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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Kingstree,SC,USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Bees use soybeans?

    Do bees use soybeans? I've never heard of that. They are planting soybeans now. I was wondering if they use it for honey production.


    WAB

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    Some beans make nectar, some don't. That's the best I can tell you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    "They are planting soybeans now."

    They are? In South Carolina? Soybeans in our state were planted in late April I believe.

    From what I have read, the soybean variety that is grown in the south is good for honey bees, but in the north; not very productive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    343

    Default soybeans

    I have made some good crops of s/b honey. I was told by an old b/k that one type makes honey and one don't. One is a white blossom the other is purple.
    It depends on the weather also it seems to make better in a sligthly dry summer. I was told that the rain washes out or dilutes the nectar.

    p.s s/b honey has a unique and wonderful flavor. Ted N Ms

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Kingstree,SC,USA
    Posts
    37

    Default

    I need to know if the soybean crop will help my bees. If they can make use of it then I'll have a better idea of how to prepare them for winter. And maybe get a few more hives before the soybeans come in. If my bees wont benefit from it then i'll just keep them as they are until next spring.





    WAB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Kingstree,SC,USA
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbee View Post
    "They are planting soybeans now."

    They are? In South Carolina? Soybeans in our state were planted in late April I believe.

    From what I have read, the soybean variety that is grown in the south is good for honey bees, but in the north; not very productive.
    They just finished harvesting the winter wheat and are planting soybeans behind them.


    WAB

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,069

    Default

    Depends on the variety. I have one yard that doesn't seem to work soybeans--at least the variety planted there.

    At my home yard, soybeans are one of my biggest flows. Its interesting how location specific honey flows can be. I try to have extra hives at the house in July just to catch the soybean flow. Unfortunately, this year, with corn prices so high, the closest bean field is now 1/2mi away and I don't know what variety they plant.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Rankin County, MS
    Posts
    64

    Default

    I got some cotton planted just over half mile away from my hives. Will that distance dampen the bees making honey, if this kind of cotton produces nectar?
    Fannbee

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Default

    Cotton is like sunflowers, extract it quick or you will have to use it for feed. It crystallizes quickly and you will never get it out if you don't do it soon after the flow.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,277

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Williamson View Post
    Depends on the variety. I have one yard that doesn't seem to work soybeans--at least the variety planted there.

    At my home yard, soybeans are one of my biggest flows. Its interesting how location specific honey flows can be. I try to have extra hives at the house in July just to catch the soybean flow. Unfortunately, this year, with corn prices so high, the closest bean field is now 1/2mi away and I don't know what variety they plant.
    That's interesting. Down here it is wheat followed by soybeans. Many of the big farms are not planting cotton this year because of the value of beans this season. Last year many of the farmers had total losses from their corn crops due to the drought and seem to be staying away from corn this year.

    I'm hopeful that I can get some soybean honey to replace the big cotton flow that we usually get.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default

    Some years soybeans makes a crop here. Some years it doesn't do anything.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,277

    Default

    I talked with my framer friend yesterday and she informed me that there are two varieties of soybeans that they plant. The difference was that one was a full season and and the other was designed to be planted after the spring wheat. I was wondering if this may account for the difference seen on honey yields? Perhaps one variety is better for honey production??

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    592

    Default

    There are many varieties of soybeans. Additionally, there are several groups of soybeans within those varieties such as group 1 group 2 and so on. The group designation has to do with the time required for them to mature. The short season beans are planted as late as July in this area. Most of these do produce some nectar and my bees work the bean fields.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    65

    Default Sunflowers

    Are sunflowers not good for honey? We plant about 2 acres every year for dove hunting and my hives are right next to them?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    My bees are making good honey on soybeans right now. They've been on a flow there for a month and still going strong. Lot's pf beans, corn, and wheat around here this year, not much cotton.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Question

    Ross, what color are the flowers? Last year I moved some bees onto beans with purple or blue flowers and they didn't make much if any honey. At another location I get a lot of honey and all that is near there is beans. I've been told that the flower color will identify whether they make nectar.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    These were very small white and yellow.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159
    Thanks Ross, maybe we can come up with an identifier for which beans makes honey. I hope it's that simple. Please let us know if you get a flow from that field.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,207

    Default

    Already had one and the beans were still blooming a couple of weeks ago. I need to go back up there and see if they have refilled the supers I put back.

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