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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Washington Crossing, PA
    Posts
    57

    Default Bees don't like milkweed?

    I was doing research on nectar sources and found that bees love milkweed. In my yard (10 acres) there is a brush section with a ton of milkweed. I was looking and looking for bees working the flowers but all I saw were bumblebees but I did see multiple bees on flowers that weren't the milkweed. So whats up with that?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manitowoc WI USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    I have a small plot of chives that are blooming profusely and I had the same thoughts. But a few days ago I pulled up a chair and just watched it. It was hard to believe all the different bees and wasps that were visiting, and then, some honey bees came into focus.

    Everytime I walked past, I might see a bumblebee, but when I stopped and focused, then I would see the rest of them!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    Their is something blooming that the bees like better than milkweed !

    Remember bees do their own research, they don't even read the same books we do ??

    PCM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,768

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    I was just out in the yard looking at my patch of milkweed and it is just starting to bloom pretty good and no bees of any kind working it yet, I have 12 hives within 30 feet of the milkweed. They are working something more abundant, most likely the clovers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,165

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    not sure of the details but many beekeepers say milkweed is bad because the plant traps the bee and it dies. I'm sure someone can better explain the details.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,000

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    Think it depends on what type of milkweed. The really like the one with small purple flowers. I had one with yellow flowers they didn't touch, & one with large purple flowers they didn't work.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Springfield, MO. USA
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    The pollen or nectar on some milkweeds can be so sticky the bees can't get off it. I saw a few bees on mine last year that were working it successfuly, as well as a few dead ones that were stuck.

    Later, John
    Last edited by John V; 06-21-2011 at 09:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Bartlett, Illinois
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    There are a few different types of milkweed, just like clover. I have found that my bees really like common milkweed. Ryan, what type of milkweed do you bees seem to be ignoring. I can say if it's common milkweed there must be another very good nectar source near by.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Washington Crossing, PA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    Yeah, it looks like its common milkweed, there also is a lot of clover in the field so they must be working that right now. Thanks for the help, anyone know if anything else is blooming or will be blooming throughout the summer around my area?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    East Hampton, CT, USA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    We have a large patch of milkweed and the bees (and butterflies) really dig on it when it blooms. We're also registered as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation, bit haven't seen any Monarchs as yet.
    Last edited by rjphil; 06-22-2011 at 08:25 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,429

    Default Re: Bees don't like milkweed?

    My gut feeling is that they are working everything but at different times.
    Now that I got two hives I see how cyclic they are where one hive will be busy, busy and the other hive not so much then it switches all a sudden. When I look up into the blue sky I see the bees fly in a cork screw pattern and then take off in any direction. You would think that if a field was producing nectar they would all go in one direction and they don't. They go in all directions with no set pattern. And as you would expect they come in from all directions.

    This phenomena may be location specific. I would have no idea what would happen if the hives were move elsewhere.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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