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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    3

    Default Bees favorite plant

    Is there one plant that honeybees just go crazy over?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Bartlett, Illinois
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    I have found that they love milkweed and tend to work that plat pretty exclusively when it's in bloom.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Blue Earth, MN - Faribault, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Hello, I see them loving anise hysop. And Rose bushes...I have a native prairie on my septic system and there too they are very busy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Aurora, Colorado
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    I would have to vote broccoli, I had some blooming last year all the way to the middle of November, resisting temperatures to 20 degrees. The bees were all over it. I know most folks harvest the heads before they go to seed, but I'm now planting it for the bees. When it's blooming, it can have a 1000 blooms a plant and the plant is very waxy being in the cruciferous family, I noticed the same phenomenon when some collards I had went to seed several years ago. I think the bees like it both for nectar and the wax to build comb. I currently have it growing under lights, hoping to have some blooming in the spring so I can attract a swarm to my yard with a waiting empty top bar hive. I know the bees already know where I live.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Borage,also know as star flower.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,110

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Anise blue hyssop, borage, both have long bloom times. The borage is one of the first to bloom here, I have one blooming right now, & seedlings popping up.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sparks, MD, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Interesting. I will have to allow some of my broccoli plants to go to seed this year instead of pulling up after the spring.

    Jen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lawrenceville, Ga.
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikescomic View Post
    I would have to vote broccoli, I had some blooming last year all the way to the middle of November, resisting temperatures to 20 degrees. The bees were all over it. I know most folks harvest the heads before they go to seed, but I'm now planting it for the bees. When it's blooming, it can have a 1000 blooms a plant and the plant is very waxy being in the cruciferous family, I noticed the same phenomenon when some collards I had went to seed several years ago. I think the bees like it both for nectar and the wax to build comb. I currently have it growing under lights, hoping to have some blooming in the spring so I can attract a swarm to my yard with a waiting empty top bar hive. I know the bees already know where I live.

    Mike
    What does the honey from broccoli taste like?

    Honeyseeker

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Garlic chives. It may not be their favorite but it does get throngs of them. I plant it everywhere because it blooms in our hot, humid summers when hardly anything else is. And it may not make great honey...but supers can be pulled beforehand.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oxford, Maine
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    I don't see Buckwheat mentioned much here.
    Planted some last year for cover crop on old garden areas and the bees were thick in
    it for weeks. The buzz coming from the buckwheat was amazing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Centerville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikescomic View Post
    I would have to vote broccoli, I had some blooming last year all the way to the middle of November, resisting temperatures to 20 degrees. The bees were all over it. I know most folks harvest the heads before they go to seed, but I'm now planting it for the bees. When it's blooming, it can have a 1000 blooms a plant and the plant is very waxy being in the cruciferous family, I noticed the same phenomenon when some collards I had went to seed several years ago. I think the bees like it both for nectar and the wax to build comb. I currently have it growing under lights, hoping to have some blooming in the spring so I can attract a swarm to my yard with a waiting empty top bar hive. I know the bees already know where I live.

    Mike
    Oh yeah, I noticed that with my broccoli this year! I didn't get very many good heads so I just let the whole huge plant bloom and it was covered in very happy bees. It makes kind of a pretty bushy plant too, doesn't it? I'll have to plant it again this year, just for the bees.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Shelby County Al
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Is Milkweed an invasive type of plant?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Gilbertville, MA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    My son-in-law in central Ma. has a lot of success with a 300' double row of sunflowers.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    In my garden, the bees love the sedum, the anise hyssop, the Russian sage, catmint, and the borage.

    In the wild around here, I've never seen more bees than gather on the (invasive species) Japanese knotweed along the sides of the road. they go nuts over it! In the early winter I cut the dried stems for use as nesting tubes for the wild native solitary and mason bees. The stems are much like fragile bamboo and come in various diameters. I have a whole bunch cut that I will load into a wood box come Spring and hang it out for the wild bees to nest in .
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Vincent, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Talk to me about borage -- is it invasive? I have recently cleared about 1/2 acre from a creekbank and want to put something there. I'm going to seed it in clover, but sounds like borage may be a good bet as well.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    I loved the borage. Planted about a dozen in my garden and the were in flower from July until it finally froze solid in mid November. I found they really tend to fall over and get beaten up in the wind, and I have read that farmers plant them fairly densely so that they support each other in the field. Borage seed is a cash crop in some areas.

    From what I understand, it produces a light, mild honey - not especially distinct. The list on the melissa garden's website calls borage one of the top 5 flower types for bee health.

    I carefully collected the seed from my few plants and turned 20 organic seeds into about 1200. I can't wait to find a patch to plant them all. My few plants only attracted a few of my bees - especially late in the year. You really need a good density of a flower type to get their attention.

    Adam

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Vincent, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Thanks, Adam. I am anxious to try borage on my property. Everything I read about it encourages me to plant it for my bees. I will check some seed sites later today and get some on order.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Springfield, MO. USA
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    I've been planting for bees for the last two years. My wife makes fun of me because I'll get rid of a plant just because there aren'y any bees on it...ever. Of the plants I've planted, their most favorite is a Caryopteris (spelling?). It is a fall blooming shrub I planted last spring. They were maybe 30" dia. in the fall and each had a good fifty honeybees on it for most of the day. The runner up would be the white Salvia. For some reason they perfered the white over the violet color.

    Later, John

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sparks, MD, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Interesting. My friend who is a former beekeeper and a landscape designer mentioned Mountain mint. She said her bees loved it. Guess I will have to try to plan seasonally for the bees now. It is still really cold/rainy here in MD but it isn't always that way. I will need to figure out what will work for March - May that will flower and survive during what can sometimes be a protracted winter. I know the sun is coming soon - I can feel it.
    Jen
    Sparks, MD

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Susquehanna county, PA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    I planted native tobacco last year, and the bees were all over that. As soon as one would leave another would take its place it was pretty impressive.

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