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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Grasonville, Maryland
    Posts
    52

    Default Buckwheat Question

    I have seen some conflicting articles on which types of buckwheat are good for nectarproduction. Last year I planted some mancan buckwheat last year did not see much in result. To be fair it may be a tougher area to grow and growth was lacking water. But that being said does anyone know if mancan is any good. I have easy access to this variety at my local seed store. If not what vanity would you suggest and who sells it? I am looking for a late summer early fall flow as there is almost nothing after the dutch clover dries up in early july in my area. My bees are on semi sandy and acidic soil.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Moulton, Alabama USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    Ron5252,

    I'm only a 2 month old beekeeper but a beekeeper nearby told me the mancan buckwheat was the best variety for bees. He warned that some years the bees use it better than others though. He advised getting a soil sample and try to neutralize the soil or at least cut down on the acidity of it before raising buckwheat.

    He also has had good luck with Jake Soybeans, which has a purple bloom. He tries to plant the buckwheat in two weeks gaps so that there is a two week difference in the blooming. he said to time the soybeans about 3 weeks after the first planting of the buckwheat.

    I have one more week before planting my second crop of buckwheat and two for the soybeans. He recommended as soon as the first crop of buckwheat matures to mow it down and disc / till it into the soil. He said that would reseed and replant that crop and some years he could get 3 or 4 blooming seasons before frost.

    This beekeeper has over 60 hives and the family owned apiary is over a hundred years old so i trust his advice. But of course our mileage may vary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    Here's a thread on it:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?247659

    Research I found (copied from above thread) says...

    The large seeded varieties 'Mancan' and 'Manor' are the ones NOT to plant. Unfortunately, they are the ones available to us in the United States. You will also see seed for sale that has no cultivar name listed. It's best to avoid it also. It is usually seed collected from varieties 'Mancan' and 'Manor'.

    "In the present experiments, the nectar productivity of
    five buckwheat cultivars during the period of full blossom
    was 8-10 mg of sugar/l 00 flowers on the average
    over 10 years (1986-1996). The most nectar was secreted
    by the cultivar 'Greenflower-90' (11.3 mg) and 'Viktoria'
    (10.7 mg) which were sown in early April. 'Kosmeya'
    which is the aftr-mowing crop secreted 9.2 mg, and
    cultivar 'Galleya' secreted 6.8-10.0 mg in the optimum
    period . The most stable nectar productivity throughout
    the blooming seasons was observed in 'Galleya'."

    Source:
    "Bee visitation, nectar productivity and pollen efficiency of common
    buckwheat"
    Elena S. ALEKSEYEVA and Aleksandr L. BUREYKO
    Podilska State Agrarian and Engineering Academy, Scientific Research Institute of Groat Crops, Shevchenko St. 13, KamenetsPodolsky,
    32316, Ukraine

    Received March 1, 2000; accepted in revised form August 21,2000.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    This from a seed company labeled as pollinator friendly.:

    Tokyo Buckwheat (120 days)

    1 gram of seed or about 30 seeds.

    Tokyo is an older variety of buckwheat. Tokyo has med-large seeds and that mature in mid season. Commonly used in Japan for many years, Tokyo is still very popular in Soba flour.

    I've been very impressed with the size of the grain and the quantity produced. Finding any variety other than "common" buckwheat is unheard of today. We had only a small sample to plant out this year (2010), but made a nice harvest. We will be replanting now for a fall harvest. If all goes well we will offer larger quantities for sale Spring 2011.

    Tokyo buckwheat is one of the best sources of high-quality, easily digestible proteins in the plant kingdom. Its 74% protein absorption rate makes Tokyo an excellent meat substitute. Buckwheat is also very high in carbohydrates (80%) and in antioxidants as well as in numerous minerals and vitamins such as zinc, copper, and niacin.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Stewart, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    I've done some research on buckwheat for my own girls. I've planted the mancan variety because that is one variety you can get here and it does pretty well for the amount of acidity in the soil here. My girls do get some product from it. Keep these things in mind about it: (1) it doesn't even like the suggestion of frost although it does much, much better in cooler spring weather than hot summer weahter. (2) like anything else it must get enough water (3) when I plant if there is enough moisture, it is blooming in 3-4 weeks after I plant (4) It might also be a good fall crop to supplement just in case the goldnrod fails as it has here in recent years (5) buckwheat only produces nectar in the morning hours, so if you do plant and it blooms, and there isn't much other forage available the girls might be a little cranky in the afternoons. (6) buckwheat contrary to the name isn't a "wheat" at all. It is a legume and does help improve the soil. It doesn't do well planted with clover.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Springfield, MO. USA
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    I discussed buckwheat with a local beek who offers it as a specialty honey. He plants several acres of it for the bees to work. It's offered at our local MFA as "common buckwheat". Sew around 50-60lbs. per acre. It blooms in 3 weeks and is suppose to continue for 2 weeks and then goes to seed. After it goes to seed, mow it and turn it under for another crop. He says in this area he has been able to get as many as four crops from one planting.

    I was interested in Buchwheat as a cover crop, and doubling as a bee forage. I planted in three different areas in my yard and each area has grown differently. The best plot I have has early morning sun, with afternoon shade. The worst plot I have has sun all day. The bees do work it very heavy in the morning until around 11:30am. Then they dwindle off of it but not completely until about 2:00pm. After that they are gone. I have read many articles about how it commonly wilts in the afternoon and this is not anything to worry about. I have witnessed this as fact as far as this variety.

    Later, John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Barnum, MN
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    I just spent about 10 hours researching buckwheat for bees. What I found was old varieties that have a gray or silver hull. I just ordered Japanese buckwheat that is a old variety and supposed to be good for bees. I planted a common variety last year that the bees were on in the morning till around noon but when I extracted I did not see much difference in the color or flavor of my honey. So that's why I wanted to find a good variety that has nectar unlike most buckwheat that does not have good nectar. I wanted it for the fall also. It only takes a month and buckwheat is blooming. I ordered from FEDCO that is a coop seed catalog and have had wonderful plants/seeds for a terriffic price. If this buckwheat works well I will let everyone know this fall after the honey harvest.
    Carol

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    Carol - I had a similar experience with common two years ago. Doing the Japanese variety now and more in late August. Hope it turns out well for you.

    CC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Lindon, CO
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    I am searching for Tokyo Buckwheat. Does anyone know of a source that is available? Thanks in advance for any information!! doubleofarms@plainstel.com
    Last edited by Doubleofarms; 01-20-2014 at 08:11 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shelbyville, KY, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Doubleofarms View Post
    I am searching for Tokyo Buckwheat. Does anyone know of a source that is available? Thanks in advance for any information!! doubleofarms@plainstel.com
    You might try Welter's Seed to see if they can get it for you - I know they carry buckwheat just not sure on variety. http://welterseed.com/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Barnum, MN
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    I bet Tokyo is the same as the Japanese buckwheat @ FEDCO. Here is how they describe it:
    Japanese Buckwheat OG Fagopyrum esculentum Large-seeded type.
    Excellent smother crop. Short maturity allows 2–3 crops per season.
    Responds well to fertility, holding it for subsequent crops. Makes calcium
    and phosphorus available for next crop and loosens clay soils. Easy to turn
    into the soil; cut and incorporate when plant is newly in flower. Will grow
    on almost any soil but prefers light well-drained soils; tolerates more soil
    acidity than any other grain crop. Bees like its abundant nectar and
    beekeepers prize buckwheat honey, growing fields of white-flowered
    buckwheat to produce a single-variety honey. Buckwheat kernels are a good
    addition to poultry scratch feed. Killed by frost, won’t germinate until soil is
    warm in spring. Seed at 35-134#/acre, 2-3#/1000 sq ft. Certified organic.
    8111: 5#/$12.00 8112: 25#/$50.00 8113: 50#/$85.00 Page 121
    This info was from:http://www.fedcoseeds.com When I plant buckwheat I let it keep growing as it just keeps blooming till frost. Then the oldest blooms go to seed and it starts up next year after I mow it and do a light till.
    Carol

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Mifflin PA USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    I used Mancan last year, sowing it in my regular garden as I harvested and cleared out the normal crops. I had 4 different plantings going and the bees worked it in the morning hours only, but it was worked by others insects later in the day, the bees were absent. I believe it did provide a great source of nectar late in the season, it was blooming here till the middle of October when the first frost killed it.
    It was just over three weeks from sowing to bloom.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    977

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron5252 View Post
    I have seen some conflicting articles on which types of buckwheat are good for nectarproduction. Last year I planted some mancan buckwheat last year did not see much in result.
    You probably already know this, but buckwheat stops producing nectar around noon. Chicory also stops producing nectar around noon.

    We had a chicory patch near by bees. For several years I thought bees did not work chicory in our area. One Saturday morning I walked out and found the bees covering our chicory patch.

    Shane

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,945

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    I've got 50lbs of Buckwheat on order from Fedco - the Japanese variety. I "just" need to go pick it up and figure out how I want to prepare the soil. Hiring someone with a cultivator/harrow to prep the soil seems more cost effective than buying my own.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oxford, Maine
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Buckwheat Question

    A local guy with a tractor and tiller for hire for $35-40 hr would be a reasonably cost effective solution to buying your own equipment .
    I've been buying local feed store buckwheat seed to plant . Not even sure what variety but the bees are working it hard when flowering.
    I have a tractor, plow and disc harrow to prep the soil and broadcast the seed with a hand crank seeder. Keeping the surface soil moist will make it sprout within a week or two. Keeping the wild turkeys out of it is another thing if you have them around.

    Good luck with your buckwheat and enjoy the "buzz" from it when it is flowering!

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