Bees Love Bidens

European honeybees (Apis mellifera), native bees, and other pollinators love common begarticks (Bidens alba). This native but weedy annual wildflower grows throughout the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) in sunny disturbed spots.

A member of the daisy family, Asteraceae, common beggarticks has tons of nectar-laden flowers in its central disk. A European honeybee probes for nectar in the photo below and will be dusted with the yellow pollen on the anthers that are borne on brown filaments.

Likely, you already have this plant in your yard and frequently see it growing on roadsides. Be careful what you wish for — and plant. Common beggarticks can be weedy, though beloved by pollinators.

Common names for this plant are plentiful for this widespread plant and include Spanish needles, shepherd’s needles, butterfly needles, and romerillo. The term needle refers its hitchhiker seeds that are shaped like a tiny needle with a pronged end. The genus, BIdens, means two (bi) teeth (dens) and refers to these effective prongs.

Below you can see a strip of common beggarticks flourishing along the trail at Everglades National Park. It is everywhere in Florida.

Native carpenter bees (Xylocopa micans) were smitten with this weedy little daisy in the Everglades and no European honeybees were present.

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