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Author Topic: Planting for bees  (Read 3857 times)
heaflaw
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« on: January 09, 2009, 10:52:43 PM »

Does anyone know of a crop I can sow that will bloom around the end of June?  A clover or alfalfa maybe.  My honey flow ends around June 15-20 and my hives are still strong then.  Because of swarming, some are just getting large enough to bring in a harvestable surplus.  If I had a profuse bloom at that time, I would get a much larger crop.  I have a farm, so, I have the land and equipment to plant a crop.
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 11:38:51 PM »

Hyssop?
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dpence
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2009, 12:05:22 AM »

Buckwheat if you can get it in your area. 

David
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heaflaw
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2009, 12:20:39 AM »

Doesn't Buckwheat produce a "strange" tasting honey that customers will not won't to buy?

I'm reading up on hyssop now-it looks promising - thanks muchly
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chemlight
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 04:16:22 AM »

Kudzu begins in July around here.
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TimV
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 10:46:26 AM »

Quote
If I had a profuse bloom at that time, I would get a much larger crop.  I have a farm, so, I have the land and equipment to plant a crop.

Well, if you can only get 120 dollars worth of extra honey for every acre you plant you might first consider how much money you'll get for the crop. Some sort of legume that you can sell for hay?
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 10:53:27 AM »

Doesn't Buckwheat produce a "strange" tasting honey that customers will not won't to buy?

Buckwheat,like goldenrod ,has a very strong distinct taste. many don't like them but others are very fond of it over the lighter honeys. Kinda like us blonde beer guys and dark beer guys. Wink
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Shawn
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 12:59:25 PM »

Check out the gardening section. Cinid and others have put together a great list of flowers and plants that bees very attracted to. A lot of time has gone into these lists and are well worth taking a look at. 
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Big John
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 01:43:54 PM »

this link might help some on planting for bees http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/list.html
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2009, 01:49:59 PM »

You can sell buckwheat to the right market for a premium.  It's black and strong like blackstrap molasses.

You can plant buckwheat at the appropriate time to get it to bloom when you want.

Around here the Chicory blooms about the end of June and stays in bloom until a hard freeze.  It even survives light frosts and keeps on blooming.
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Michael Bush
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2009, 02:29:04 PM »

mint, hyssop, russian sage, buckwheat and phecelia. Theres a bee forage mix from Europe thats 40% phecelia, 20% buckwheat remainder are many common types of flowerws(aster, cosmos,  poppies, sunflower etc.)
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2009, 03:43:29 PM »

You could stager your planting too by two weeks with some of the earlier blooming plants.

Plants bought at nurseries, because they are stuck growing in pots they stop putting energy into the roots and start flowering a few weeks earlier than they normally would.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2009, 09:39:27 PM »

Kudzu and Buckwheat are cousins, the honey looks, smells, and tastes very similar.
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Natalie
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2009, 11:42:25 PM »

I find that the hyssops, I plant the agastache anise and black adder variety, salvia(meadow sage)  and russian sage attract bees more than any other of the flowers I grow here.
They still go after all the other flowers as well but they go nuts for those, the plants are covered in them. I planted them all over the yard.
I was sitting on my steps this summer watching them and there must have been 30 bees on these two plants next to the steps, they were hyssop.
They also like gayfeathers and lavendar alot. Hmm, those are all purple flowers( at least mine are) maybe they like the color purple. Wink
They also seemed to like the heliopsis, bee balm and yarrow.

Man, this thread is making me itch to get out in the yard.
Its snowing here right now.
Its a good time of year to get out those catalogs and order your seed packets.
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 12:03:22 AM »

Yah winter makes me want to try growing one of the Winter Flowering Heather's.

Willow Shrubs flower in late winter well before anything else, but it usually isn't warm enough for the bees to work it.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 09:05:55 AM »

Smartweed is another cousin of buckwheat and doesn't taste at all like buckwheat but it does have a strong flavor and blooms around early July some years depending on the rain.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 02:14:25 PM »

The links to the part in the gardening forum where we have worked to create a great bee plant is listed below the following text,  Shawn is right, a lot of work has gone into this, smiling.   I plant en masse for my bees these plants, these plants take up about 3 acres of cultivated areas and they are COVERED in bees, constantly:

Phacelia tanacetifolia
Borage officinalis
Agastache foeniculum (Giant Hyssop) (Anise Hyssop) -- the cultivar I grow is called Blue Fortune, covered in bees the entire bloom period, July to frost, grows as a tall shrub, about 4 feet tall by the same width, or more, masses of spikes of flowers
Hyssopus officinalis -- (a low shrub form of hyssop, makes a great border plant, low growing, trailing branches)
Sunflowers of many different cultivars
Gallaridia (blanket flower)
Sea Holly (Erynigum planum)

Phacelia and borage bloom in about 6 weeks from time of seed germination.  They can be planted every couple of weeks for a continuous supply of nectar all summer til frost kill.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=7367.0

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=9857.0

Hope this helps.  Have a wonderful and most awesome day, life, health.  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
Natalie
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 02:58:53 PM »

Cindi, I love sea holly but I can never get it to grow. I don't understand why its so hard for me to get those plants going. I plan on trying them one more time this year before I give up. Any idea why they keep failing me? Is there some special requirements about them I am missing?
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Cindi
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2009, 07:18:36 PM »

Natalie, about the Sea Holly.  I do not understand that one.  Sea Holly is known for a drought-resistant plant, it has massive tap roots that go very deeply, it is in the thistle family and can withstand zero watering.  I have never watered my Sea Holly and it is maniacal in growth, almost mutant, hee, hee, smiling.

Sea Holly.  It is a perennial that does not bloom the first year but makes a very pretty plant.  The second year the stalks rise up, covered upon covered with thousands and thousands of small thistle-like blooms.  Sea Holly, like many plants, when germinating the seed must have a certain dormancy broken, e.g., snapdragons, freezing for 48 hours or just really cold in the coldest part of the fridge for a few days.  This is integral to good germination.

More clearly define what happens, what you experience when you try to grow it.  I can't quite wrap my head around it because it grows so well in poor, dry soil, like thistles.  Oh, just thought.  Maybe you water it too much?  Natalie, define more clearly for me, I may be able to help.  Have a most wonderful day, love and live life, health.  Cindi

This is a picture of one of the gardens below the apiary.  The Sea Holly grows along the right hand side of the bare earth you see.  In the bottom left is a picture of the Fuller's Teasel, the green growing plants, the bees also loved them, they are in the thistle family.  I think bees like all thistle family plants.

These are just several pictures of the Sea Holly, the bees and other beneficials truly go nuts on this stuff.  The stalks are about 5 feet tall, the foliage only grows no higher than about 18 inches or so. 

The SEa Holly the first year prior to blooming the next year:



In full bloom, the most beautiful electric blue coloured flowers, simply astounding.   I have about 30 of these to dig up to move to my new home when we go, that is still leaving behind some of the older mother plants, whose roots are very deep in the soil.






Some of the Agastache foeniculum (Giant Hyssop, Blue Fortune), with cleome (oh yes, they love cleome too) beside to the right.  The Agastache is the plant with the blue stocks sticking up.  Just enjoy these pictures.

Missed out, haste makes waste.  Guess I didn't put in the links to some pictures to complete this post.

This is the picture of the Giant Hyssop, Blue Fortune, that I take many, many cuttings off of the mother plant.  The cuttings bloom the same year, and bloom about 2 weeks after the mother plants do, it prolongs the season and high nectar/pollen that these plants provide.  I think that I did about 60 cuttings last late spring in May, to bloom a couple of months later, middle of July.

Cleome is the pink on the left, the Agastache (giant hyssop on the right)



They cover the Agastache (giant hyssop)



I forgot to mention also, they LOVE Heliotrope (and I love the sweet scent of this flower too, no wonder they go after it)



The Fuller's Teasel is another that the honeybees and bombus love, it is an amazing plant that grows to be about 12-14 feet tall.  It is a biennial so it does not bloom the first year either from seed, the same as Sea Holly.

THis picture is of me, I am about 5'2" tall, this plant is not yet full grown, so picture how big it is...



The beneficials love the teasel



The dried flower pods make beautiful flower arrangements.



Right, need to give you some nice pictures of phacelia tanacetifolia.  Planted in succession, as MILTA said, they burn out about mid summer, but if showed several times, there is a continuous supply of fabulous nectar/pollen.







There are many more pictures of plants with the bees, but this is probably more than enough for now, smiling.  Cindi
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 12:23:19 PM by Cindi » Logged

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
Natalie
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2009, 08:44:21 PM »

Thanks Cindi,
                 Maybe I should try planting it in a different area than my others plants so it gets watered less.
Where I planted it before it was in the same are as other plants that need more water.
The other problem might be is because I ordered it through a catalog and maybe they just don't ship well.
I can't buy it around here though, its not something the nurseries carry in my area.
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