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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Eleva, WI USA
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    36

    Cool

    getting ready to move my 8 hives to our new property (10 acres). I have a few acres that will essentially be unused. I was thinking of planting a bee crop and was looking for ideas of what to plant. Thought of going the regluar clover route, possibly buckwheat.

    I dont have alot of experience in different varieties of honey, just the basic "wildflower"

    I'd love to put in a basswood tree or two but it'll likely take too long before they are a worthwhile honey tree.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2003
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    medesto,indiana,usa
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    257

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    check into black locust

  3. #3
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    Jan 2003
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    Kiel WI, USA
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    "Our 4000 trees were planted in the spring of 1872, and in 1877 many of them were bearing fair loads of blossoms."

    Under "Basswood"

    ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture 1908 edition

    There is a company in Wisconsin that sells small basswood trees for (I think) $4 each, and they should be easy to find for the digging. Plus you get a lot more blooms per acre than smaller plants provide. Plus, you can seed between the trees with whatever you want.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2003
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    Raleigh, NC, USA
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    White sweet clover, yellow sweet clover, Hubam are all good honey producers. Plain old white dutch clover (mowed every 10 days or so to keep it blooming) between your basswood trees would bee heaven.
    Triangle Bees

  5. #5
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    Jun 2004
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    Clayton Indiana
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    I have several thousand black locust around my main bee yard. They grow like weeds from root seedlings but I have never been able to transplant any. The problem I have seen with the black locust is the short boom time. Sometimes the bloom stays on and sometimes it doesn't. They really bring it in when it is there. White clover in the yard and pasture are have been my big producers.
    Todd Zeiner

  6. #6
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    Mar 2004
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    Huntington, West Virginia, USA
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    Sourwood trees might also work for you.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    Since you are not going to make that much of an impact on the forraging area the bees have available to them, I would plant a forage that would tide them over during the darth of summer.

    You are going to plant less than ten acres, the bees will forrage out at least two miles, that is thousands of acres. The best you can do for them is to provide them something when there is nothing else. I do this with Huban clover, hairy vetch, alfalfa, and buckwheat.

    Huban will stop blooming in the heat of the summer, but will come back in the fall and bloom until freeze.

    Hairy vetch blooms just after yellow clover and until the heat of summer sets in.

    Alfalfa isn't that great of a honey plant but is better than nothing. It should be sprayed every spring for aphids and you will probably not get two good cuttings without some lucky rain, (well, not here anyway).

    Buckwheat is the best choice for a fill-in crop, however it is more labor intensive as it needs to be worked and replanted every seven to nine weeks, but that is the good part, you can get three good crops if the weather holds good for you.

    For tree plantings look around your area for what grows there, check the county extension office for recomended tree varieties. Black locust is a poor choice to invest in. It only blooms every two years and then it is subject to late frosts and heavy rain will knock the blooms off. Go with bass woods, lindens, Jap arbor, Jap lilac, etc., Look for trees that advertize to attract "Butterflies and Hummingbirds". To put bees in that would kill sales, but is a good way to identify nectar trees.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  8. #8
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    Jan 2003
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    Kiel WI, USA
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    <<Alfalfa isn't that great of a honey plant but is better than nothing. It should be sprayed every spring for aphids >>

    In this area, aphids are rarely a serious problem, the usual treatment for them, if they get bad, is to simply cut the hay. I think they just get a later start here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    medesto,indiana,usa
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    heres a link about bees with some Black Locust
    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...ng/chc_hun.htm

    It depends on the seed source as to when and how long they bloom.Alot of the trees in Indiana came from the state which probably used a southern seed source.Ive had Locust trees bloom the 3rd spring from planting.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2005
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    Edison NJ
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    How about Rape Works good in Jersey

  11. #11
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    Sweet or white clover is your best bet. It will provide bee forage for months, and will produce the whitest honey you will get. White honey=more money!!
    Clover will be the easiest bee forage to grow. I have hives around buckwheat feilds, and will say that it does produce lots of honey, but hit and miss depending on the year. If the bees have any other access to nectar from anyother flower, the bees will totally ignore the buckwheat. Not many people like BW honey, but I always save a few hundred pounds for my nich market,..

    Ian
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #12
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    Sep 2004
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    Glasgow, KY
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    I got the big idea to plant pumpkins last year. A half acre or so, lot of work. Weel it seems my bees are lazy and don't come out to forage till noon or so and by then the pumpkin blooms are closed up for the day. The bumble bees enjoyed them though.
    Henry.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2004
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    Cooperstown,N.Y.
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    You might try Anise Hyssop, if only in the margins and such. My Organic Gardening Encyclopedia (under honey plants) says "that an acre of Anise Hyssop might be sufficent pasture for 100 hives". I was able to buy several large clumps at a local nursery, and saved the seeds, I hope to sow into flats this spring. They did bloom all summer,through several frosts,but once the goldenrods & asters kicked in the bees paid it little attention.

  14. #14
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    Nov 2004
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    Cooperstown,N.Y.
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    You might try Anise Hyssop, if only in the margins and such. My Organic Gardening Encyclopedia (under honey plants) says "that an acre of Anise Hyssop might be sufficent pasture for 100 hives". I was able to buy several large clumps at a local nursery, and saved the seeds, I hope to sow into flats this spring. They did bloom all summer,through several frosts,but once the goldenrods & asters kicked in the bees paid it little attention.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2003
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    I agree with dcross. A while back, someone on this fourm posted honey productions of various trees and the Basswood (linden tree "Tilia cordata") was far above the rest. I planted 5 last summer - three I bought and two I propogated from cuttings. It may be a few years until I see any blooms, but its a long term investment and really helps to fill a nectar gap in my area. Basswood blooms later than most of the trees in my area.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  16. #16

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    My pat answer for this kind of question.

    Look at The Hive and the Honeybee by Dadant. They have a nice section that shows major and minor honey plants for a given area. Look and see what is major for your area.

    Also as a compendium reference, try Honey Plants of North America.

    Seed establishment can be costly. For 10 acres, a 50 pound sack of clover seed might cost $150. Soil should be prepared in advance for best establishment or else you have to overseed to plant in sod. The areas that I disc harrowed and pulverized, leaving bare soil had better establishment of clover than the areas that I overseeded on sod. Keep this in mind!

  17. #17
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    Mar 2004
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    Huntington, West Virginia, USA
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    If you could only plant one thing, I'd suggest yellow sweet clover. Good luck!

  18. #18
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    Feb 2004
    Location
    Winterset IA
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    Last spring I planted an acre each of white, yellow, dutch, and alsike clover. Also an acre of hairy vetch. The alsike bloomed very well and the hairy vetch a little. I also planted 2 acres of buckwheat late summer and the bees worked it very well but the surprise was no dark honey when we extracted. I pulled supers in late august before the buckwheat bloomed and again after the bloom and had expected to get a dark honey. Anyway it gave them something to do until goldenrod started to bloom.

  19. #19
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    Jan 2003
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    >>no dark honey when we extracted

    mabe working it for its pollen.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #20
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    Mar 2004
    Location
    West Central Minnesota
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    Where could I purchase some huban clover? I talked with my local co-op and they were able to get some sweet clover, but they had never heard of huban.
    Founder and co-investor in Jaybee Honey

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