Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
November 22, 2014, 07:47:10 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Help with starting a bee- and butterfly-friendly garden  (Read 2429 times)
CarolNewBee
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1

Location: Colorado


« on: August 21, 2012, 11:32:52 AM »

Hi everyone,

I just joined and am new to all of this.  We're in Colorado, hot, dry, LOTS of sun.  I am totally new to both gardening and bees.  Thinking about maybe starting a hive, but need to get the garden going first.

Have a south plot 10' x 53' with no shade, sits in sun all day.  Lots of clay. Grass fails.  We want to xeriscape with perennials, and yes, I will be researching this further.  However, would appreciate knowing what kinds of plants and flowers bees and butterflies love.  If we can get that going by next spring, maybe a backyard hive will be next.  Any suggestions would be very welcome, and if I can shortcut my research time by picking all of your bee-brains maybe I can become a bee-brain too.   Smiley

We want to start an organic vegetable garden in the back yard where there is lots of shade, and some sun-only areas.  Thinking about big planter boxes (4' x 6' or thereabouts) so we can use clean, organic soil and know exactly what's in it and bypass all the clay and who knows what else is in the ground.  I figure if there are bee-friendly perennials we can put in the soil in the south plot, the bees will find it and so will the butterflies.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give. 
Logged
MrILoveTheAnts
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 716


Location: Somerdale, New Jersey


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2012, 10:43:22 PM »

Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa comes to mind. It's a milkweed and thus a host plant to the Monarch Butterfly.

Anise Hyssop, Agastache foeniculum, is an excellent nectar source for honeybees. It's also drought tolerant once established.

Coneflowers, Echinacea sp. are also very drought tolerant once established. You need a fair sized patch of them to really get honeybees paying them attention though.

Goldenrod, Solidago sp. is also very drought tolerant plant that honeybees love. Goldenrods are fairly common roadside weeds, but there are a few species that are garden appropriate.
Showy Goldenrod, Solidago speciosa, has a nice quality to it but can slowly reseed around.
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' is a medium height plant that doesn't really fall over. They do spread by root suckers somewhat but I don't think it's anywhere near as aggressive as some of the road side species.   
Solidago sphacelata 'Golden Fleece' is more of a ground cover that slowly creeps along. Honeybees don't seem to go for this one as much but it's still worth mentioning.

Logged

BlueBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 4381

Location: Mid Michigan


« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2012, 11:10:19 PM »

First, I think clay is under rated!  Clay holds more moisture and more ions than any other soil.  The big negative with clay is the poor aeration.  If you put your clay (or a mix there of) in a raised bed, you solve a lot of the aeration issues while retaining the good things about clay.  In a sunny, hot, dry climate like CO, that might be a water wise approach; or at least something worth investigating more.  Mulch the clay to prevent the top from turning to concrete.   

We have heavy clay in my area and it has been a God send in this summer’s drought.  The corn came through in really good shape here, only because of the clay.  There are areas where the glaciers left more of a sand/loam mix and that corn is toast.  OK, PURE clay is not great; but I prefer a clay loam over a sand loam because it comes through droughts better.

If you’re planning on growing any root crops (carrots, potatoes, dahlias), the sandy loam is much better than clay only because the roots can mechanically expand easier. 

Everything Mr Ants said is good.  So are the simple things like white clover in the lawn for the bees.  Bees also like many types of trees for pollen.  Trees/bushes are also a host plant for many of our native moths and butterflies. 
Logged
triple7sss
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 30


Location: Fort Collins, CO


« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2012, 01:45:31 AM »

Russian Sage - I swear every other house in CO has a bunch or two of Russian Sage and it seems to really thrive in our climate with hardly any maintenance.  Stop and take a look next time you see a clump and get a sense of just how many bees are working the plants.  It's incredible...it's like a Country Buffet for bees.

http://www.honeybeesuite.com/russian-sage-for-your-pollinator-garden/

Logged
bernsad
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 462

Location: NE. Melbourne, Australia


« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2012, 04:54:09 AM »

It's always better to renovate a clay soil rather than a sandy one. The remedy is the same, plenty of organic matter, but the clay opens up and holds more nutrient and moisture than a sandy soil.
Logged
JPBEEGETTER
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 193

Location: ARCHDALE NC


« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 09:30:21 AM »

MY wife loves the butterfly bushes, planted 3 this year, also I ordered Astor seeds for the bees to live off of in the fall. Got 3 different varites.  You can go to the internet and see which plants are butterfly and bee friendly, what I did..JPP
 The butterfly bushes she planted this year are "black knight" . ones she already had were a yellow go together well//
Logged
Maryland Beekeeper
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 275

Location: Columbia, Maryland, U.S.A.

Nature does nothing uselessly. Aristotle


« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 04:24:12 PM »

I purchased 5 Tetradium Danielli saplings this summer. I've heard B's lovem. Looking forward to next year. Will report results.
Cheers,
Drew
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.321 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page November 19, 2014, 02:21:53 PM
anything