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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Johnson County, NE USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Hedge for an apiary

    Where we are planning on setting up our hives is exposed to the north wind. We want to put in a windbreak around the apiary, but we need some suggestions.

    We live in Nebraska, on the border of zones four and five.

    First goal: good windbreak
    Second goal: something the bees would like to work
    Third goal: if possible, we'd like something fruiting

    Any ideas? I was looking at chokecherry, but the apiary is at the corner of a pasture. There will be fencing to keep animals out of the area, but I don't want dropped leaves to cause a problem for any sheep or possible cow in the future.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    968

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    You could consider a Washington Hawthorn. They make a nice hedge, will grow in your area and grow fairly fast. The Hawthorns have a two inch thorn, so it may or may not be what you need.

    Also think about Hazelnuts. They provide an early source of pollen, bear at a fairly young age and are quite tough little bushes. Hazlenuts are cold hardy to zone three.

    HTH,

    Shane
    Last edited by Barry; 03-24-2011 at 09:59 PM. Reason: excess quoting - read posting rules!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Johnson County, NE USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Hmm. I have three hazelnuts on order for our orchard. I hadn't thought about using them for a windbreak. Maybe I need to increase my order.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,384

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Tartarian Honeysuckle. Fast growing, forms a thick hedge, and bees work it well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    pomfret, ct,USA
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Tartarian Honeysuckle. Fast growing, forms a thick hedge, and bees work it well.
    I'd do some research and choose non invasive, preferably native species. I think the above Honeysuckle may be invasive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Tartarian Honeysuckle is an invasive weed, I'd recommend not planting that. Check out this site for some info on trees in your state (both native and introduced) http://www.nrdtrees.org/ It might help you in your search.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) Zones: 3 to 7
    A beautiful 10' tall, shade tolerant ornamental with showy white spring blossoms. The red fruit is attractive to birds and can be used to make preserves, syrup or wine. The fruit is so abundant and brightly colored that it looks almost like the lights on a Christmas tree. The fall foliage turns a brilliant red. Self-fertile. Full sun or partial shade. A great hedge plant. Spacing 8', 4-5' for a hedge.

    When you say chokecherry, which one are you thinking of? Prunus virginiana?

    Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) Zones 3-9
    Beautiful, very productive and easy to grow, it is widely used in delicious juices, soft drinks, jams and wine. The handsome, disease resistant bushes have dark green, oval foliage and grow about 5'-6' tall with an equal spread. White spring flowers develop into clusters of glossy, round, violet-black berries with a strong, tart flavor that comes from high flavonoid/anti-oxidant content. Fruit is naturally high in vital vitamins and minerals, and in fall, the foliage changes to striking red. Although Aronia is native to the eastern U.S, the best varieties were bred in Europe. Plants are self-fertile and can be spaced 4-6' apart, or 3' for a hedge.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Johnson County, NE USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Thanks, everyone!

    I hadn't gotten to looking at specific cultivars, but someone said the dropped leaves of chokecherry are toxic to livestock. I haven't looked into it beyond that. Not sure if it is true or if they are thinking about cherries.

    Now I'm toying with the idea of hazelnuts with some variety of red currant tucked in their shade.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    753

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    We have wild hazelnuts everywhere around here and they don't block much wind..
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Several suggestions have been for deciduous plants that lose their leaves in winter and do not block much wind in that season.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg, va
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Lugustrum

    We have some variety of lugustrum (I think japonica) in our neighborhood. Prior owners planted between our house and the next growing to a thick hedge within 4-5 years (now 10-15 feet high). Leaves persist (though get a little ratty) thoughout the winter for both privacy and windbreak. There is an intense bloom early june with profuse flowers covered with bees.

    good luck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Texas Privet - excellent suggestion, can be trimmed to as low as four feet or allowed to grow to thirty, fairly deerproof except in the worst of areas. BUT - some people have suggested the honey is strong. We have a lot of it in my area and I have not noticed that. I think the honey granulates quickly and course.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,384

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Yes, Tartarian Honeysuckle is considered an invasive species. Once it's invaded, what do you do? In the northern Champlain valley of Vermont and New York, it's everywhere. Would not planting it as a hedge around the apiary really have any impact on the surrounding environment?

    We used to have a dearth of nectar between the end of dandelion/fruit bloom and the main nectar flow. Nothing out there but a bit of Yellow Rocket (mustard). Bees could starve in early June. Then honeysuckle moved in. Now we have a nectar flow filling that dearth. Is that a bad thing?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh Pa USA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Do bees use forsythia? Seems like it would make a great windbreak and easily grown.

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

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Wouldn't you want a windbreak during winter even more than for any other season? I'd think you might want to consider the windbreak qualities of evergreen shrubs or trees.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Paoli, IN
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Boxwood hedge?
    My bees are all over the blooms in late february.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    I'd also vote for Boxwood, particularly the small leaf variety.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,660

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    I don't know if it'll do well in your area or not, but I'm trying out some Escallonia which I just planted a month ago so I do not have a personal report of it as yet.

    Escallonia...
    So long as it has good drainage, escallonia tolerates all types of soil, from sand to clay. It doesn’t even care whether it is acid or alkaline. Once established, escallonia needs little supplemental water. It is not prone to diseases and pests don’t bother it—perhaps while the birds are frolicking inside the shrub, they snack on any insects before the insects can snack on the shrub. You’ll attract bees and butterflies and hummingbirds with your escallonia—all three are attracted to it and each is an important pollinator.

    http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/homehort/plant/escallonia.htm
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    Quote Originally Posted by McSpadden View Post
    Boxwood hedge?
    My bees are all over the blooms in late february.
    How fast does boxwood grow where you are? Here you would be dead and buried before it got tall enough to be a windbreak.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Paoli, IN
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Hedge for an apiary

    I couldn't say. The boxwood I'm familiar with is next to my in-laws house. It's maybe twenty years old. 5-6 feet tall and it gets a serious trimming every few years.

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