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Author Topic: Crape Myrtle  (Read 3609 times)
MrILoveTheAnts
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« on: July 20, 2007, 12:46:02 PM »

Does anyone have an experience or comments about Crape Myrtles (one word?)? It seems like a beautiful plant that is just the right size for a swarm to land in and be easily managed form the ground or a short step ladder, but does is also offer nectar and pollen to the bees? Pictures online of bees on this plant are few and far between, and it's the same way with butterflies. It seems like more of a plant that you'd plant for the foliage but other pictures show them teaming with aphids. Personally I prefer aphids to beetles because the aphids draw in ants to protect the plant.
So what are your thoughts?
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annette
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 01:37:47 PM »

My bees are on a friends property and there are about 7 large crepe myrtle trees growing. I have been watching and the bees absolutely loved one tree that is purple color. The rest are just hit or miss, with a few bees foraging here and there. Nothing much. But this one purple tree seems to attract them. If you want more info on the type of tree, I can try to find out from my friend.

Annette
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 01:41:28 PM »

I would appreciate that if you could find the name, thank you.
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asprince
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 06:42:22 PM »

I have a hive located at a commercial tree farm with 20 acres of crape myrtle. I see a few bees (honey) on the white blooms and very few on the colors. Bummer.....Steve
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 06:48:26 PM »

I will ask him and hopefully he can remember the name.

Annette
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ZuniBee
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 07:13:04 PM »

I have 20 to 25 on my property and my bees love them. I have three colors, white, pink, and two that are almost red. They range in size from 10 feet tall to over 20 feet. They are huge. Before they bloomed two weeks ago, I was getting no honey at all and had to start feeding four of my hives. Once they bloomed the bees were all over them and color didn't matter. Yesterday I checked and every hive has honey and one even filled a super almost all the way!
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asprince
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2007, 09:45:37 PM »

I must have spoiled and lazy bees!!!!
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2007, 10:02:33 PM »

Or, since mine were starving maybe they don't have anything else! grin
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2007, 10:45:07 PM »

B ees love my white one, not the red colored. I hope that changes, as there are numerous red ones in my neighborhood, very few white varities. They also are only on ther flowere in the AM, I see them collecting pollen and nectar.
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Fannbee
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2007, 12:16:52 AM »

Crape Myrtles are big down south.  We have four planted in front of our house.  They are really trees and will grow 30 feet in height, if you don't prune them.  I read in a bee magazine that bees like the light color flowers, but not the dark colors.  We have pink and the bees work them.  They flower all during the summer.
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Chuck and Fran
MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2007, 12:38:12 AM »

I decided I like this plant so much (so far) that I bought one today. It's a Zuni, http://www.clemson.edu/crepemyrtle/zuni.htm
It reads that it's flowers are Lavender but they look more purple to me.
This looks like a great website for learning about these plants. I just wish there was more information of what other bugs like them.
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2007, 08:09:28 AM »

I am like others here, my bee's work the white colored ones but not the red, pink, or purple!!
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2007, 10:20:06 AM »

Now this is an interesting thread for the colours of flowers/shrubs/trees.  Bees are very attracted to blues, whites, light colours.  Bees ARE NOT attracted to reds at all, so if you see bees on red flowers, consider that a bonus.  Butterflies are attracted to reds and yellows.

Bees do not see red well at all.  I will be posting a picture of the gardens around the apiary, as soon as the weathery rainy stuff lets up.  The mass plantings are:

Borage officinalis (blue)
Phacelia tanacetifolila (blue)
Sea Holly (Eryngium planum) (blue)
Anise Hyssop (2 varieties) (blue)
Bachelors buttons (blue)
Lobelia -- crystal palace (blue)
Cerinthe major (blue)


As you can see, these are all blue.  Blue is extremely attractive to bees.  They are also highly attracted to yellow.

I have many, many other perennials and annuals now blooming, whick are every different colour known to man (LOLL).  The list is too many to list.  Many are blue, but many are other colours as well.

I am curious if I can grow Crape Myrtle up in my home.  It sounds like it would be a wonderful nectar tree to have for the bees.  I am always looking at the big picture.

I planted two Yellow Honey Locust trees this spring.  I was looking for the Black Honey Locust, but could not find any in my area.  That seemed rather strange, but oh well.

The other night we had a party for one of my nephew's birthday.  My brother in law came to me and told me that the youngest son of his did something horrible.  I was thunderstruck!!!  What could have he done that was so horrible.  His young lad was too scared to come and tell me.  That I don't understand either because I do not get mad over any kind of thing around my home.  I asked him what on earth happened.  He told me that the young lad was playing out the back with the kids.  He turned around and smashed right into the young tree and broke it into two.  I laughed.  I said so what.  I'll prune it back and it will regrow.  I went to the young tree with my brother and law and looked at it.  Sure enough, it was broken right off.  The young nephew had pushed the broken part of the tree into the ground, (with the hope I suppose that I would not have noticed).  Oh brother.  I took the young nephew and explained to him that it was not big deal at all.  Trees have a wonderful way of rejuvenating themselves when broken.  I explained to him that I would cut it off cleanly and in a few weeks we would see a new tree being born.  The old tree was just a part that would be set upon the tree pile.  This made him feel OK about what had happened.  Now I will have a little tiny Honey Locust Tree that is about 4 inches tall with little leaves coming out the top.  Should be an interesting sight for surely.  It will take years to recover, but maybe this was a weak tree to begin with.  I cannot imagine that it could have broken like that, if it had been healthy.  And I thank goodness that the little dude did not get spined by one of the sharp thorns that these trees have.  That was a lucky day.

I am curious about how this little tree will grow.  Maybe it will be a huge one eventually that will surpass its counterpart that stands about 20 feet away.  Hmmm....time will be the teller of that tale.  Have a wonderful day, great life, love our life we're livin'.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2007, 12:45:55 PM »

Apparently my little tree has already attracted several butterflies, and ants too (Formica). A little tree that's 10 to 12 feet high is just what we need there. The flowers to this plant are odd. They start out as a red ball and it opens into a yellow flower part in the middle, around that though are not really flower peddles but more like shrived and folded leaves that give the plant it's wonderful color. I'll keep an eye out for a white one now, It will go great on the other side of our yard.

A person's review of this plant online complained about a horrible aphid problem. And yes these trees do seem to get horrible aphid infestations, ones that clone themselves every 30 minutes. This is solved by simply buying a $7 pack of lady bugs at your local garden store. The aphids were so bad on this person's plant that he complained about the wed drops of sticky dew coming from the aphids. He called it aphid poo but that's not true. Aphids eat the sap from the plants they infest but often the sugar content is way to high. A tube like "throat" from the aphid's mouth leads along the back of the insect and out two tentacle like horns. These are in back of the insect. The drops of sap/honey dew that form at the tips of these are what entice ants to be around them. You can make them out here.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Ants%202007/Camponotusaphids3.jpg
So yes it came seem like it's raining under the aphids but it's simply the sap from the tree the aphids aren't eating.

These do sound like wonderful fall foraging plants for the bees. I can't wait to get a white one.
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asprince
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2007, 06:31:56 PM »

Cindi, About 25 years ago, (God I'm old) I planted a small tulip poplar. It was about five or six feet when planted. Shortly after I planted it, a strong wind came along and broke it over at ground level. I stood it back up and duct taped a splint around the damaged area. Well today that tree is over fifty feet high and is a beautiful tree.

So you were correct when you said "Trees have a wonderful way of rejuvenating themselves when broken."

Steve
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2007, 08:57:00 PM »

Cindi, About 25 years ago, (God I'm old) I planted a small tulip poplar. It was about five or six feet when planted. Shortly after I planted it, a strong wind came along and broke it over at ground level. I stood it back up and duct taped a splint around the damaged area. Well today that tree is over fifty feet high and is a beautiful tree.

So you were correct when you said "Trees have a wonderful way of rejuvenating themselves when broken."

Steve

I did the same thing with a peach tree 15 years ago  and it is still going...
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Amateurs built the ark,
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Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2007, 09:40:35 AM »

Steve, you were lucky to save this tree, I believe what you say, nature is a wonderful event.  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
annette
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2007, 01:00:57 PM »

I would appreciate that if you could find the name, thank you.

I asked my friend about the purple one and he does not know the name of this having planted them so long ago. Sorry took so long to get back to you, as he was away.

Take care
Annette
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2007, 06:18:08 PM »

It's alright, I already went ahead and bought one. The bees don't seem to like it though, so I had planned on buying another one that was white. Either that or I'm going to get a Seven Son tree. I'm told bees love it, it blooms lovely white flowers from late July into fall. It's supposedly available locally, maybe in the spring, but it's a more recent import form Asia.
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