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

    Smile bee on crown vetch

    There have been several discussions about bees on crown vetch. Some type vetch's produce nectar, and some don't. I have no idea what kind this is, but a small patch is growing in my garden. I happened to catch this bee working the flowers very hard.

    http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x...ictures013.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Monterey, VA
    Posts
    94

    Default

    We have this type of vetch all over the place (where we do not mow) in Western Va. The bees seems to work it sometimes, but not exclusively, and a various times throughout the day. I see other kinds of bees on it also.

    I always called this common vetch, but it seems that Crown Vetch is the actual name, according to the Peterson Wildflowers book.

    Do you have Purple Vetch? The flowers are long, small, and purple, not at all like crown vetch. It also blooms earlier. I see the bees on this also.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: bee on crown vetch

    We have that in eastern WV, and we call it crown vetch. The blooms seem to be around a long time, and the native bees love it. We're hoping the honeybees can make good use of it. My wife hates it but there is no stopping the stuff, and it is abundant. We also have something we call mountain mint that they adore.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    703

    Default Re: bee on crown vetch

    Crown vetch (Coronilla varia) is considered an aggressive noxious, invasive weed in most eastern states. (1)

    Honey bees are generally too light to trip the flower and gain access to the pollen leading to pollination failure. They can obtain nectar. (2)

    Crown vetch contains toxic nitrogen compounds. Though, commercial pollination is reported. (2) The compounds will poison honeybees that do not have access to other sources to dilute the nitroglycosides (3) The cardiac glycosides mean butterfly larvae are preferentially hosted as they use the toxicity as a predation deterrent.

    References
    (1)http://www.in.gov/dnr/files/Crown_vetch.pdf
    (2) http://www.pollinator.ca/canpolin/crown_vetch.html
    (3)http://books.google.com/books?id=lbO...osides&f=false

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hiltons,Virginia
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: bee on crown vetch

    We have vetch in southwest virginia and bees love it.

    www.poorvalleybeefarm.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: bee on crown vetch

    My bees will use it some but I think other flows go on at the same time that are more valuable

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: bee on crown vetch

    We were surprised this weekend to see our girls eagerly working crown vetch. Up until now they've ignored any low blooms and have been working something in the tree canopy. There seems to have just been a shift to ground level.

    What we find fascinating is that they're working crown vetch but ignoring lambs ears (which the bumblebees are working) and they're ignoring viper's bugloss (supposedly a honeybee favorite). I got some good video of their foraging. They have to butt heads with the blossom to open it but they seem to have the trick down.

    We may have entered a nectar dearth ... they seem interested in syrup. But they continued working the crown vetch after we filled the feeders.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Greene, (Upstate) NY. The Great USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: bee on crown vetch

    How about "purple vetch"? I have far more of that than "crown vetch". Do the bees gain from the purple?

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