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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    paradise,Texas,USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    A interesting site is ..themelissagarden.com./TMG/_Vetaley03608.htm this site gives 5 top bee plants and approx. pollen and nectur honey production. Worth looking at!!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Horsham, PA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    From just north of Philly -- asters, asters, asters in the Fall. And goldenrod. Both plants were absolutely dripping with them in early October. I'm perusing catalogs for asters now (have plenty of goldenrod).

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stone City, Iowa
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    If anyone wants to contact me for next fall, I can send them aster seeds for just postage and cost of envelope. I have New England Asters in the common lavender color (lots) and smaller amounts of pink and a really nice deep purple. The common white asters of various species I also have lots of. Because these are naturally open pollinated plants you probably won't get ALL the same color. But they are all pretty, and in most of the north, the last gasp of nectar plants.

    JC

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,996

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Nobody has mentioned echium, and from wiki and the melissa garden's lists, I see that both of them describe echium as one of the best nectar flowers in existence. They are considered a weed in most of North America, but I have got some seed and plan to plant it.

    It's related to borage, and I find that here at least, Borage is in bloom until the day it dies - which this year wasn't until mid November.

    Any experience?

    Adam

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    No experience with echium, i know vipers bugloss is grown as an ornamental here though. Any idea which one you've got?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,996

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Vipers Bugloss is the only one hardy enough for this area.

    Adam

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Beckville Texas,USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Thanks to the Texas Highway Department we have Crimson Clover by the side of every highway. For added effect I just overseeded our entire lawn area (2 acres) with white clover.
    Should keep them busy.
    We have hundreds of bee friendly plants in the landscape. The Carpenter bees love them. My girls ignore them though they do attack the asters as when they bloom there's not much left.
    The bushes that line the fence line (Red Tip something) is the first to flower,about three weeks out. It produces millions of little white nectar filled flowers. At times the whole fence line is buzzing.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake Butler, Florida
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Crimson Sedum

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    +1 on sedum, very easy to propagate, got my first one from a tiny sprig broken off accidentally while helping in my parents yard, have more from the yard waste drop-off in fall, just stuck them in the ground and now I divide them in spring. Putting one at the base of each of my saplings.

  10. #30
    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.

  11. #31
    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

  12. #32
    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.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,996

    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

  14. #34
    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.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Borage does get big and scraggly as it gets older. The stems get large and hollow and easily bent or broken. I found that if I cut the plants back fairly aggressively when they get too big, they will send up lots of nice new young shoots and flowers for Fall that don't look so worn out.
    The flowers are such a pretty blue, and the grey fuzzy leaves sparkle with raindrops on them!
    My borage attracted only some bumblebees in early summer. Then in mid to late summer the honeybees finally decided they liked it too. I think a lot depends on what else is blooming and attracting the bees at any particular time.

    Here is some borage in the front of the photo of my veg. garden last June.
    And here is a closeup i took of my borage after a rain...so pretty!


    .
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,996

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    What you show in the first photo is about as much as I had this year. Not enough to draw a big crowd of bees, but the fact that they paid attention at all to such a small number of flowers suggests that they really like the stuff.

    Adam

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    What you show in the first photo is about as much as I had this year. Not enough to draw a big crowd of bees, but the fact that they paid attention at all to such a small number of flowers suggests that they really like the stuff.
    Adam
    true. Not exactly an acre of borage! lol!
    But another clump is growing there in the far left part of the garden picture too.
    the honeybees and bumblebees seemed to alternate their attention on it, also on the anise hyssop clumps, of which I had 3 large clumps.
    This year I have a whole new honeybee-favorites flower bed along the side of the house, where we had to tear everything previous out to repair the foundation.
    When I put the new flowerbed in, I put in only plants that bees love.
    Every clump helps! And don't forget the bumblebees, native little bees, flies, wasps, moths, hummingbirds, and butterflies!
    Last edited by Omie; 02-02-2011 at 06:06 PM.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Vincent, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Got the seed ordered and sited out the area for planting .... thanks for the pics -- beautiful garden you have!

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    Quote Originally Posted by markmaster View Post
    Got the seed ordered and sited out the area for planting .... thanks for the pics -- beautiful garden you have!
    Thanks! Here is a pic taken that same day from the other end of the veggie garden.

    You might want to also plant some blue flowering sage and/or anise hyssop along with the borage. It would be so pretty, the blue and the lavender together, and all 3 are fairly easy to grow and bees love them.
    Here are some bumblebees, honeybees, and a beautiful 'hummingbird clear-wing' moth on my anise hyssop last year, and this was as it was nearing the end of its flower peak:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hrrng_k9Jc0
    Please excuse the poor camera work.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,423

    Default Re: Bees favorite plant

    horse mint

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