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Author Topic: gardening info.....  (Read 1755 times)
Whippersnapper
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Location: Boyne City, Michigan; gardening zone 4b/5a


« on: March 25, 2012, 04:43:37 PM »

My primary use for bees is for them to pollinate the crops that require insect pollination to set fruit (summer and winter squash, melons, etc.) 

As such, I figured I'd provide some general gardening info. (regarding zone, type of climate, method of gardening used, etc.)

So, here it is....

I live in Northern MI.  My gardening zone is 4b/5a (depends on what zone finder I use).  The main growing season here starts @ end of May; for cool weather stuff, April if weather cooperates. Growing season ends anywhere from Sept-Nov. (again this depends on weather).  Summer is hot but much milder compared to summers in southern areas (not southern part of MI, southern states).

Climate isn't warm enough that you can direct sow warm weather crops; they have to be started as seedlings indoors, hardened off, and transplanted; or you won't get a harvest in time.

The primary method of gardening I use is container gardening/raised beds.  I make my own soil less mix.
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BlueBee
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Posts: 3945

Location: Mid Michigan


« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 02:15:34 AM »

WhipperSnapper are you a UPer? 

Honey bees are good pollinators of many crops.  I donít grow squash, but they certainly pollinate my pumpkins, blueberries, broccoli, raspberries, blackberries, fruit trees, flowers and trees.  Bumblebees might be better if your main crop is tomatoes.  I put in some elderberries 2 years ago and they bloomed like crazy this past summer.  I donít recall seeing any honey bees on the elderberries, but something pollinated them; I had tons of elderberries.

I attempted to raise some bumblebees last year and failed.  While there is a learning curve with honey bees, I feel they are much easier to raise than most of the other options.  Not only that, but there are way more honey bees in a hive (50,000 and up) than youíre going to get with any other pollinator. 

Did you have a specific question, or crop, in mind?
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BlueBee
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Posts: 3945

Location: Mid Michigan


« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 03:58:56 PM »

Whippersnaper, if you donít want 50,000+ honeybees, you can just house the bees in a small hive or a nuc.  That will limit the number of bees in your hive.  When the bees fill the small hive/nuc they will do a reproductive swarm and half the bees or so will leave for greener pastures. 

Even a big hive with 100K bees, is not very noticeable from a bee density perspective.  Yes there will be more bees in your yard than normal, but itís not like youíre going to feel inundated with bees on everything!  The bees will fly out to something like 3 miles looking for nectar and pollen.  A hive of 60K really isnít very noticeable unless youíre within about 15 feet of it.   
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