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Author Topic: Planting for bees  (Read 3739 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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« 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. 

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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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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 04:16:22 AM »

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

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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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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
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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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Cindi
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2009, 12:31:16 PM »

Natalie, hmmm....they are plants that thrive in dry locations, perhaps the moistness of the area negatively impacted their growth. Did you by any chance keep the plant label tag? I would like to know the cultivar, I know there are several in the Sea Holly family.  I should really check out how exporting bare root plants works from Canada to the US.  Like I said, I have tons of the young, young, Sea Holly plants growing that are now two year olds coming up this year, and will bloom.  Many, many plants are shipped bare root, it is very common. Usually they are shipped in a small bag surrounding their roots, with a little spagnum moss inside, the tops not covered in plastic, in a little brown box.  They should ship well from a company in your area I am sure, but I will check out for ya, smiling.  Maybe I could send you a root or two, or I also have thousands of seeds saved, I could send you seeds too.  Are you willing to grow a biennial?  Have a wonderful most awesome day, life, great 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
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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2009, 12:36:06 PM »

Cindi those pictures are beautiful! I didn't save the tags from when they were shipped. I actully did for a while but when I was cleaning out my folder I threw away anything that didn't make it.
I would love to grow some, doesn't matter if its a biennial to me.
If you have any roots or seeds to spare I would be thrilled to get them and will obviously pay for the shipping. Just let me know if its possible. Thanks, Natalie
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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2009, 01:14:25 PM »

I wonder if Sea Hollies like to grow in sandy soil or loam. Perhaps they can't take Clay.
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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2009, 10:12:38 AM »

Natalie, done, I am looking into cross border shipping of roots, I have some small ones I could dig up later, when the ground thaws (oops, I said freezes, now that made good sense eh?,hee, hee, smiling.....I meant thaws....or I could send you seed.  It does not like transplanting, but anything can be transplanted, if one takes certain precautions.

MILTA.  I have copied the general culture of Sea Holly (Eryngium Planum) from this site listed below:  Yes, sounds like it prefers dry soils.  My Sea Holly grows on a hill infront of the apiary.  Dry.  Clay holds moisture and also retains minerals/nutrients, Sea Holly prefers poor soils.

http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=H810

General Culture:

Easily grown in dry, sandy, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates poor soils. Tall plants may sprawl, particularly if grown in overly fertile soils or in anything less than full sun. Avoid overwatering. This is a taprooted plant that transplants poorly and is best left undisturbed once established.


Have a wonderful, great day, health, Cindi
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 11:24:09 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
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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2009, 11:16:09 AM »

I'm with Cindi on the may benefits of Teasel. In some places you've got to be careful or it becomes a weed, but if you can safely plant it it's a wonderful addition to some waste areas.

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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2009, 01:37:40 PM »

YAYS, Cindi is back!!  You will have to tell us of your adventures on vacation! Teasel. teasel teasel teasel...what a fun word!!Cindi, they are beautiful different flowers I will look for seeds or plants in my travels.  Love things that come back & flourish.  Will have to check to see if they are toxic to livestock... Thanks for my fun word of the day! grin J
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« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2009, 11:30:27 PM »

YAYS, Cindi is back!!  You will have to tell us of your adventures on vacation! Teasel. teasel teasel teasel...what a fun word!!Cindi, they are beautiful different flowers I will look for seeds or plants in my travels.  Love things that come back & flourish.  Will have to check to see if they are toxic to livestock... Thanks for my fun word of the day! grin J

Oh Jody, you makka me smile.  Yes, I am back, had a very busy time these past little whiles, I will tell that tale at my Daughter's house soon, still so swamped with stuff around here, realtors, eeks......

Teasel, teasel, teasel....oh Jody, wonder where that word tease comes from.....wonder if the teasel and tease are related.  I love that word.....Do you think JP knows these two words, smiling.

Jody, if you go and buy seed, I will personally come over to your house and give you a good spankin'.  You know ding dang darn well that I have hundreds upon thousands of these seeds.  If you were to purchase seed I would be extremely annoyed (not that I would ever really know, unless I came to your house unexpected and saw Fuller's Teasel growing in your yard, smiling).  Lean on me.  I will send you as many seeds as you would require.  And you know something, for that dollar or so that the postage is, all I can say is "whatever"!!!!!

Can you take a guess how many millions of seeds there would be if I were to take apart the bouquet of seed pods that sits on my coffee table in the front room?  Come on.....take a guess...I dare ya.

Have a most wonderful day, love and live this unimaginably wonderful life that we all live and share, 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
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« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2009, 06:49:47 PM »

Quote
Teasel, teasel, teasel....oh Jody, wonder where that word tease comes from.....wonder if the teasel and tease are related.  I love that word.....Do you think JP knows these two words, smiling.

The world's a strange place.  In England they use Treacle instead of Molasses and Crumpet instead of muffin.
You can't get French fries in France unless you order freets.
And the list could go on, and on, and on, and........
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« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2009, 09:34:27 PM »

Brian B.  Oh yes, I know ding dang darn well what you are talking about, the world is full of the strangest things, smiling.  Have a wonderful and most greatfully, gratious, grateful day, 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
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« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2009, 11:46:57 PM »

Cindi, I would love any seeds and/or chunks you want to send my way!  I will pay postage. The best part of gardening is that you can make friends & family part of your yard,thinking of them every time you see a plant they provided.  Dad is literally a part of my yard...his ashes are under a rose I bought specially for him. I am slowly building up the soil again in the lawn area & have lots of "natural" soil amendments coming from the chix & pasture to add the beds.  I'm making one along the N side of the house of shade plants.  That side only gets light sun in the early am & late afternoon/eve.  Then I'm making beds along the fence line so I don't have to weed-eat the grass...I hate doing that.  Teasel is still a fun word to say!  J grin
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« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2009, 11:43:53 AM »

I have decided to get rid of all of the grass area on either side of my house. On one side is my driveway and I ripped up all of that last year and planted a very large flower bed at the end of the driveway leading to the fence to the back yard and I started with all along the side of the driveway but it got too late in the season to finish planting.
If I can fill in that area there will be flowers and shrubs with a stone pathway leading to the house and driveway.
On the other side of the house I planted shrubs all along the perimeter of the house and fence and then there is a big boulder in the middle that I planted flowers around.
So now I want to fill in the middle area between the rock and the border around the house and backyard.(think L shaped) with plants.
This will not only cut down on having to mow little strips and odd areas of grass that are all over the place but will give the bees a place to eat ( I planted lots of agastache) but will give it a finished look instead of choppy little gardens here and there.
The thing is, it is so expensive to do all this. Last year I bought over 100 plants and I am still only halfway done.
I really hope they all come back this spring too, its been a cold winter but I spread hay over the beds and the snow is a good insulator.
I would love to complete the front yard this year and then I will keep working on the backyard, which seems never ending. I need to fence in my vegetable garden this year because I am tired of doing battle with the veggie eating chickens.
I tried the water scarecrow last year that is motion activated and sprays and spins around when someone sets it off but I kept forgetting that I had it and I would get sprayed more than the animals.
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« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2009, 01:53:45 PM »

Jody, oh you still make me laugh, yes, teasel is a fun word, picture this, teasel, teasel, teasel, teasel.  Then tease.  Think of JP, he is the biggest teaser of them all, and there are others that come to my mind too, men, teasing, teasing.  They love to torment us women!!!

Anyways, Jody, I will send seeds.  Something that I am thinking of is:  I know that I have mountains of seeds that I could send to my forum friends, if they should only ask.  Something to also think about.  These seeds weigh absolutely nothing, a mere whisp of weight.  The postage would be minimal, only the amount that it would take to send a regular sized envelope, I think the U.S. postage is around a dollar.  If I made a list of the plant seeds that I have, then my forum friends could PM me with their desired seed.  I would be willing to absorb the price of the postage, it is nothing, only that dollar, and everyone here is worth that, if it cost me $50 in the end, after 50 friends asked for seed, so be it, it is nothing to me.....Anyways, I would like to hear some thoughts here, Jody comply.

I still have to look on the site for exportation of stuff between Canada and the U.S.  I don't think that there is any issue with sending bareroot plants.  I know that I have purchased plants from the U.S. and there was no issue with sending bareroot.  An example of this would be:  strawberry roots.  That is the biggest one that I can think of off the top of my head.  I have a little time on my hands right now.  The ground is still too frozen to work to do any digging of perennials to ready for the eventual move, so I have some internet time.  I just need to get off my butt and get to work on the cyberspace stuff that I know that I have to deal with.  So be it.  Comments here please, elaborate on anything.  AND.....have that most wonderful and awesome day, and remember to always -- attract that wonderful 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
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« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2009, 11:02:59 PM »

Thanks to all who gave such great information, expecially Cindy.  I'm looking forward to planting my "bee crops".
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