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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Worthington, Pennsylvania USA
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    1,848

    Post

    What does crown vetch honey taste like? Does it crystalize rapidly? What color is the honey?
    I am beginning plans for next year.
    Thanks
    "Younz" have a great day, I will.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    crown vetch does not produce nectar. It is a "sterile" plant developed at Penn State. Mainly for road projects and irrosion control. If the bees could make honey from it, all beekeepers in Pa. would be very happy, and perhaps have some money in the pocket.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    McAlester, OK
    Posts
    101

    Post

    Crown Vetch plants do not appear to be sterile from a reproductive point of view as several seeds are produced in the blossom head. Crown Vetch in my area of Oklahoma is readily propagated by volunteer seeds produced, annually. Honey bees and Bumble bees actively work the blossoms when ample soil moisture is available. I haven't observed any pollen balls on the rear legs of any bees.

    Jim Young

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Inver Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,462

    Post

    There are tons of crown vetch along the roads and highways around here, but I've never seen the bees working it. Are there maybe different types of the plant depending on location?

    The stuff is an incredible weed if it gets a foothold where you don't want it. I had a clump of it growing in one of my greenhouses. It took me two years to get it all hacked out so that it didn't grow back. It can recover from the smallest root piece. I just noticed a few days ago that there is a pretty good chunk of it growing again just outside the greenhouse. I suppose by next year it will have worked it's way back inside again.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

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    I think we must be talking about two plants. Crown vetch in Pa. is everywhere. Planted by the highway department years ago. I have never seen, and never expect to see bees working the stuff. I can go back and do some research, but I know the stuff was propogated and designed at Penn State, and has always been labled as a plant with no nectar source. With the flowers it produces you would think that butterflies and other insects would be all over it. But I see nothing.

    Perhaps over many years, the plant can/could resort back to something other than the original hybrid that it is. That would be neat. And I know that I for one would be happy.

    And I agree. Once established, it is very hard to erradicate. I still hate "mile-a-minute" more. Or whatever its properly called.

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

    Post

    I did a search and although I missed some sites, I was able to learn some.
    There are several types or kinds that have been propogated.

    Wood vetch/carolina vetch
    American vetch/purple
    Canadian milk vetch
    Crown vetch
    and others....

    It does seem that the original plant can be spread by root and seed. This is where I think Penn State was propogating a variety to not spread by seed, as it is an invasive plant.

    Many site do mention the forage benefit to animal, and one mentions toxicity in large amounts. Nowhere did I find mention of nectar or other benefits to nature or bees.

    Maybe the different variety do offer differing nectar sources. But I know around here, no bee benefit is to been had.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Here is the scoop on Crown vetch

    http://www.beeculture.com/content/po...ook/crown.html

    Here is more on Vetch in general with a picture of a bee collecting nectar

    http://www.beeculture.com/content/po...ook/vetch.html

    And here is Sweet Vetch

    http://www.beeculture.com/content/po...ok/sweetv.html

    Bookmark this site

    http://www.beeculture.com/content/po...ook/index.html
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Since I started keeping a patch of Hairy Vetch I have noticed my honey being darker. I don't really know if it is because of the Vetch or not as I also keep a smaller patch of Buckwheat which btw did not bloom much at all this year.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
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    Crap! Now I wonder if the variety propogated here by Penn State was designed for some reason that excluded it from producing as other. I thought it was an attempt to have vetch that would not be as invasive.

    I did not know crown vetch to spread as some of the sites referred to it by spreading the seeds. I could also be way off base, but I also never heard of it being spread other than by careless human propogation and transfer. But thats just of this area.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New Braunfels, TX
    Posts
    463

    Post

    Bullseye Bill,

    Thanks for the site. This is just what I need. I am moving to a new house on six acres and am looking for bee favored plants, bushes and trees.

    Ron
    Hobbyist

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Beverly, Mass
    Posts
    298

    Post

    Crown Vetch is not a nectar source for Honeybees, Hairy Vetch is. When I was in Nebraska this summer it was all along the roads
    not a Honeybee around but lots of Bumbles.

    Planting little patches although can be useful for bees collecting early pollen. You need many many acres to make a dent for nectar. I had 10 acres of Goldenrod in a field up in Maine in the middle of the woods. Although it was a dry fall
    and plenty of pollen coming in they were starving. I had to feed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Inver Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,462

    Post

    One of the most annoying things about planting for bees is seeing the all the bumble bees working the plants but nary a honeybee in sight.

    The one plant that is guaranteed to get honeybee activity is Autumn Joy sedum. Even one lone plant will attract a horde of bees when it blooms in late summer to fall.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    144

    Post

    Bumblebees seem to work crownvetch. I've seen about 3 honeybees investigating it, but that's it. The stuff I have is hideously invasive.

    Diane W

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    We have acres of Crown Vetch around our yards. Never see any honey bees on it. My understaing is the honeybee probiscus is not long enough to harvest the nectar.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    While getting a headstart on one of my goals for 2006, which was to read a couple bee books, I ran across this.

    From "Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping" by Dewey M. Caron, page 11.151 "The vetches are not as widespread as the clovers but several species such as HAIRY and PURPLE VETCH (vicia spp.) are very good sources for bees. They grow in poor soils and are useful to help hold banks and slopes where other plants grow poorly. Vetch honey is water-white with an excellent taste.

    One vetch that is not useful to bees is CROWN VETCH. Crown vetch flowers are nectarless and bees do not readily visit it for pollen. Unfortunately, it is widely planted along roadsides in the mid-Atlantic states."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    Figures that's whats all around my yards!

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