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Author Topic: Bee Forage Seed Mix  (Read 4397 times)
KONASDAD
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« on: January 23, 2009, 04:29:35 PM »

In Europe there appears to be a seed mix designed for honeybees and other pollinators. Its called Tubingen Bee forage seed mix. I was able to determine it is comprised of the following seeds. It is designed to offer nectar and pollen for as long as possible throughout the year.


40%Phacelia tanacetiphola
20% Buchwheta
7% white mustard
6% coriander
5% marigold
5% caraway
5% sunflower
3% radish
3% cornflower
3% mallow
2% anethium
1% borage

Many of these have been discussed on this site before. Many are very easy to grow, perhaps even invasive a wee bit.
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Jessaboo
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 06:29:27 PM »

I am surprised to see radish! I had no idea! I guess you have to let it bloom tho, huh?

I am also surprised that borage is such a low percentage given what everyone here has said about how great it is.

How did you figure it out? I know you have been hunting it down for awhile. Thinking about becoming a "seedsman" are you?

- Jess
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topbarslo
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2009, 09:17:16 AM »

Indeed...when my Radish was in bloom last year the bees were crazy around it. Huge buzzzz.
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2009, 12:39:05 PM »

In Europe there appears to be a seed mix designed for honeybees and other pollinators. Its called Tubingen Bee forage seed mix. I was able to determine it is comprised of the following seeds. It is designed to offer nectar and pollen for as long as possible throughout the year.
40%Phacelia tanacetiphola
20% Buchwheta
7% white mustard
6% coriander
5% marigold
5% caraway
5% sunflower
3% radish
3% cornflower
3% mallow
2% anethium
1% borage

Many of these have been discussed on this site before. Many are very easy to grow, perhaps even invasive a wee bit.


Hmm.  As an avid grower of borage, I truly do wonder why it is so low on the list.  ONe of the beauties of borage is that it blooms constantly, for a long time.  It self-seeds throughout the summer months, hence the flower is in continuous bloom until frost kill.  Another beauty of borage is that the pretty blue flowers hang/droop, even if there is slight moisture in the air, the nectaries are available to the beneficial insects to drink from, they face downwards, no upwards.  I would have to challenge that borage should be a low ratio in a seed mix.  I would place it amongst the highest, but maybe they know something alot more than I know, I wouldn't doubt that for a minute, I am sure tons of research has been done here for this list they provide.  IT IS a wonderful list.

I am not familiar with anthium.  I need to do some research on that one to see if it grows well here.

I am very surprised to see Marigold on the list.  In my area I don't see bees on any cultivars of my Marigolds and I plant many different ones.  Strange.

I see Phacelia Tanacetifolia is top of the list, smiling, I do know that from my mountains of phacelia gardens around here, covered, beyond covered with bees.

Bees LOVE most of the vegetables that happen to flower, when us humans, bad us, don't get around to picking the vegetables when they are ready (I am really bad for this, letting things "go"), are EXTREMELY attractive to bees.  Ever looked at the brassicas?  In particular I am talking about broccoli.  If you ever have any room and want EXTREMELY great food for the bees, plant broccoli and let it go to flower, the bees go nuts on it!!!

Bees on the broccoli flowers, one of the many broccoli patches I grow







I wonder why they don't put in Sea Holly on the list.  Ooops, perhaps this list is for annual plants, not perennials, that is probably the reason.  Great work Konasdad!!!  Have a wonderful and most beautiful life, day, health, attract 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 #4 on: January 24, 2009, 12:54:15 PM »

Probably this mix is meant as a cover crop Wink and not just for bees.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 05:14:43 PM »

I agree with everyones observation. I do think ist is used as a cover crop. I also think borage is awesopem, but as you all know, a little seed goes a long way as it re-seeds all year round. I think cost is an issue so they plant stuff that will continue to thrive, some w/o re-seeding. I was also surprised by marigold. Maybe ist to keep pests out of the garde.
No jess, I will be a seed man. Just getting stuf for club.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2009, 05:37:45 PM »

They work turnips and mustard really well.  I'm sure that radishes are similar to the turnips...
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Michael Bush
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2009, 07:30:17 PM »

I imagen some of the Marigold varieties that don't have the huge 50+ petal count might actually get bee activity. And butterflies too as they are always being marketed as.

I would think Cosmos, Asters, and Lupins would do a better job though. Even Forget Me Not's get more attention than Marigolds.

No Clover?

An awful lot of these look like they're in the Carrot family or look very similar to Yarrow. Not the most popular seeds I would think. Perhaps these are thrown in to get rid of some old stock along with the really good ones? (Sunflowers, Phacelia, borage)
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2009, 07:42:27 PM »

Ingredient amounts in such a mix also must take into account for availability, cost, if they are good plants to grow in the area marketed, etc. If you were to sit down and list what you think is most important and then make the formula based on that, I bet the cost would be different. In actually making a product for market, cost alone could make it worth marketing or be priced out of the market.

Recent discussions, have shown that beekeepers not only sell their product at low prices, but expect others to sell at the lowest possible price. Perhaps this is a case of the flower mix producer wanting the best products in the flower blend, but unwilling to make it and charge accordingly, when those same people (beekeepers) go strolling down to the local feed store to check out prices..... grin So they make a "value" product with good results while keeping the cost down.

I'm betting that cost was a factor in making the mix as they did.

Hey....my ears are burning...... shocked

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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2009, 11:18:57 AM »

Bees love the brassica family (cruciferous).  Here is a great list

The taxonomy of common cruciferous vegetables

common name    genus    specific epithet    Cultivar Group
kale                    Brassica    oleracea    Acephala Group
collard greens    Brassica    oleracea    Acephala Group
Chinese broccoli (kai-lan)    Brassica    oleracea    Alboglabra Group
cabbage            Brassica    oleracea    Capitata Group
brussels sprout     Brassica    oleracea    Gemmifera Group
kohlrabi             Brassica    oleracea    Gongylodes Group
broccoli             Brassica    oleracea    Italica Group
broccoflower    Brassica    oleracea    Italica Group × Botrytis Group
broccoli romanesco    Brassica    oleracea    Botrytis Group / Italica Group
cauliflower                    Brassica    oleracea    Botrytis Group
wild broccoli            Brassica    oleracea    Oleracea Group
bok choy                    Brassica    rapa    chinensis
komatsuna                    Brassica    rapa    pervidis or komatsuna
mizuna                    Brassica    rapa    nipposinica
Rapini (broccoli rabe)    Brassica    rapa    parachinensis
flowering cabbage    Brassica    rapa    parachinensis
chinese cabbage, napa cabbage    Brassica    rapa    pekinensis
turnip root; greens    Brassica    rapa    rapifera
rutabaga                    Brassica    napus    napobrassica
siberian kale            Brassica    napus    pabularia
canola/rape seeds; greens    Brassica    napus    oleifera
wrapped heart mustard cabbage    Brassica    juncea    rugosa
mustard seeds, brown; greens    Brassica    juncea    
mustard seeds, white    Brassica (or Sinapis)    hirta    
mustard seeds, black    Brassica    nigra    
tatsoi                    Brassica    rosularis    
ethiopian mustard    Brassica    carinata    
radish                     Raphanus    sativus    
daikon                      Raphanus    sativus    longipinnatus
horseradish              Armoracia    rusticana    
Real wasabi (not horseradish)    Wasabia    japonica    
rocket (arugula)               Eruca    vesicaria    
watercress                   Nasturtium    officinale    
garden cress             Lepidium    sativum

Wow, reading all these vegies is making me hungry for summertime.  Have a great and wonderful day, life, attract 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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42 days and their wings fall off, eh?


« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2009, 07:24:45 PM »

I'm just wondering if that original list is really just a recipe for a particular kind of honey.?
-pc
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