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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

    Question

    On another post, which I am not sure which, someone made a comment about striped sunflowers and black oil sunflowers. One was good for the bees in pollen and/or nectar, and the other was not. Does anyone know which is which and can comment on the benefits of planting one compared to the other?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    193

    Post

    BjornBee,
    I've got the answer to that question in a book I've got on the farm, I'm going up there this week so I'll look it up and get back to you. Been toying with the idea of planting sunflower seeds myself and not just for the bees benefit, quite a big call for sunflower oil out here due to the fact it's cholesterol free. It might be an idea to google your question and see what answers you get,
    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Green Lane, PA
    Posts
    839

    Post

    Can't remember if I saw the bees working the black oil sunflowers last year. But the gold finches sure love them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    I bought a large bag of the black sunflower seeds last week. I wanted to make sure they would germinate if I took the time to plant them large scale. So I planted a few seeds on Wednesday with my daughter. They are already peaking through the soil. I am amazed that in five days the seedling are all ready here. Guess I answered the question if they would grow. I was not sure if the seeds were treated somehow that would prevent them from growing. I guess not. The bag is just the ordinary stuff sold as birdfeed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,396

    Post

    I had some black oil sunflower seeds in a feeder last year and let some that fell to the ground grow. Bumblebees loved the flowers but I didn't see any honey bees on them - and a neighbor about 1/8 mi away has several hives, so I'm sure there are plenty of bees in the area. They were all over my anise hyssop, lemon balm and rasberries. Honey bees may like black oil sunflower, but it's possibe there was something else in bloom they prefered more.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Texas City, Tx
    Posts
    183

    Post

    Black eyed Susan is a good sunflower for bees. Look at Ohio State University web site and they have a list of flowers/plants that are in their "bee garden".
    you must endeavor to persevere

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A french guy living in Chester, UK
    Posts
    133

    Post

    Not sure if you aware of this, but in France, sunflower seeds were treated with "gaucho" which caused many deaths among bees. I believe that gaucho can no longer be used in France now.

    Are your seeds treated with anything at all?

    Is gaucho legal in the US?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

    Post

    I wouldn't worry much about seed treatments affecting honey bees. By the time the plant grows large enough to bloom, the amounts of treatment left from seed treatments are so small that they're ineffective against virtually all insects. Seed treatments are intended to protect seeds before germinating and even for a period of time after germinating, but they won't protect sunflowers long enough to remain in the plants when the plants begin blooming.

    The bigger pesticide issue with sunflowers and honey bees involves spraying the plants while the plants are blooming to reduce weevil and moth damage to seeds developing in the heads. That's what can really kill off huge numbers of bees.

    I've seen many bees working both types of sunflowers here in SD. Both are insect pollinated; I don't know why why one be "good" for bees and the other wouldn't. Oil seeds and confectionary seeds are still just varieties of sunflowers, all one big species.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    The anise hyssop is an amazing honey producers, although the honey seems to get a minty flavor to it (there was also mint in the area, so it could have been both). Anywho, the hyssop is a sure thing for necter production.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    >The anise hyssop is an amazing honey producers, although the honey seems to get a minty flavor to it

    Hyssop is a member of the mint family, so that explains it! Most members of the mint family are good nectar producers- cat mint comes to mind right off. I suspect all of them make honey with a minty flavor.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,834

    Post

    They take honey off both, but seems i believe the oil type gives off the most nectar. Confection have bigger heads and you would think otherwise, but I believe the oil gives off more. I'll check on that.

    >>Is gaucho legal in the US?

    Not sure if this is the same stuff, but my neighbour, comming from France left because of the huge losses beekeepers there were encountering, blamed on the pesticide used on the crops, sunflowers I believe he said. Not used here on the crops as he discribed, but there is a soil drench potato producers use, and in much the same effect, and with much the same effect apperently on the bees. Impachrid SP??
    Whats worse, constant leathal dose of pesticide contaminated nectar, or insecticide spraying every 10 days??
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Constant. Oooooh. Did I get it right? What do I win? [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    Maximillian sunflower, drives the bees crazy. blooms in fall, lasts 2-3 weeks.

    Anise hyssop, they work it for months.
    "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes"
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

  14. #14

    Post

    <<I wouldn't worry much about seed treatments affecting honey bees. By..>>
    Kieck, that is wrong. -Sorry-. Systhemics treatments in the seed stay in the plant and kill bees. Soil contamination has been observed too.

    About the nectar production in the sunflower -in oil varieties- have been studied that the hybrids made in USA have 60% of oil and few nectar production, the old Russian species had 25-30% of oil and very much nectar.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Pilot Hill, Northern CA.
    Posts
    809

    Post

    About a year ago, I read the same post about the striped seeds being the most attractive to honeybess and so planted a zillion of them. I also planted a zillion of the black seeds just to see. About an eighth acre each.
    The honey bees were attracted to both kinds, the ones with the very large heads (Giant, striped seeds) and the ones with mulitiple, colorful heads (black seeds).
    But there was never a huge amount of bees poring over these plants like they were when my oriental poppie patch kicked in. The sunflowers were more of an attraction to the bumble bees I think than to the honey bees.
    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    www.goldfinch-acres.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    West Newton, Pa.
    Posts
    915

    Post

    BjorBee,

    I planted about 1/4 acre of the black seeded sunflowers last year and the bees had a grand old time working them. The bumble bees also liked them. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I bought a 25 lb bag of the seeds sold in the store as bird feed, had no problem with germination. I tilled the soil with a five foot tiller pulled behind my tractor, broadcast the seeds by hand, then packed them in with a cultipactor(Sp?) pulled behind my mini tractor. After the seeds were mature I had more gold finches working them than I thought there were in the whole state. [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken!

  17. #17

    Post

    Territorial Seed Company has numerous species of culinary herbs including anise hyssop plus vegetables, clovers, sunflowers, etc.

    Territorial Seed Company

    Anyone interested in heirloom seeds should check out Baker Creek Seed Heirloom Seeds Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
    James Henderson
    Golden Delight Honey; 225-803-5406 (cell)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >On another post, which I am not sure which, someone made a comment about striped sunflowers and black oil sunflowers. One was good for the bees in pollen and/or nectar, and the other was not.

    That was probably me. The bees will work all types for pollen, but only the gray stripe makes nectar.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

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