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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southwest Missouri
    Posts
    11

    Post

    Does anyone know if lespedeza has any value for honey production. All information I have been able to find is on the the shrub variety, or the sericea which is considered a noxious weed in Missouri. It is a legume similar to alfalfa and clover. In Missouri it blooms from late June till about october. It is a valuable hay crop and the seed is a lot cheaper than the clovers. I was thinking of planting a mixture of ladino and marion lespedeza. there does not seem to be any studies done this topic.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Alpine, NY (near Cayuga Lake)
    Posts
    107

    Post

    I found this: "Beekeepers have generally observed that the lespedezas are scant producers of surplus honey. 'Korean' is rated as the best of the major species, L. bicolor and L. cyrtobotray Miq. are always attractive, although not grown on a large scale anywhere, and 'Kobe' and 'Sericea' are visited at times. Abernathy (1937) stated that lespedeza honey comes largely from 'Korean' with possibly a small amount from 'Common'. Derrenbacker (1936) concluded that bees get little honey from 'Korean'. Pellett (1939, 1952), Taylor (1935), Underhill (1946), and Watson (1938) considered lespedeza only a minor honey plant. Big differences were frequently observed in the populations of the bees on the crop. These differences were associated largely with climate, but location also seemed to be involved."

    http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/book/...lespedeza.html
    Lesli<br /> <a href=\"http://beeyard.blogspot.com/\" target=\"_blank\">http://beeyard.blogspot.com/</a>

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC, USA
    Posts
    71

    Post

    Here in NC, the DOT requires sericia lespedeza on cut or fill slopes of 2:1, in new highway construction. It is fast growing and is used as a form of erosion control. I haven't seen bees working it, and I see it everyday, as I work for DOT.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Southwest Missouri
    Posts
    11

    Post

    The DOT used sericia years ago in Missouri, for the same purposes you said. Now it is taking over peoples pasture. I have some in my field, and it is very hard to kill w/ herbicides. A conservation agent told me that the seed can lie dormant for 15 years. Years ago farmers thought sericiea was a hay super crop. That was before they knew it had little nutritional value. Quail and other wildlife will actually starve to death in the winter when eating the seed. Anyway the kind of lespedeza I'm talking about is strain developed around the late 1980's. It grows about three times the height of the old Korean and Kobe varieties.

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