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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Hello,

    I am looking at planting a few acres. I want to plant a mix that will work for livestock to graze and what will work good for bees. As i understand it you should limit the field to 30% clover (and other legumes?) to avoid problems with cattle.

    Any suggestions for a mix of plants for bees and grazing?

    The stock will be a horse or two and a milk cow, along with a couple of sheep and a some poultry.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    PS if this has been thoroughly discussed i would appreciate a link. I didn't find it on the search it it has.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Tacoma, Wa
    Posts
    67

    Exclamation Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    I would think clover would work for that clover makes goood feed and goood honey
    Jon Taylor

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Benton, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    If you were to use portable or permant electric fencing to limit graze you could have a higher concentration of clover and get the most of your grazing for your livestock. We have planted white clover, and rye. Or we have also used oats, wheat or rye with the clover. Some people say that the red clover is not pollinated as well by the bees. I dont know about that, but have always planted white Ladino clover. I can tell you that the cattle love it. If you limit graze or let them graze a few hours then run them out of that field, you shouldnt have to worry to much about bloat, and you will get better grazing efficiency because they wont lay down in it and select only what they normally want to eat. They will eat just about all of the forage that is there, until you take them out or move them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Consider yellow sweet clover.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    I echo what arcowandbeegirl wrote. I have permanant fescue/white clover mix. I rotate cows to different paddocks every few weeks. After the cows are taken off an area, the clover grows fast and blooms before the fescue overtakes it. A few weeks after I move the cows, bees are all over the clover bloom. Maybe you could rotate your livestock on different areas somehow to make that work for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Benton, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    You might also look at a thread called hay ground in this same section. A person recommended vetch also. There is also a person on there that had trouble getting his bees to polinate Ladino clover. I have always grown it, but this will be the first year that I have had a bee hive to polinate it. I have seen bees on it before in the field, but havent payed much attention to it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Plant City, Florida
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Contact the state AG or the local feed store and see what they have on the shelf, those mixes you are talking about are common
    Bob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Gypsum, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Red clover would be all right as long as you have Carniolans. They work it just fine because they have longer tongues.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Thank you all for the replies. I am planning to use about 25% clover, most likely a mix of sweet yellow and dutch white. I am thinking of of orchard or rye for 50%.

    What i am particularly looking for is another nectar producing plant for the remaining 25%, that will not cause problems in live stock. So far i have come up blank.

    Thank you,
    Dan
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    My experience with vetch is that both cows & bees love it (and it's a nitrogen fixing legume). However, if it's eaten off before it blooms, it won't recover to bloom that year and bees miss out on nectar. It works well in a hayfield mixed with grass to mow after the bloom is over, but, of course after bloom is over, most nutrition is gone.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Yellow and white sweet clover, huban clover, dutch clover, chicory, birdsfoot trefoil, dandelions...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Im researching the exact same scenario. So far Im leaning towards yellow blossom sweet clover and alsike for sure. I just google everybodies suggestions to form my own opinion. I did just see that Birdsfoot Trefoil provides an anti bloating agent caused from the clovers. Thinking about planting my yard in white blossom or dutch.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Thank you Mr. Bush.

    I think that the Birdsfoot Trefoil is a winner. I will combine it with a clover mix (sweet yellow and dutch white) and orchard grass.

    I appreciate all the responses.

    Dan
    Last edited by RiodeLobo; 02-11-2011 at 02:01 PM.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stone City, Iowa
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Please be aware that you will absolutely need to rotate your pastures. If you don't the animals are going to overgraze some areas and you will end up with large areas that are almost pure white clover. The bees would love it but the animals (Especially the horses) might not. Of what you listed it has the best response to heavy grazing pressures and will take over.

    JC

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Planting for Livestock and Bees

    Observation:

    Most of the guys who use these things (alfalfa, clover, etc.) for grazing routinely hay them before the stuff blooms. I'm told it has more nutrition in it than after it goes to bloom/seed.

    For the bees, you want the blooms. So keep this in mind.

    Also, the older the strain, the better. The latest and greatest from the local A&M is a GMO (some people have strong opinions there ) and most likely to be self-pollinating.

    Good luck!
    Summer

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