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Author Topic: Forage for bees?  (Read 2242 times)
Nelly
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« on: August 23, 2008, 11:51:41 AM »

Hi Everyone,

I have a farm, just purchased last year.  My six hives are in a pasture that we will eventually use for livestock, but right now it's just a mix of weeds and Timothygrass.  I want to seed it with forage for the bees, and I'm wondering if that's possible.  Can I seed it after mowing, with various forage plants for next year?  What would you recommend I plant?

Thanks,
Nelly
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2008, 01:07:13 PM »

Yes you could easily do that however there is the issue of the livestock. Certain plants are poisonous to certain animals. You may want to do some research before following through with anyone's suggestions on plants.
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2008, 01:52:43 PM »

Nelly, that is a hard question to answer.  I agree with MILTA, you need to find out what would be good for livestock and bee forage.  When I plant the flowers for the bees, I don't have to think about animals foraging on it because the animals forage elsewhere.  I cannot help you here with your question, but others may chime in, alot.  Have that most beautiful and wonderful day.  Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2008, 02:52:01 PM »

Clovers and Buckwheat might be safe. Common Dandelions are good.

Yah I'm hoping someone who owns a farm and has done this before will chime in. What kind of livestock will you be raising?
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Nelly
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2008, 09:13:18 PM »

We are interested in fiber producing animals, so we're considering sheep, alpacas and mohair goats at the moment.  There may also be horses as part of a theapeutic horseback riding program.

Thanks for the comments,
Nelly
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2008, 11:25:06 AM »

I will most definitely suggest clover, you will want to plant something with it though like buck forage oats or winter wheat, the livestock will eat the wheat and oats this fall and you will need to perhaps cut it in the spring a little, that's when you'll discover the clover, which if done right could yield for you for 2 or more seasons without replanting.

This is what I did last season and I don't have livestock but the deer have been enjoying the clover, we watch them eat it and clover is 30% protein, BTW.

I planted a drought resistant clover but I would suggest you plant a variety that includes sweet yellow, which makes a darn fantastic honey.


...JP
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greg spike
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2008, 02:13:56 PM »

From what i read buckwheat is fair animal forage, but can cause eye, nose and skin iritation due to papercuts.
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mtman1849
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 02:56:11 PM »

If you are going to put goats in paster do not plant clover if goats graze on wet clover it will cause them to bloat and if not treated will kill them. they don't pass gas evil  Buckweat would be ok though i beleive
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2008, 06:52:45 PM »

I have horses.  I plant chicory, white and yellow sweet clover, birdsfoot trefoil, alfalfa, white dutch clover buckwheat and crimson clover.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2008, 11:50:30 PM »

A good all around pasture mix for livestock, regardless of the type of animal, is:  timothy, rye grass, white or Alsike clover, and alfalfa or buckwheat.  Makes good green or hay forage.
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Nelly
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2008, 04:01:39 PM »

Thanks, everyone for the great suggestions.  I have scheduled a meeting with a local Extension Agent who specializes in livestock management.  We are going to develop a timeline plan for improving the pastures and including forage for the bees as well.  We may have to implement some rotation in the livestock so we can let the clover bloom.  I have read about some clovers that do well in the south and are less prone to cause bloat, and I appreciate the "heads up" about that.  I will be certain to ask the Agent about it.

Thanks again!
Nelly
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