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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mont Vernon NH ,USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Earliest Spring flowers

    I live in NH and plan on keeping bees next spring, I have planted hysopp, beebalm, goldenrod, butterfly bushes and Heliopsis( great fall pollen).
    Can anyone tell me what the earliest spring flowers are that I could plant to supply my bees with nector and pollen and help them get off to a good start?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Crocus! The bees are all over mine when they come up, and they are the first color I see. Grape hyacinth is pretty early as well.

    Other good ones that you may want to encourage but not actually plant in a garden include skunk cabbage (actually generates heat, so the bees can warm up on cold days!) and dandelion.

    For fall, consider adding New England aster.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

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

    Default

    Not a huge list, [no garden] but 'Siberian squill' blooms in early spring and is unique in that the pollen is blue. The willows of course, [shrubs] and there are many kinds that provide early pollen. Bees use a lot of pollen in early spring to raise brood. See the threads about pollen colors on Beesource [Wikipedia] and check out some of your local nurseries that have native plants.
    Last edited by Oldbee; 10-07-2008 at 10:21 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default

    The biggest early season pollen source here is elm trees blooming in early Feb. I've watched the bees carrying hoardes of elm pollen into the hive on 50 degree days.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default

    We have a pussy willow that almost litterally drips with pollen in late March around here. I heard a story about a lady that thought she had a swarm in her yard and when one of our local beekeepers showed up he determined that it was not a swarm, per se, just a "feeding frenzy" on the abundance of pollen on her pussy willow. I think the timing is pretty good as far as being early but late enough that the day time temps will allow the bees out of the hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Early pollen & nectar

    Pussywillows

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,558

    Default

    Mediterranean heather. I can find my bees working it way before the maples pop.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mont Vernon NH ,USA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Thanks All, Time for me to start hitting some garden centers( great prices this time of year)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Graham, WA
    Posts
    48

    Default

    I love heathers as they get me through the winter with their beautiful colors. This nursery has amassed an astounding collection of heathers from around the world. I'm sure they can get the perfect ones for your situation.
    www.heathsandheathers.com
    Being a gardener, this is one of my favorite threads.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    eastern Hanover, Virginia
    Posts
    361

    Default Siberian Squills

    i'm planting these in my lawn this fall. http://www.tulipworld.com/itemdesc.a...s_Fall&ic=4818 this place is way cheaper than anybody else. i just ordered 400 bulbs with shipping for under $100
    -M@

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