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Author Topic: My bees won't go to my buckwheat flowers  (Read 3534 times)
Yvonne
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« on: August 05, 2004, 08:51:25 PM »

I am a new beekeeper, having 10 colonies of Italian bees.  We planted our garden full of Buckwheat, but the bees have ignored the blossoms, and now the buckwheat is ready for harvesting.  Are bees only attracted to a specific brand of buckwheat seed?  Is location and elevation is important? I live in the Eastern USA, at about 2,800 feet.  

Yvonne
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Anonymous
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2004, 12:08:17 AM »

Yvonne

Bees being the wild creatures that they are don't always do what we want them to do. Just because you have provided them with a source of nectar and pollen it doesn't mean they'll use it if there is another source of nectar and pollen in the area that more closely meets their requirements. They will sometimes fly a longer distance for food that has a higher nutrional value for them than what is available right in front of them.
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McWyrm
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 09:39:00 AM »

I have a similar situation and I am totally mystified.

I have two hives and this summer I planted a small plot of buckwheat near them. We'd grown a spring garden on the plot and I put down buckwheat as a cover after we'd harvested. The buckwheat starts ~10 yards or so from the front of the hives.

The buckwheat is in full bloom and there isn't a single bee on it. I've never seen anything like it before. I've grown buckwheat quite a bit and it's normally crawling with bees whether it's near a hive or not.

The goldenrod flow is near it's peak, so maybe that's it. But does anyone know: is there a *minimum* distance from their hives that bees forage?

Thanks.

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bulldog
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 09:51:43 AM »

Quote
But does anyone know: is there a *minimum* distance from their hives that bees forage?

i don't think so. i've had bees on the goldenrod 5 feet in front of my hives, but i guess it depends on the bee.
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caticind
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 10:22:57 AM »

Bees are going to focus on the richest sources available.  If there was nothing else to eat, sure they will go to your buckwheat.  But if there is several acres of buckwheat a mile away, most of the foragers will go there and ignore your smaller patch.  Or perhaps another plant is blooming that they prefer.

Luckily, you don't have to feed your bees just from what you have planted yourself!
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 10:32:41 AM »

This is a very common beginners question;
 Why don't my bees pollinate my little garden ?

As you should know bees will fly over 2 miles, this is an area of over 8000 acres [ 5 miles if they have to ] to find the pollen/nectar THEY prefer.

I read they have figured out the bees have to visit 2,000,000 flowers to make a lb. of honey.

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 11:05:08 AM »

they also get on different things at different times of the day. 


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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 12:07:01 PM »

As Kathy said, time of day means a lot. If you haven't looked at the buckwheat in early morning, you are missing the bees. Buckwheat is only worked mornings, before about 10:00 AM.
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 01:05:49 PM »

Thanks, guys.

I realize that bees travel long distances, but as I said I'd never seen a patch of buckwheat completely shunned before. Even if my bees had something better to do I'd have expected something to be climbing all over it.

However, I *have* only been checking it in the afternoons. I'll take a look some morning and see if there's any action on it. Thanks for the info.
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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2011, 04:26:09 PM »

Buckwheat only produces nectar in the morning. I have not seen any nectar foragers of any kind on my buckwheat after about 11:00 am. I also have a lot of liatris in my yard. The bees are all over the liatris in the front yard, but only a few on the ones right by their hives.
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rail
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2011, 04:54:31 PM »

Noticed buckwheat being worked in the mornings between 8 am and 11 am. I planted several patches different distances from the hive, all patches were worked.
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Sirach
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2011, 09:10:34 PM »

Avoid putting bee flowers too close to the hives. Bees fly off the landing board and vacate their bowels, (cleansing flights) and consider the immediate area around the hive "dirty". They will not forage in dirty areas.
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Matt
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« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2011, 08:15:21 AM »

Scrapiron, that is something I never thought about. Makes perfect sense.
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kingbee
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2011, 02:49:48 PM »

... We

planted our garden full of Buckwheat, but the bees have ignored the blossoms, and

now the buckwheat is ready for harvesting... Yvonne

The real problem now may be that the next growing season you will have a garden full of weeds and that they all may look like buckwheat.
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2011, 08:36:30 AM »

I agree with those who say bees work buckwheat in the AM.  I've never seen them working it in the afternoon.  Must be a breakfast thing Wink

thomas
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2011, 09:22:39 AM »

As Kathy said, time of day means a lot. If you haven't looked at the buckwheat in early morning, you are missing the bees. Buckwheat is only worked mornings, before about 10:00 AM.

IDDEE hit it on the head.
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