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Thread: Buckwheat Info

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    jackson county, indiana
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    27

    Post

    I have been kicking around the idea of planting 10 acres of Buckwheat. I thought I would plant it aroung july 1 so it would come into bloom when the the natural honey flow stops so I could harvest two crops. Has anyone tried this? How many hives per acre can I run without crowding them and what would a reasonable yield be in a normal year?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,408

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    I am going to try it this year. Don't know how practical it is yet, but you could plant an early and a late buckwheat and possiblely a middle crop and if they seem to be working just the buckwheat, you can get more for the honey.

  3. #3

    Post

    Buckwheat is a continuos blooming crop you do not need to do multi plantings. I planted 10 acres of it and we made a maze going through it to go for walks it bloomed all summer till the first frost. You can hear the bees working it and the aroma coming from the field was intoxicating to smell. Are you going to combine it or let it go? If you let it go and disk it in lightly it will regrow. The great thing about buckwheat is the seed is really cheap. We also ground some for pancakes and it will keep you going all day. If you want details on grinding it let me know it is a little tricky. Good luck

    Phillip

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Ithaca, MI
    Posts
    26

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    I will be pollinating buckwheat (10 acres) for a grower here in Michigan, (a first for me), so I posed the same question on the beekeepers newsgroup. The general concensus was 1 to 2 hives per acre. The place where I will place them also has enough other floral sources to comfortably place 15 swarms, so I am thinking that about 18 swarms should be sufficient for 10 acres. Any other input on this would be appreciated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Sapulpa,OK USA
    Posts
    174

    Question

    What zone does Buckwheat grow in? What do the flowers look like?

  6. #6

    Post

    I am in northern IL but I think it will grow anywhere. I have read that bees will only make surplus honey in the northeast because of the soil there. The flower is white and in clusters.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571
    i've planted some buckwheat for the past few years,i didn't have a choice(see-my bee's are controlling me),i just throw it out on the ground and it comes up without any fuss,i throw it in the utility cut -outs after they bush hog,it is about the cheapest seed you can get,it's easy to save the seeds for next year,and turkey and grouse like it too.after it blooms and you notice the brown seed heads on it,you can mow it down and it will reseed itself pretty well and bloom again in a month.of course you get better results if you actully sow the seed instead of just tossing it around.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,782

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    Buckwheat can be very difficult crop to get honey off of. I have found that even if you have your hives right next to or even in the middle of the blooming crop, the bees seem to work other blooming fields instead. I was told that buckwheat gives off nectar late in the morning and stops early in the afternoon. So when the bees find an earlier morning blooming crop, the buckwheat flower is largely ignored. A long fall is needed to collect lots of buckwheat honey, it flowers until frost. last year I was able to collect about 40-50 lbs per hive in my yards that were located close to those fields.
    Usually one or two hives/acre will should provide enough bees to pollinate. Lots of buckwheat seed producers will bring in leaf cutterbees to increase pollination of the plants. Leaf cutters are very efficient pollinators and don't stray too far from their nest, ensuring an evenly pollinated crop.
    Up here in Canada the crop insurance dead line to plant buckwheat is July 1. It is a very short season crop, sometimes grown as a backup crop when all else fails. Virtually no fertilizer is applied and does very well on gravely land. It is a crop know to dirty up your field because there is very little you can spray to control the weeds. So, the land is usually tilled about three times from Mid May to kill off weed growth. Good luck...

    Ian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    jackson county, indiana
    Posts
    27

    Post

    Are there different variaties of Buckwheat that may produce more nectar then others or some that is easier for the bees to work?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    There is not alot of research and development of the buckwheat plant because it is such a small market. I don't know about variaties of Buckwheat that may produce more nectar. They are developing now a buckwheat plant that is self pollinating. Good news for buckwheat producers, not so much for pollinators.

    Ian

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    619

    Post

    Where can you buy Buckwheat seed? I haven't been able to find it. Dale

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,782

    Post

    I would guess any seed dealer would or should be able to find you some quite easily. I guess the availability of the seed all depends on the amount grown in your area.

    Ian

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    brown county,indiana,usa
    Posts
    571

    Post

    try your local farm bureau co-op.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Fergus Falls,Mn,USA
    Posts
    20

    Post

    Shumway seed co. has it.www.shumway.com or Ph.800-342-9461

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