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Thread: Hairy Vetch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts
    8

    Default Hairy Vetch

    I have some troubled spots on my property and I'm thinking about planting hairy vetch to improve the soil but I also want something that's good for the bees. Anyone have any thoughts or experience with the hairy vetch? Is it a good nectar producer? What kind of honey does it make etc.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Thumbs Up

    Best I can tell it makes a nice water white honey and lots of it.

    When I disced the vetch area it was very noticeable how the disc would go deeper into the ground. I makes a major soil improvement.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default

    My experience with hairy vetch locally is that bees don't work it much. There's probably preferable sources blooming in this area at the same time. It is easy to grow and comes back readily from seed, though.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    mendocino county N Calif
    Posts
    34

    Default white honey from vetch

    We usually get a nice crop of yellow of white honey from purple, common and hairy vetch. really, our first crop of the year. Has a vanilla/ansise flavor to my palete.

    You'd have to plant at least a couple of acres of it to see any of the honey-imo. It is planted by Cal-trans along the highways- i guess to help control erosion.

    Matt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default

    In my experiance, hairy vetch has been quite fickle. At one place the bees work it quite well in the mornings and late afternoon but at another place just five miles away they won't touch it even when there is nothing coming in.

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

    Default

    Hairy and Purple vetch are good nectar sources (Except at Cow pollinator's place. I heard it was fickle.) Crown vetch does not have a nectar source.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Hairy Vetch

    Is there somewhere we can compare the amount and quality of the honey made from different plant sources?
    Possible honey source crops:
    Hairy Vetch was the standard here for years, now you don't see it at all.
    Anyone had experience with Arrowleaf clover for honey production?
    Canola acording to what I read tends to crystalize too quick.
    Is there any crop that will compare with Hairy Vetch for quality and quantity?
    Almost all legumes require soil that is not acid, our Co Agent says 6.0 PH.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Hairy Vetch

    I think it's the difference in the ph of the soil. Probably needs a low ph.
    Don't think you are on the right road simply because it is a well worn pathway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    omaha nebr. USA
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Hairy Vetch

    Not at all uncommon to see Vetch nectar dry up in the heat of the day.
    Sometimes the bees will become real mean real fast when this happens.
    Also it seems that bees will vist more often vetch that is planted on better quality soil than the poorer soils.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Hairy Vetch

    Dragonfly how well does the vetch do in our area?
    When is the best time to plant it?
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    lamar county, mississippi, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Hairy Vetch

    hey ya'll
    i dont know much about vetch, but white clover does very good for bee's and the soil, not to mention deer! lol but white clover puts nitrogen back into the soil and grows very well even in high ph soils. i planted a 1 acre plot of clover and rye grass together and the clover really helps the grass! it is also very good for the soil in preventing erosion, the bee's make a very good honey from the clover, the down side to clover is that it is expensive.
    God helps those who help themselves, the government helps those who don't want to work!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: Hairy Vetch

    Around here i get loads of water clear honey and fast draw of snow white comb.

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