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Author Topic: Planting bee friendly cover crops that will last all season  (Read 1897 times)
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.


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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

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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.




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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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rober
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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


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Steel Tiger
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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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