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Author Topic: Farm crop for bees  (Read 1760 times)
MagicRay
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« on: February 16, 2006, 04:21:16 PM »

I started one hive last year around early May here in Maryland.  We planted about 3/4 acre of buckwheat which bloomed in June, were cut down, and bloomed again in August.  The bees seemed pretty busy and healthy, but seemed to produce very little honey even for wintering.  We began to worry.  But after mowing down the buckwheat in late August, the hive produced enough honey to fill a honey super as well as the bottom deeps.

Did we plant enough buckwheat or did it have nothing to do with it?  We are looking to plant a crop that would produce a larger amount of honey earlier in the season.  Any suggestions?  Thanks.

-Raymond
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Jay
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2006, 12:46:52 AM »

Did you start from a package or a nuc? Many times you will not see a surplus honey yeild in the first year because the bees are busy drawing out all of the foundation you started them on. Remember, they need somplace to store the honey and raise the brood before they can store the honey and raise the brood. This means building comb and that takes time and honey! Look to next year for your surplus, it will be better! Cheesy
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TwT
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2006, 06:35:10 AM »

Raymond, you can get poor nectar flow from any plant depending on how the weather is, there are alot of different things you can plant, last year I planted crimson clover and after about a 5 weeks it had die off, I also had ladino clover and some sweet yellow clover planted, the ladino clover and white dutch will bloom from spring until fall if you cut the tops out of it once every 4-6 weeks, my bee's made alot of really mild' light colored honey off the crimsom clover and a very good taste so I planted it this past fall and when it dies this year im going to plant buckwheat... the harrowing, bush-hogging and planting is part of beekeeping to me, I enjoy it...
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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MagicRay
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2006, 09:39:06 AM »

Thanks!  Do you have any suggestions of a farm crop, something saleable?  

Anyway, I read several internet sources that buckwheat nectar only lasts half of the day.  The bees are supposedly done with foraging by noon and get really mean when you check the hive in the early afternoon.  I thought perhaps that is why the buckwheat did not yield as much honey and perhaps why only after mowing the buckwheat down, did the bees forage something else farther away that they were able to do all day long.  I don't know how true this is.  It is just my speculation.

-Raymond
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TREBOR
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2006, 11:49:38 AM »

also they really go for alsike clover and milkweed
alsike is tall and bushy
I planted some last year and it was covered with bees all year!
 alfalfa is a good saleable crop but you have to let it bloom for the bees
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2006, 12:18:12 PM »

Not sure I could have any here as my neighbor has horses


Alsike Clover Toxicity in Horses

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/forage/alsike/alsike.htm

And small children

http://www.cookiebabyinc.com/poisonousplants/alsikeclover.html
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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Jack Parr
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2006, 07:06:23 AM »

To the casual observer there is seemingly little differences between the Alsike and the White clover. I doubt that most people not really looking for a difference would notice.  The leaves of the Alsike are pointed whereas the White is rounded.  I learned something new.

It seems like it's more of a Canuk problem, so far. If, in fact there is a problem?

Well horses are for Cowboys and Willie Nelson admonishes, in one of his songs, against bringing up children to be Cowboys. So the kids should be safe, if brought up according to Willie's singing admonishment. Tongue  Of course Wille does like his cannibis however, according to himself. wink
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TwT
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2006, 08:24:18 AM »

MagicRay, im not sure what can or will grow up there, maybe "snowmen"  Wink  (thats all golf can grow) , we would need someone from your area to help with this, anyway fruit tree's are real good if thats any help
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THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Amateurs built the ark,
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2006, 11:14:27 AM »

Quote from: TwT
MagicRay, im not sure what can or will grow up there, maybe "snowmen"  Wink  (thats all golf can grow) , we would need someone from your area to help with this, anyway fruit tree's are real good if thats any help


Isn't there a lot of fetilizer around that part of the country? cheesy
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rainbow sunflower  Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.   rainbow sunflower

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