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Thread: Crepe Myrtles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Seguin, Texas
    Posts
    28

    Default Crepe Myrtles

    Can anyone tell me if crepe myrtles attract bees? I have pink, red, and white varieties but I only see bees on the white. Are they getting pollen or nectar? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    348

    Default Re: Crepe Myrtles

    I read somewhere that they are more attracted to the white. I noticed in downtown Paducah a few weeks ago where there were three different colors, white, pink and purple that there were significantly more honeybees on the white than any of the others...as a matter of fact didn't see a one on any of the others. Of course it depends on other sources of nectar. I'd be curious to see if this is an absolute or just a coincidence.

    Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    487

    Default Re: Crepe Myrtles

    This question comes up regularly. The consensus seems to be the white are more interesting than other colors, but that's not absolute. It's probably pollen, not nectar. It depends on what else is available.

    The biggest factor seems to be the plant itself. ALL newer, hybridized self-pollinating plants are less interesting to the bees than the older, original, hardier, open pollinated types. From Alfalfa to Zelkova.

    The crepe myrtles in my area suddenly perked up and rebloomed after 5" of rain. (the first rain since March, and the SECOND rain since Hurricane Ike a year ago! ) Not much else was going, and the girls were all over my (older) coral pink crepe myrtle. Now that sunflowers and black eyed susans are popping up they are on those. My ornamental pear has even sent out a flush of blossoms. What a year.

    Summer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    franklinton,la.
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Crepe Myrtles

    Just to add to the previous posts ,I went to a plant nursery this past summer to buy a few crepe myrtles. I notced the bees only working the white. While the oter colors are beautiful the white seem to be the most attracting to the bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Re: Crepe Myrtles

    It must have something to do with the soil type or climate in other states. Here in SW Mo. i have never seen bees on blackeyed susans rarely on wild sunflowers or goldenrod? They are now working the aster and my neighbors alfalfa field that he can't get into to cut after a 5 inch rain 4 days ago. My wife has the white crepe myrtle and the deep red crepe myrtle and my bees like the deep red better. It's hard to figure out what women want. Jack

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina
    Posts
    1,443

    Default Re: Crepe Myrtles

    I have 15 hives. I have mature pink crape myrtle trees. The bees derive significant pollen from the crape myrtle. I do not believe they derive nectar, as I have not seen split loads, just full pollen baskets.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    487

    Default Re: Crepe Myrtles

    My wife has the white crepe myrtle and the deep red crepe myrtle and my bees like the deep red better. It's hard to figure out what women want. Jack

    MY DH is named Jack, too. (Honey is that you?)

    And, NO, it's NOT hard to figure out what we want. But we will change our minds, and you can't just listen one time, and assume you know what we are thinking. I am required to stay a step ahead of you, and want something else, if you have figured out the secret code.


    Summer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Re: Crepe Myrtles

    Quote Originally Posted by summer1052 View Post
    My wife has the white crepe myrtle and the deep red crepe myrtle and my bees like the deep red better. It's hard to figure out what women want. Jack

    MY DH is named Jack, too. (Honey is that you?)

    And, NO, it's NOT hard to figure out what we want. But we will change our minds, and you can't just listen one time, and assume you know what we are thinking. I am required to stay a step ahead of you, and want something else, if you have figured out the secret code.

    :
    Summer
    Huh, i rest my case. Jack

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waxhaw, NC
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Crapemyrtles (laerstromia)

    Crapemyrtles (yeah, that is the official spelling) are somewhat like apples in that when they cross pollinate, they become a somewhat different plant. The Crapemyrtles flower thus will be different from tree to tree. Some will be great for pollen, some will kick out enough nectar to interest a hive, but most do neither. No matter the color, your bees look for what offers the best source of hive supplies. Crapemyrtle may of may not meet the needs of your hive, but probably not.
    If you have a crape that is a bee attractor, the best thing you could do for yourself, is to learn how to take cuttings, or grafts, or suckers and make more trees to serve your hives. If you can do this well, many of us would be happy to buy young trees from you. WJPowers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Re: Crepe Myrtles

    Were making a new flower bed where the old one was, it had a large red crepe myrtle in it. We didn't think we could save it because it was so big, i took the tractor with loader and dug it out and burnt it. Well that was last fall, this spring when we started to work on it and seen all these sprouts comming up we knew what they were (about 15 of them) i'm now transplanting them around the house and down next to the bee hives and along the branch. Jack

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