What does Anise Hyssop honey taste like? Anyone know? What happens if my horses eat it? Afraid I don't know much about it.
I dunno about the honey, but the tea made from the flowers is sweet and mildly licorice and mint flavored. The flowers themselves are edible. I doubt it would hurt horses. It's an old herbal remedy from way back. Here's a reasonably good Canadian link about it:
I'm definitely going to get some going this year.
Dulcius ex asperis
How much Anise Hyssop seed per acre?
I grow it and the bees work it for a couple of months. Don't have enough to say how much honey it pulls we just keep it in the herb garden.
Might be a challenge to get 100 acres established.
Also, not all Anise Hyssop is created equal. Had some varieties they wouldn't work 2 out of 3 years, other varieties they work continuiously.
"Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes"
Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Geez Arky, I have no idea. I don't think people plant acres of it but I don't see why you couldn't. The seed isn't cheap. My wife just picked up a packet of it for me the other day for $2.85 and there's a small fraction of a tiny part of a 1/4 teaspoon full of seeds. Says it's "hardy to Zone 6, needs much in Zone 5" so I don't know if it's going to do too well over winter here (Zone 4a). We'll see. Also got some Valerian root which I know grows here well.
Dulcius ex asperis
lol, yeah ive looked at the prices and seed count, seems slightly cheaper than Gold :0)
I just cant find anywhere where it says how many seeds per square inch, feet, acre, so on, so forth. I cant imagine what it would be like to try and scatter seed that fine over a large area anyway.
I'll check my seed package for clues when I get home. I do recall it saying to thin seedlings to 6"-8" [img]smile.gif[/img]
Dulcius ex asperis
I have 4 acres of pure alfalfa. This is my first year back in bees so I will keep a close watch on the field and will cut it after it blooms for a week or so.
I also have 2 acres of white and yellow sweet clover and about 1/2 acre of birdsfoot trefoil. I hope to get a good corp of honey but all my bees are packages this year and am not sure what I can expect the first year. There are litterly hundreds of wild plumb blooming right now and the dandilions are everywhere.
MARK- can you send me some of that $5 bales of alfalfa. I just paid the gal $25.95 for two bales at the feed store today. I look for the blossoms--The spinners flock think they're sweet.
I plant an area larger than the fenced in pasture--that way some gets a chance to bloom. I maintain diverse fencerow plantings for the wildlife.....
I have been looking into this yield per acre going to meetings and talking to old timers. Got quite a few answers. The bottom line from many was that it is hard to put a number on yield per acre, since you can't always be sure to get the nectar to be consistant. If you don't have the right soil chemistry or weather for foraging, rainfall etc.
you can't be sure. Many of the old timers were interested more getting good bees than the forage.
I know guys who have planted 20 acres of buckwheat and got nothing. If you have bees next to a 100 acre field that represents <2% of the foraging area they will cover.
Alot of crops are worth more that the honey that they produce. One oldtimer I spoke with on a Lousiana trip said to know your area and go to different places at different times of the year.
Alot of guys pollenate Blueberries in Maine , and cranberries in Mass but in the fall they go to NY to they vast goldenrod fields.
The highest yielder after a lot of reading was the Acacia and Black Locust over 1000lb/acre. I don't believe this since I may get 1-3 boxes during the flow which is very often rained out.
>you can't be sure
I guess that is the bottom line. So much depends on the weather and other circumstances over which we have no control.
From what I've heard, black locust around here is a 1 year in 7 scenario, basswood a 1 in 3 scenario. We dont' have a lot of black locust but we have some. When it blooms, whether the bees work it or not you know the main flow is starting.
For me the point is making fallow land productive, for some value of the term productive, and productive land yield a second crop. To me this means getting the milkweed and dog bane rolling in the home field, propagating honey suckle in the fence rows and around the edges of the fields, and getting the hay crop cut early enough so there's a sensible second crop of clover and vetch. The bees have to do the rest.
Other plantings of high-yield honey plants is worth while when viewed as an incremental improvement. Putting in 100 square feet of cat mint won't substantially increase your honey yeild, but it will make the bees happy when it's blooming and me happy when I see them working it [img]smile.gif[/img]
Dulcius ex asperis
Alfalfa is cut according to the bloom, not the height. Most cut it, as noted above when about 10% is in bloom.
For haying, alfalfa is a mixed bag of delights.
For horses, a bale rich in alfalfa will cause bloat and can kill a horse on one feeding. It needs to be grown in a mixed crop of grasses and timothy. For cattle, it's a different matter. To further complicate the plan, if you mix timothy and alfalfa only in the field, the first crop is generally a great mix and safe for horses. The timothy does not come back up after the first cut and you get almost pure alfalfa and the risk. My daughter takes our second cut and keeps it out of reach of her horses and feeds them only one flake from a bale each in the evening.
So my plan this year is to take the first cut for here, then let the second cut mature and go thru full bloom for the girls. They should have a great July and start sqealing like little piggies by August.
"hobby farm" is an oxymoron
I love the idea of Alfalfa, especially if you can get 2 cuttings 1 for the bees and 1 for the bank account . Have heard that you have to spray for Aphids. I don't have horses and would probably just sell it wholesale to pros, who can mix it for animals.
Would any of you farmers out there know of a good cycle is cut for hay first or second?
I dont know if an acre and a half of turnips will make much of a difference in a honey yeild, but my bees are going crazy over the stuff :0)
>>you can't always be sure to get the nectar to be consistant
>>The highest yielder after a lot of reading was the Acacia and Black Locust over 1000lb/acre. I don't believe this since I may get 1-3 boxes during the flow which is very often rained out.
You have to realize we are talking of the crop honey yield potential.
[size="1"][ April 24, 2006, 06:47 PM: Message edited by: Ian ][/size]
Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog