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Author Topic: Buck wheat for bees  (Read 2584 times)
surjourner
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« on: March 13, 2010, 03:04:04 PM »

I am curious if anyone has planted buckwheat for bees?
I planted some last year along with amaranth and few of bees from hive we had here seemed to notice it. I had read buckwheat is supposed to be a flower bees love. Can honey bees actually access buckwheat flowers.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2010, 03:13:32 PM »

Bees can and do access it, but they tend to hit it in the morning and not in the afternoon because of the way the plant produces nectar.  So, they may have used it more than you saw depending on your schedule.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2010, 03:17:19 PM »

i plant it.  they love it.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
surjourner
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2010, 04:26:58 PM »

I hope to try it again this year and keep a better eye on them then.
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doak
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 06:34:15 PM »

Bingo on the time of day. Some produce nector in morning, others mid day, some in afternoon/evening. :)doak
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heaflaw
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 07:33:03 PM »

I plant it for fall nectar to help them build stores for winter.  It's easy to plant-just barely cover the seed. 
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harvey
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 10:26:08 PM »

I plan on buying some and planting it this year also.  I have heard though that some brands are better or more productive than others.  The grainery here carries macana seed.  What other brands have people used that seemed to work or not work?
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surjourner
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 11:39:16 PM »

I had good success last year with seeds of change certified organic seeds. Lots of blooms let birds have most of what was produced looked to be a lot of seeds.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2010, 08:33:55 PM »

May I slightly hijack this thread with a few questions of my own?

1. Does buckwheat self-seed successfully multiple times per year?

2. Does it ever become obnoxious or invasive?

3. How high does it grow?

I bought a couple lb last year but never planted. I'd like to have it in a few rows of my CSA gardens and wonder what to expect from it. Thanks!

Love that buckwheat honey, BTW!
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2010, 08:44:40 PM »

it probably depends on where you are.  this will be my 3rd year with it.  it did reseed last year, but i had pigeon problems.  my season is relatively short, so it did not reseed and grow again in one season.  i believe i have solved the bird problem, so i hope that there will be more from last  years crop that will grow on it's own.  cindi said hers did spread.  i planted over an acre and there is plenty more room, so it can spread as it wants.

it does not seem to compete well with pasture grass.  i had to plow up each year the area i have planted.  the bees really liked it and i got some of my late season honey from it.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
doak
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2010, 09:24:06 PM »

Buck wheat is an Annual and does not or cannot become obnoxious invasive or any otherings.
It may reseed during the present growing season but I don't think it will carry over to the next season as well as some things, vetch, clover, etc. :)doak
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heaflaw
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2010, 10:32:39 PM »

It needs well tilled soil and like kathyp said won't do well in pasture or fields.  I've never seen it sprout anywhere except where I've been planting it.  I plant it on an old garden spot & after it blooms, if I rake the fallen seed or go over it with a drag, it will keep resprouting.  I have to water it in the summer.  I've had a decent stand come up the next spring from seed laying dormant over winter.  It gets about 5-6 inches tall with small, white blooms.  You can plant it very thickly.  I've never had pure Buckwheat honey, but it used to be grown as a crop in the Northeast and Appalacians and the honey is supposed to have a very distinctive taste.
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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 11:30:53 PM »

I planted some last year. It grew to be about 15" tall. The bees were all over it in the morning when it produced nectar. If you want to see your bees work something all day, plant liatris (a perennial) or cleome (an annual). Bees love both of these!
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luvin honey
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2010, 11:30:48 PM »

Thank you for the very helpful replies. It sounds like it will be perfect as part of a buffer strip in tilled ground in my CSA gardens and that maybe I could even get 2 stands in 1 season! Excellent!
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
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