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Author Topic: Planting bee friendly cover crops that will last all season  (Read 1884 times)
adamant
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« on: December 21, 2013, 05:26:39 PM »

Is there such a mixture? I am on the northeast. 

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Hemlock
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 09:10:07 PM »

Buckwheat and Borage come to mind.  Buckwheat can be planted all season long and borage blooms till frost
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capt44
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 09:54:02 PM »

I'm in Central Arkansas and I plant Buckwheat all spring and summer.
From the time it sprouts it will usually start blooming in around 3 weeks and will bloom for around 6-8 weeks.
I usually plant a strip every 3 weeks and it's usually blooming till frost.
Another plant you can put out is the EDOVIA Tree.
Beekeepers call it the BEE BEE Tree.
It will start blooming in the late summer or early fall when everything else is drying up.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
rober
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 12:15:12 AM »

potentilla shrubs & Russian sage  will bloom all summer. my thyme & oregano also bloomed most of the summer. also plant all th clover that you can afford
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 07:19:19 PM »

I'm pretty fond of chicory.  It blooms from about the middle of June until the first really killing freeze.  It will bloom in a drought.  It will bloom after a light frost.  I will bloom after a fairly heavy frost...
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10framer
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 10:07:31 PM »

I'm pretty fond of chicory.  It blooms from about the middle of June until the first really killing freeze.  It will bloom in a drought.  It will bloom after a light frost.  I will bloom after a fairly heavy frost...

that's good to know.  i planted some for deer this year, they were walking through my milo field to get to it.
it also only needs to be reseeded about every five years from what i've been reading.  i mixed it with ball clover, it was an expensive mix but the bees work ball really well and it re-seeds better than a lot of other clovers. 
 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 12:32:51 AM »

I'm pretty fond of chicory. 
huh  The stuff is a weed around here!  I do admire the blue flowers, but I have never heard of anybody planting it.

And 10framer, why one earth would you want to draw deer into your yard to destroy everything!  I do everything I can to keep them out (without success I might add)
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 12:35:10 AM »

I would go with white clover.  The bees love it and it has a long flowering period in Michigan. 
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10framer
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 12:38:43 AM »

I'm pretty fond of chicory. 
huh  The stuff is a weed around here!  I do admire the blue flowers, but I have never heard of anybody planting it.

And 10framer, why one earth would you want to draw deer into your yard to destroy everything!  I do everything I can to keep them out (without success I might add)

i'm on 44 acres and i eat the deer. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 05:03:35 AM »

Well, I’ve never seen a deer touch chicory here.  Roses, gardens, and any ornamentals though, they love.  The more expensive the bush, the more they LOVE it.

I've never even seen a groundhog eat chicory.  Nothing eats the stuff  grin
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T Beek
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 05:56:41 AM »

Chicory won't grown in Northern Wisconsin, we tried several times to get some going, even bring up small plants harvested from the south. 

I agree with BlueBee.  White clover is relatively cheap and very productive.  We planted and spread a couple hundred dollars of seed a few years ago where we mow (we mow about five acres) and it only took a couple seasons for the clover to become the dominant plant in these areas. 

An added benefit;  Now I don't have to mow as much or as often as we allow the clover to flower, mowing only when roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the flower heads begin to brown.  Mowing then seems to invigorate the clover, making it thicker.  We;ll likely plant it all again in a few more years.  Sometimes we can watch the ground MOVE with busy bees  cool  Watch out when wearing flip flops  Wink
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10framer
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 10:41:43 AM »

Well, I’ve never seen a deer touch chicory here.  Roses, gardens, and any ornamentals though, they love.  The more expensive the bush, the more they LOVE it.

I've never even seen a groundhog eat chicory.  Nothing eats the stuff  grin

it's about 30 percent protein if i remember right.  we don't have nearly as much crop agriculture and the acorn crop was terrible this year down here so it's a big treat for the deer and the rabbits from what i could tell. 
i planted 3 acres of milo for deer hunting and then planted the chicory in 15 foot by a 300 foot strips and the deer would walk right through the milo to get some chicory first then turn back and eat the grain.  i was really suprised 
i have a friend that i told to plant it and he questioned me but he's all fired up now.  he pretty much saw the same thing at his place this year.
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10framer
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 10:46:45 AM »

Chicory won't grown in Northern Wisconsin, we tried several times to get some going, even bring up small plants harvested from the south. 

I agree with BlueBee.  White clover is relatively cheap and very productive.  We planted and spread a couple hundred dollars of seed a few years ago where we mow (we mow about five acres) and it only took a couple seasons for the clover to become the dominant plant in these areas. 

An added benefit;  Now I don't have to mow as much or as often as we allow the clover to flower, mowing only when roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the flower heads begin to brown.  Mowing then seems to invigorate the clover, making it thicker.  We;ll likely plant it all again in a few more years.  Sometimes we can watch the ground MOVE with busy bees  cool  Watch out when wearing flip flops  Wink

see if pennington has some seed specifically for your zone.  it's expensive for sure but white clover isn't dirt cheap either and you have to get the innoculate.  i ended up paying 210.00 for 25 pounds of ball clover seed.  i think i gave 40.00 for 5 pounds of chicory (but i knew the place i bought it was expensive). 
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rober
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2013, 11:52:25 AM »

 dutch clover runs $5-$6.00 per lb at most retail garden shops. I've found  50# bags @ $159.00= $3.18 per # for dutch white  & $109.00=$2.18 per# for ladino & sweet yellow clover at local farm supply stores. I have some corners on my property planted with a mix of sweet yellow clover, buckwheat, & lacy phacelia & they're always loaded with bees.
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10framer
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2013, 07:43:31 PM »

dutch clover runs $5-$6.00 per lb at most retail garden shops. I've found  50# bags @ $159.00= $3.18 per # for dutch white  & $109.00=$2.18 per# for ladino & sweet yellow clover at local farm supply stores. I have some corners on my property planted with a mix of sweet yellow clover, buckwheat, & lacy phacelia & they're always loaded with bees.

how well does the ladino come back the next year?  i planted a little of that and 50 pounds of crimson too.  the yellow clover grows on the shoulder of most roads down here.
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GSF
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 08:00:08 PM »

If I remember correctly, clover is good for improving your soil - naturally adding nitrogen.
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10framer
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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2013, 08:55:18 PM »

If I remember correctly, clover is good for improving your soil - naturally adding nitrogen.

buckwheat will too.
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MsCarol
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« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2013, 10:49:08 PM »

If I remember correctly, clover is good for improving your soil - naturally adding nitrogen.

buckwheat will too.

Buckwheat improves the soil because of its strong root system but it is NOT a legume like the clovers.

I am finding this thread very interesting as I am planning on planting more bee friendly plants along field edges and fence rows. Some of my land is in crops. (Makes for happy deer). All the stray strips around the edges are ripe for bee plantings. Plus I have about 2 acre hillside inside the crop fence that needs replanting. Thinking seriously of Buckwheat this spring.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2013, 06:53:31 AM »

>The stuff is a weed around here!  I do admire the blue flowers, but I have never heard of anybody planting it.

Everything bees work is a weed.  I planted 17 acres of it.  It works much better drilled than scattered.
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Michael Bush
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10framer
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2013, 07:04:49 AM »

>The stuff is a weed around here!  I do admire the blue flowers, but I have never heard of anybody planting it.

Everything bees work is a weed.  I planted 17 acres of it.  It works much better drilled than scattered.


the stuff i planted said to plant less than 1/16 of an inch deep.  i don't own a grain drill but i have a planter but i don't know if i can set it that shallow.  where did you get the bulk seed?  i could only find it in 5# bags.
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edward
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2013, 07:10:26 AM »

Lupines flower a long time, they are one of the better types of pollen for bees and are a quality source pollen that makes healthy happy bees.


mvh Edward  tongue
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10framer
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2013, 07:15:05 AM »

If I remember correctly, clover is good for improving your soil - naturally adding nitrogen.

buckwheat will too.

Buckwheat improves the soil because of its strong root system but it is NOT a legume like the clovers.

I am finding this thread very interesting as I am planning on planting more bee friendly plants along field edges and fence rows. Some of my land is in crops. (Makes for happy deer). All the stray strips around the edges are ripe for bee plantings. Plus I have about 2 acre hillside inside the crop fence that needs replanting. Thinking seriously of Buckwheat this spring.

true, it adds organics.  
anyone planting clover to improve the soil needs to make sure the seed is pre-inocculated or buy some inoculate or it can't fix nitrogen.  the clover will grow and bloom but it has to have the bacteria to put the nitrogen into the soil.
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10framer
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2013, 07:25:02 AM »

Lupines flower a long time, they are one of the better types of pollen for bees and are a quality source pollen that makes healthy happy bees.


mvh Edward  tongue
glad you posted that.  i googled it and sundial lupine is native to georgia.  after i pulled up a picture i think it's one of the weeds i was trying to identify last fall.
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edward
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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2013, 07:36:45 AM »

Echium vulgare (Viper's Bugloss or Blueweed has a protien %35

lupines have a protien % 34

mvh Edward  tongue
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2013, 09:13:17 PM »

 Last spring I spread white and red clover seed. I had tons of clover plants and a lot of red clover blooming towards the end of summer. The white clover should go nuts next summer. I'll be spreading more seed in the spring.
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Joe D
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2013, 10:16:05 PM »

If your not a beek, you don't want popcorn trees, wild hedge, or sumac.  Now I have them all, have 25 acres of crimson clover, arrow leaf, and ball clovers. mixed with hairy vetch and rye grass.  Laurel Cherry trees, fruit trees and lots of different grasses.  Have Cataba worm trees, bee bee trees, and numerous native trees that bloom.
Good luck to you all and your bees.




Joe
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edward
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« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2013, 03:45:15 AM »

it's one of the weeds i was trying to identify last fall.

WEEDS  rolleyes

The definition of weeds has changed when you keep bees  grin

The dandelions that my neighbors dont like in there lawns, and battel with find a haven with me and grow freely and prosper  rainbow sunflower Cindi

Driving 70mph on the highway I can spot wild raspberry and fireweed patches by there leaves beefore they are in bloom  grin

mvh Edward  tongue
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T Beek
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« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2013, 09:41:23 AM »

Last spring I spread white and red clover seed. I had tons of clover plants and a lot of red clover blooming towards the end of summer. The white clover should go nuts next summer. I'll be spreading more seed in the spring.

We broadcast white dutch clover seed on roughly five acres of mowed lawn, trails and paths, including the perimeters of our many gardens.  Seeded/planted/scattered when its raining lightly has worked out very well for us.  The original planting was more than 20 years ago and we just planted some more 2 years ago.  Cost to plant 5 acres was $120.00.  Planted 5 acres of Buckwheat that same year for under $60.00 if memory serves but it takes some care (tilling, watering) hence we only plant occasionally.

Clover, being a tough perennial that spreads through its roots and seeds can survive many years under the right soil and growing conditions, and just gets more prolific with each passing year.  If you don't mind a lawn filled with clover flowers its better than grass IMO.  It does a great job of keeping quack grass at bay and blooms most of the summer once started.  I just mow it when about half the flower heads have begun browning.  Mowing at that point then seems to rejuvenate rapid growth, blooming and spreading.  With this method I've convinced my wife that the lawn doesn't need mowing every week anymore Smiley a win, win, win considering the benefits also provided to our bees.

Dandelions are by far a favorite and we let them flourish making our lawn areas quite the site when in full bloom.  An added bonus is that the dandelions don't seem to interfere with the progress and proliferation of the white clover and both keep quack from taking over.  About the time the dandelions finish up the clover begins blooming.  

Alas, Our mowed yard and paths are more likely to produce a bee sting than any of our hives  laugh. Flip flops are worn at your own risk.

Oh, almost forgot.  Plant CHIVES every where.  We have about 15 Apple trees and all are surrounded by chives that we just let go.  Our Bees, our Apples and Us all benefit from chives.  Bees love them!
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« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2013, 01:47:29 PM »

if you want to broadcast clover without treating the soil you will get better results with inoculated seed. running a disc or aerator 1st will improve
chances of germination. dutch white & ladino clovers are bi-annuals. they usually do not bloom the 1st year. a lot of folks believe they are perennials because they reseed themselves so well.  also clovers put out the most pollen & nectar when it's over 80 deg. 85-90 deg. is ideal. hotter is better so long as there is some rain. drought conditions the last 2 years killed off a lot of my clover. true red clovers do not help honeybees. their tongues are not long enough. it does help other pollinators & your soil.
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edward
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« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2013, 02:04:49 PM »

red clovers do not help honeybees. their tongues are not long enough. it does help other pollinators & your soil.

Some of the larger bumble bees cant bee bothered to stick their tongs all the way into red clover plants.

They chew a hole in the side of the flower so they can get at the nectar faster. After this honey bees can also collect nectar from longneck clover flowers.  rainbow sunflower


mvh Edward  tongue
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« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2013, 03:39:46 PM »

if you want to broadcast clover without treating the soil you will get better results with inoculated seed. running a disc or aerator 1st will improve
chances of germination. dutch white & ladino clovers are bi-annuals. they usually do not bloom the 1st year. a lot of folks believe they are perennials because they reseed themselves so well.  also clovers put out the most pollen & nectar when it's over 80 deg. 85-90 deg. is ideal. hotter is better so long as there is some rain. drought conditions the last 2 years killed off a lot of my clover. true red clovers do not help honeybees. their tongues are not long enough. it does help other pollinators & your soil.
I spread 25% crimson clover to 75% dutch. The seeds where coated and looked like pellets. If the clover takes over and chokes out most of the grass, less mowing for me Smiley .
 I also spread some sort of fertilizer a week before the clover. I can't remember what it was, just a general fertilizer. The field stays damp all through the summer due to an underground spring. I've tried planting weeping willows to try to dried it up a bit but it's solid clay about 2 feet under and it keeps the willows from growing. I have an 18 year old willow that's maybe 15 feet tall and not very thick.
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10framer
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« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2014, 11:06:47 PM »

it's always funny to hear you guys talking about bees working clover in summer.  crimson is out by the first part of may down here.  some of the white clover keeps blooming into june if you mow it but the bees tend to work privet and poplar more than anything during may and early june.  i'm going to plant buckwheat in mid june to give the bees something to do in july.
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