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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Post

    Smartweed!! Blahh...
    I spray Smartweed out of our crops every year. It can be a curse if it is not dealt with early. Grow something worth while!
    Sweet clover is a gold mine for any neighbouring beekeeper. Seed it thick, collect the supers full of honey, and harvest the seed after bloom. Win win situation.

    Ian

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I've read the discussion and am surprised at two things. No-one mentioned Sumac (white and red) as a weed you could grow. And I thought red clover was no good for bees because their little tongues won't reach the nectar. Set me straight.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    My understanding is that red clover (which has pink flowers) is great for bees, but that crimson clover is not good forage- at least I think that's what I read. I'll try to find my article on clovers and check to be sure.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Post

    Bill, Try these links.Dr. George Ayers has written extensively on bee forage.taken from a google search of MSU Web site.

    The Other Side of BEEKEEPING: July 1992
    ... has convinced me that this is so (Ayers et al. ... provide the best opportunities for
    making bee forage plantings ... might be satisfied simply with keeping the valleys ... www.ent.msu.edu/abj/Article%20pages/jul92.html - 26k - Cached - Similar pages

    The Other Side of BEEKEEPING: September 1993
    ... By GEORGE S. AYERS and SANDY AYERS. ... of much of that lawn with a low maintenance, low
    growing, bee forage ground ... We have no information on their keeping qualities ... www.ent.msu.edu/abj/Article%20pages/jul97.html - 33k - Cached - Similar pages

    The Other Side of BEEKEEPING: September 1993
    ... 1980's when the Michigan State University bee forage project was ... from our diversionary
    planting study (Ayers et al ... the screen of the cage was keeping the plants ... www.ent.msu.edu/abj/Article%20pages/sep95.html - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

    The Other Side of BEEKEEPING: January 1993
    ... Editor of ABJ) provides a valuable service by keeping the Apicultural ... also the genesis
    of my interest in bee forage ... in their entirety are referred to Ayers et al ... www.ent.msu.edu/abj/Article%20pages/jan93.html - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

    The Other Side of BEEKEEPING: September 1993
    ... by GEORGE S. AYERS and SANDY AYERS. ... 1. Desirable properties of a low maintenance bee
    forage planting. ... slow down the herbivore's feeding rate by keeping it small ... www.ent.msu.edu/abj/Article%20pages/mar99.html - 22k - Cached - Similar pages

    The Other Side of BEEKEEPING: September 1993
    ... error is the best way to proceed, keeping what seems ... Copyright © 1992-1999, American
    Bee Journal All rights reserved. ... Document author(s): George S. Ayers E-Mail ... www.ent.msu.edu/abj/Article%20pages/mar96.html - 31k - Cached - Similar pages

    First pollen in CT. is skunk cabbage.Look in the purple "hoods".Pale green pollen

    Jack

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Aegina, Greece
    Posts
    28

    Post

    Does any one knows Phacelia Tanacetifolia?
    I don't know the name of it in English. That flower gives about 40 Kg of honey for every 1000 sq. mt. and wants almost no water.

    [This message has been edited by mikeaegina (edited February 09, 2003).]

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Post

    >Does any one knows Phacelia Tanacetifolia?
    I don't know the name of it in English. That flower gives about 40 Kg of honey for every 1000 sq. mt. and wants almost no water

    Pacelia Tanacetifolia aka Lacy Phacelia aka Purple Tansy aka Fiddleneck. Annual. Native to AZ, CA, KS, ME, MA, MI, NV. No idea why so wide a variety of climtates and why only there.
    http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/plant...gi?symbol=PHTA

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    Phacelia (aka purple tansy in this area) is supposed to be an excellent bee plant. I hope to find out this Summer, as I sowed a pound of seed last Fall.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Post

    Any suggestions as to where to get some seeds?

    Thanks

    jorge

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    I bought my seeds for tansy and other wildflowers from Wildseed Farms in Texas. Here's a link to their website: http://www.wildseedfarms.com

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Post

    http://www.thehealingpath.com/Organi...yandlateforage

    This is a list of early and late bloomers for bee pasture.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Question

    I've heard a lot about Anise hyssop for bees,& was wondering if anyone has planted it?what type of soil & etc does it require, also where to get any seed's thanks

  12. #32

    Post

    You can get a good price from Johnnys select seeds. They are in Maine. I bought 4 pounds last year but never got them in the ground. Having two gardens 175 x 75 each took to much time to get everyhing in the ground. I have heard and read that they love the anise hysop

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    Anise hyssop is also a great bee plant, and it supposedly does well in this area, but the seeds I planted last Fall have yet to emerge, so I am doing some winter-sowing in containers. Some of them are starting to germinate now, but I probably won't have any flowers until Spring or Summer 2004. Ayers has written some good articles on the value of hyssop for bee forage. It apparently does not do well with competition from other weeds, so it would need to be sown in a well-prepared site to help it thrive. I bought my seeds for hyssop from Prairie Moon Nursery, which is another great source for wildflowers, perennials forbs, and some trees and shrubs.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lapeer, MI
    Posts
    1

    Post

    I am posting to warn about the tansy plant. Once it goes to seed, it is almost imposible to erraticate. My father-in-law planted some about 3yrs. ago, and now he has tansy all over his yard.
    I am sure it may be a good bee plant, but we must concider all the effects before introducing another speices.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    Please be careful about the Tansy (Tanacetim vuleare) as the bees love the flower but other animals find it toxic when they eat it and it can take over an acre in 2 years making it unfit for other animals.
    others that are good for bees but bad for other animals aer these 2 weeds that can take over an acre of ground in 2 years and mildly toxic to farm animals.
    Spotted Knapweed - Centaurea maculosa Lam
    and
    Purple Loosestrif - Lythrum salilicaria
    All 3 came from Europe
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Post

    Greetings all,
    I have anise hyssop in my garden and it will self sow and spread although it is easily disrupted in the early spring.Oddly,my bees seem to ignore it when it flowers(aug- frost}and are atracted to the oregano 6 feet away.


    Clint Bemrose brings up a very valid point.As beekeepers ,we consider ourselves to be enviromentally conscious. Invasive plants(and animals ie. Africanized Honey Bees and Gypsy Moths)are a serious problem and just because something may be a good bee plant doesn't mean its a good plant.Check out http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/common.htm
    and see how many "honey plants"you recognize.

    Jack

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Solsberry, IN, USA
    Posts
    16

    Post

    Sorry for this late post but I just found this board. Someone posted that their locust tree had long thorns on the trunk. That is a Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), not a black locust. Oddly, the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is the nectar producer around here although I have never seem the honey locust in bloom to tell if bees use it. Black locust thorns are paired at the bases of the leaves. We have many black locust trees in our yard and area. When they are in bloom you can hear the hum from the number of bees working them. Unfortunately like most trees the bloom lasts only a week or two and often strong spring storms will completely deflower the trees. They smell wonderful in bloom.

    Someone else thought the wood rotted easily. Actually the opposite is usually true as they were historically used for fence posts. We use them to line our gardens and they have lasted on the ground for many years.

    I too planted anise hyssop after reading in Pellet and eslewhere that it was "the wonder honey plant". Wrong. The honeybees almost never use it. Only a few have ever been noticed on the planting and they left after a short visit. The bumblebees love it. Intoxicating licorice fragrance though. And I don't even like licorice.

    I also noticed that the bees only use buckwheat in the morning.

    I have never seen a honeybee on the ironweed growing around here. Maybe need more plants. They do like joe pye weed (all eupatorium species actually; summer bloomers). Milkweeds are popular also and bloom in the summer (Aesclepias species). Many of the herbal mints like oregano are attractive and bloom over a long summer period. Russian sage, a low shrub, is another. Basil plants are favorites.

    Honeybees do use the smartweed growing around our garden but it is a non native weed. Goldenrod and aster are great late summer to fall nectar and pollen sources that are both native and readily spread on their own once established.

    In truth, bees really aren't going to get much nectar from a few plants added to your landscape. They need mass plantings, agricultural in scale, especially for herbaceous plants. I would suggest trees if you have the room as they produce abundantly, if only for a short while, and a single tree will harbor dozens of bees in the same area occupied by just a few shrubs or plants. Drawback: Most trees only bloom in the spring (tuliptree, black locust, willow, maple, basswood, etc), not in the summer when we need them most.

    Plant natives if possible. Many introduced plants and trees are wreaking havoc.

    Whew. Sorry for being so long winded.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Solsberry, IN, USA
    Posts
    16

    Post

    Sorry for this late post but I just found this board. Someone posted that their locust tree had long thorns on the trunk. That is a Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), not a black locust. Oddly, the black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is the nectar producer around here although I have never seem the honey locust in bloom to tell if bees use it. Black locust thorns are paired at the bases of the leaves. We have many black locust trees in our yard and area. When they are in bloom you can hear the hum from the number of bees working them. Unfortunately like most trees the bloom lasts only a week or two and often strong spring storms will completely deflower the trees. They smell wonderful in bloom.

    Someone else thought the wood rotted easily. Actually the opposite is usually true as they were historically used for fence posts. We use them to line our gardens and they have lasted on the ground for many years.

    I too planted anise hyssop after reading in Pellet and eslewhere that it was "the wonder honey plant". Wrong. The honeybees almost never use it. Only a few have ever been noticed on the planting and they left after a short visit. The bumblebees love it. Intoxicating licorice fragrance though. And I don't even like licorice.

    I also noticed that the bees only use buckwheat in the morning.

    I have never seen a honeybee on the ironweed growing around here. Maybe need more plants. They do like joe pye weed (all eupatorium species actually; summer bloomers). Milkweeds are popular also and bloom in the summer (Aesclepias species). Many of the herbal mints like oregano are attractive and bloom over a long summer period. Russian sage, a low shrub, is another. Basil plants are favorites.

    Honeybees do use the smartweed growing around our garden but it is a non native weed. Goldenrod and aster are great late summer to fall nectar and pollen sources that are both native and readily spread on their own once established.

    In truth, bees really aren't going to get much nectar from a few plants added to your landscape. They need mass plantings, agricultural in scale, especially for herbaceous plants. I would suggest trees if you have the room as they produce abundantly, if only for a short while, and a single tree will harbor dozens of bees in the same area occupied by just a few shrubs or plants. Drawback: Most trees only bloom in the spring (tuliptree, black locust, willow, maple, basswood, etc), not in the summer when we need them most.

    Plant natives if possible. Many introduced plants and trees are wreaking havoc.

    Whew. Sorry for being so long winded.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

    Post

    i'd have to vote for 1)sunflower2)buckwheat,if you want to put some trees in, black gum (tupelo),are great,also buttonbsh if you have any moist areas,buttonbush matures quickly and bees love it,they also bloom for most of the summer.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Post

    It's so funny you mention buttonbush. I spent lots of time in late Fall collecting seeds from wildflowers and shrubs that grow wild on our place. One of these shrubs was a bushy plant that I couldn't identify, because the flowers were already gone to seed and the leaves had fallen. I collected the seeds off these "puff ball" shaped flower heads and I had ordered seeds for buttonbush from Prairie Moon Nursery. When my seed order came in, I was so surprised to see that the seeds I had collected were buttonbush seeds. I had all I could ever need from my own plants, but didn't know what they were! Now I have a healthy surplus of buttonbush seeds, so if anyone needs seeds, let me know. It was a funny little lesson in not paying attention to what's at your disposal.

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