covering the packing down process:


Hi All,

I had a look around this weekend to see what was in flower in my immediate area and what the bees were working.
There are two different banksias next door that the bees are loving at the moment. A smaller flowered yellow banksia which they have been working for a while now and this week they have started working a larger flowered orange coloured banksia (maybe someone can provide the real names).

Honey Bees, Natives and ants…everyone is having a crack.

Head down, bum up…at first glance they are hard to see but on closer inspection the girls are working these things hard.


Hello everyone

another species of gum flowering in Chifley this time on the corner of Melrose & Eggleston, very tall tree easily 15 metres tall. Bees were working it on well on the sunny day at noon post the cloud clearing, these flowers were on the ground from the parrots feeding on them.

This wasn’t an isolated example of this species at this location, the others at this intersection were heavy in bud just without any flowers so with the weather being as cold as it has been very difficult to predict when these are likely to flower.

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My front yard last weekend. Beautiful grevillea shrub this thing is absolutely buzzing with bees and will flower most of winter.

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I am getting huge amount of light yellow pollen coming in today

Hello again

Thought that I would amend the title of this post as it was originally ‘whats in flower in May 2017’ as its now not May now but rather June and therefore ‘Winter in the Capital’. Also its great to see so many others adding examples of whats in flower to the site as each location clearly has different species flowering at different times.

Todays examples are again all in Holder, collected after a quick walk down the street, they include;

Native Wisteria

an ornamental plum/cherry

I understand that the Dwarf Snow-gum is also flowering well locally so I will try to find and example of this and add it to the post in the coming days.

Interestingly, both yesterday & today reached its maximum temperature of 12C with blue skies eventually and yet the bees were very active both days so perhaps they new that the return on their investment was well worth their foraging efforts.


Okay, so what else is flowering now we are into July…

Well, Banksia is still flowering and bees still very active all be it when the sun is out as it was just 12C today, thought it was also worth sharing an image of a close up of the flower and the shrub itself that was at least 2 metres talk and almost as wide.

Also found this great example of a flowering ornamental that is also in full flower and these flowers haven’t been damaged by the -3C that we have aged most nights this past week. Bees were most active on it from 10 am to 2 pm when the cold breeze had dropped also noting that it was no more than 12C when the bees were visiting so the ROI must have been well worth their risk.

Weekend tomorrow so will keep my eyes peeled as at least two new gums in flower in the past few days, too bloody cold for the bees to do much with them but very interesting all the same that so much is in flower all be it in the middle of winter.

Took this photo yesterday when inspecting hives… it was covered in bees… but I somehow managed to only capture one in the shot (shadow bottom centre).