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Author Topic: Plants to Plant for off-season nectar flow  (Read 3216 times)
Vetch
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« on: June 04, 2008, 03:48:17 PM »

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I am thinking that a thread should be started for those that want to plant the best flowers for the honey to be left for the bees, ones that mature after the human harvest of honey.


Here's your thread, Cindi!

One plant that I am big on, and will be planting more - the tea plant (source of green and black tea), Camellia sinesis. It blooms here in zone 9 during the time around Thanksgiving, and it is always covered with many bees when in bloom. I like the idea of putting honey from tea in my tea!

Here is a link to camellia sinensis as a nectar and pollen source in Taiwan:
http://taipei.tzuchi.org.tw/tzquart/2004sp/qp2.htm

Here is a review of a camellia honey produced on a tea plantation in India:
http://www.tching.com/index.php/2008/04/03/product-review-glenburn-honey/
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2008, 09:11:10 AM »

Vetch, good, you are listening, hee, hee.  This thread may take awhile to get going, as our forum friends figure out what plants are providing nectar/pollen after the human harvest.  I know that there are many.  One that I know is a really good source of fall nectar/pollen in my locale is Impatiens Capensis, there are more, but at this moment, this one particularly comes to my mind.  It grows wild around the moister parts of my property and is very pretty, stands about 6 feet tall and loaded with tiny little blooms that remind me of snapdragon flowers.  BEautiful and most wonderful day, love 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
Keith13
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2008, 09:20:42 AM »

Cindi,

Is that a bee butt sticking out of the flower? Great Picture!
Wonder If that plant can withstand our summer temps down here?
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topbarslo
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2008, 09:21:21 AM »

I read Echium is good on and off season plant for bees to gather nectar. Nectar is stored in the flower protected from rain and heat and it actually provides nectar all day long for two months. As I understand if blooms in spring and in the fall.

I also started to walk around in the 2 miles area and throwing some seeds on the ground wherever there is place. Phacelia can go all season. Depends when you plant it but it can bloom 3 times a year !
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2008, 01:57:38 PM »

Depends when you're honey harvest ends I suppose. I want to say Clethra alnifolia blooms in July, and August, depending where you are.

Bug Bane (Cimicifuga reacmosa) is a similar plant though a perennial instead of a shrub. I don't know if the bees like it yet but I'll find out in mid to late summer when it blooms.

The winged sumac (Rhus copallinum) is another one that blooms in late summer and honestly it could even be considered it's own honey flow here. The small 8' tall trees line highways all over the place and go unnoticed because of their tiny green flowers. Some websites say it blooms in the spring, but I question if they've ever seen the tree. It's actually a little late to come back and here they've only had full foliage for maybe a week or two. I cut off a sucker and plan on planting it in the yard.

 
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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2008, 08:46:15 AM »

Keith, yep, a bee butt!!!  The bees actually climb right inside the flower, seen them, it is cool to watch, no worries about their tongue being long enough to reach the nectaries, they just climb right in.

I plant Phacelia tanacetifolia two times throughout the summer.  The first group of phacelia that has self-seeded from last year, and let me tell ya, it is everywhere!!! is now being to bloom.  I will sow more seed pretty soon, and then more around the middle of July, that way the bloom is continuous.  Phacelia, in my neck of the woods will bloom continuously until about the middle of July, then the plants set the seeds.  Those are removed and the new phacelias that I have set the seeds for below them will grow up to replace the original plants.  It is succession sowing.  Phacelia sets seed and comes into bloom very quickly, I think it is about 6 weeks from seed set to bloom, very much like buckwheat, it is the same.  I succession sow that too.

Borage blooms about the same time as the phacelia, that is coming into bloom now too.  I will sow borage seed in other places (as I do phacelia) to bring on those blooms that will provide extreme nectar/pollen for the bees all summer long.

Keith, about the impatiens capensis.  I have no clue.  I recall a thread quite some time ago where I had spoken of this plant and it would appear that many of our forum friends said that they have that growing wild all over the states too.  I can't recall the locales of where these grow, but it seems very common, everywhere.  The capensis grows the best at my place alongside the ravine that runs along part of our property.  This area is bordered by bushes and trees and is quite moist, it grows like wildfire there.  I have not seen it growing yet on the other side of our property where it is drier.  It just hasn't migrated there yet, it seems to say on this southern edge.  I have seed, I should set it on the drier part of the property and see if it will naturalize there.  Do a little research on the plant and check it out, you may be able to grow it there with no problems, plants have a strong will to survive.

Echium......I recall a post about that and I need to peruse that, which I will do, I think Ann (Reinbeau) spoke highly of it, if my memory serves.

This is going to be a great thread, I can tell, bring it on!!!  Have a most beautiful wonderful day, summer it be coming around the corner, if the rain ever stops, hee, hee.  Love life, love ourselves and have fun!!  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 #6 on: June 06, 2008, 01:07:42 PM »

Here's a question. Spring hit and all the trees bloomed along with winter bulbs... What were the bees working before the clover flow we're in now? I hear of a few late blooming trees but all the perennials that were blooming were doing so prematurely in garden centers. Dandelions weren't really going strong. So what just started blooming over the past 2 or 3 weeks, from last year (in the ground) that the bees were working?
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reinbeau
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2008, 10:17:02 PM »

Trees.  There are many trees with insignificant blooms you don't even realize are blooming.  Also the apples, cherries, pears, all of the fruit trees were blooming.  Plus, you must be ahead of us here, three weeks ago the dandelions were in full bloom....maybe you just don't have many?
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