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learning
01-28-2009, 07:00 AM
I have a nearly 5 acre field that I have not done much with. Now that I have ordered bees I want to put as much stuff out there for them as I can. I had planned on spreading some clover seeds. White is what I thought. What are the diff kinds and what are best in northeast WI and for the bees?

brooksbeefarm
01-28-2009, 11:05 AM
I have a nearly 5 acre field that I have not done much with. Now that I have ordered bees I want to put as much stuff out there for them as I can. I had planned on spreading some clover seeds. White is what I thought. What are the diff kinds and what are best in northeast WI and for the bees?

White dutch grows in most states, white and yellow sweet clover would be my next choice but it's Bi annual. I don't know anything about your weather there?you will have to check that out. It's considered a evasive bush but do you have sumac there? Bees love it. Jack

dcross
01-30-2009, 11:21 AM
Can you tell us more about the field? There's a very good chance you've already got a heck of a bee pasture.

JBJ
01-30-2009, 12:25 PM
I would look into Melilotus alba (white sweet), grows in a wide range of conditions and makes more honey than any other clover. Bees absolutely love it and it is a later bloomer so the bees have built up nice by the time it flows so it is very easy to make a surplus.

Camp9
01-30-2009, 01:39 PM
You'll have not problem growing most any clover, but alsike, red, white, both sweetclovers, will be the best choices. Alfalfa is great too if you can get a farmer to take it for hay after it blossoms, or cut it yourself, and then you can get two or three blossoms times during the summer.

Camp

learning
01-30-2009, 07:06 PM
Field is small rolling hills, 2 swampy areas, 1 with cattails. There is a little alfalfa, lots of Queen Ann's lace, purple flowered things I have been told were many diff things including chicory, dandelions, creeping things, daisy things, much more flowering "weeds". The other 3 acres has a lot of cedars, some walnut, birch, and more. There is a giant yellow flowering bush, invasive pinkish flowering bushes, a russian olive, and more I don't know what it is.

I have planted some little trees in the field, red maple, aspen, chinese chestnut, weeping willow and more. I have planned some flower beds by the new trees.

I do think it is a good place for bees.

Michael Bush
02-01-2009, 07:15 PM
Variety is the spice of life. It also is the mainstay of bees. More variety means a longer blooming stretch and under varying conditions. I plant white and yellow sweet, white dutch, crimson, birdsfoot trefoil (not exactly a clover but related) and other non-clovers like chicory, goldenrod, aster etc. as well as dandelions.

NeilV
02-02-2009, 10:55 PM
The only clover that I know of that honeybees don't work is red clover. The flowers are generally too long. However, I have heard that later in the summer some of the flowers can get smaller and be accessed by honeybees.

Also, red clover should not be mistaken for crimson clover, which is a different variety that blooms early and bees will work.

If you want to plant clovers, go for mix of crimson, white dutch, white sweet and/or white yellow. Also, I would not limit myself to clovers. Bees absolutely love anise hyssop, which just keeps on blooming from late spring until frost. I have heard that the same is true about borage, but I don't know from personal experience. Goldenrod is a great fall plant for winter build up, and you will know it when they get into it because the nectar stinks like dirty socks when its being cured.

Some other things to consider are planting some trees, such as red maple, catalpa,, black locust and some shrubs, such as holly and vitex. They give quite a big bang for the buck while in bloom. Vitex wil bloom several times. Lots of bugs like Vitex blooms, and its interesting to see what all is on them, including bumblebees and lots of butterflies.

Black willows and pussy willows are good early sources of pollen and nectar around your wet spots, but I suspect you already have some willows if you have wet areas.