Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default crimson clover for bees' use?

    I'm thinking of using c.c as a cover crop over the winter for my tiny veg garden. Guessing that the bees'll like it, but .... how should I address it reseeding to keep it from becoming a weed? An old neighbor of mine used the c.c a while back and said he could never get rid of it in his yard; the zillions of seeds kept sprouting.
    and
    Is it maybe just a matter of timing -- zapping the seed-heads once they're mostly spent and the bees've made full use of them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    2,173

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    I planted 3 acres of CC this past fall and it looked like a sea of Crimson in the field this spring. It was largely ignored by the honeybees although bumblebees were all over it.

    Regarding the reseeding, if you use a clover as a cover crop why would you not want it to reseed for the next year?

    Regardless, after my experience I would suggest planting something else instead.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    All clovers and alfalfa have a high percentage of hard, dormant, seed. Even if you are able to remove all of the flowers before they mature seed, you will have plants coming up for years. We planted crimson clover and the bees could not have cared less for it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    778

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    After declaring that my honey bees did not care for my bro-in-laws CC last year, this year somebodies honeys were all over it.
    I am told that clover is persistent, wife wont let me plant in garden, but Bro-in-law does every year. he plows & seems to have no problems.
    It may be that the variety has too "big/deep" flower that the honeys can not work, but bumbles can.
    I have been advised to cut the first bloom ( of other clovers) , the second blooms will be smaller & bees can work fine.
    In our area, other nectar sources start earlier in the spring, & the Crimson & red clover is all ready done in.
    If you can tolerate the taste of the honey, "Mancan" Buckwheat can be rotated until frost. it will come up next year, but is pretty easily controlled.
    Good Luck with your bees. CE
    Last edited by tech.35058; 07-01-2016 at 08:26 PM. Reason: added aditional details
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,151

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    You said tiny garden area. Why not blow torch flame the area while the seedlings are
    sprouting before planting?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Talladega County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    As I understand it the honey bee tongues is too short to reach the nectar in crimson clover. I planted some buckwheat to get them thru the hard times coming up. I have had to water it to get it thru the dry periods we have been having.
    Best of luck
    mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    You said tiny garden area. Why not blow torch flame the area while the seedlings are
    sprouting before planting?
    Hi --by "tiny", I meant ~1600 sq ft. That's tiny to me, and I'm guessing a blowtorch wouldn't be practical.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    112

    Thumbs Up Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Obliged, guys; sounds like c. clover may not be the way to go for my honeys. I noticed this year, though, that when I let my garden greens from last autumn bolt (spinach, mustard, rape, kale, turnip, broccoli, etc) by end-o-winter, the bees had a field day on the blooms. I may just stick with that. A win-win: the girls get lots of pollen/nectar, and I get all the greens and turnips I want. Best wishes with your bee work, too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrflegel View Post
    As I understand it the honey bee tongues is too short to reach the nectar in crimson clover. I planted some buckwheat to get them thru the hard times coming up. I have had to water it to get it thru the dry periods we have been having.
    Best of luck
    mike
    Crimson clover is often confused with Red clover. I think it is because Crimson clover is a much deeper red than Red clover, which is more of a rose pink.
    I have seen photos on seed web sites of Crimson clover being described as Red clover, adding to the confusion. Here is some good info.
    https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_trin3.pdf

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014. Going for chemical free.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    2,173

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Alex, I too think it gets confused but I've read multiple sources say that Crimson is used by honeybees. Mine WAS used, but not near enough to justify planting it. Crimson clover is cheap and nothing could be easier to plant in an established pasture or hay field, but I never saw more than a handful of honeybees in 3 acres of pristine blooming CC.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Brad- another surprise for me was reading about how much nectar Privet provides. The bees I have don't touch it, possible because this year the Blackberries were so intense while the Privet was blooming.
    I bought 5 lbs of Crimson to plant to see if it works in this area. At least I'll have a good cover crop on a site of a future deer plot.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014. Going for chemical free.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,438

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    The plants bees choose to forage on is fascinating. Many times I've planted things that I thought the bees would love, only to have them forage on something else they liked better! I've concluded that plantings should be for all pollinators and if I happen to plant something that my bees like and actively use, so much the better! Another thing I'm bad at is knowing when a plant (that I'm not familiar with) is giving nectar. I've noticed bees working tired old blooms in preference to new blooms. I wonder when plants start giving nectar, and if they are like buckwheat, giving nectar at certain times of day. We've had a bunch of blooms after a rain, for example, but the bees wait. We had our first Evening Primrose this morning; other things like the wild raspberries have been in bloom for several weeks but the bees only paid attention to them the first few days!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    2,173

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    Brad- another surprise for me was reading about how much nectar Privet provides.
    Alex
    I'd like to see what you read. What did it say about privet?
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    I have about 2 acres of crimson clover the Dixie variety, and have also broadcast some oilseed rape with it. The rape flowers first then the clover and my bees are all over both although not tis year as we had about 26 consecutive days of rain over the clover bloom period. Then again geographical location could make a difference as something else that the bees prefer could be blooming at the same time.
    Johno

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Brad,
    I have read many comments here on BeeSource such as " waiting for Privet to bloom" and similar comments from mostly Northern beeks if my memory serves me correctly.
    We had good Spring weather this year, so I know their lack of interest wasn't weather related.
    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014. Going for chemical free.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,715

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Brad, i've read that honey from oilseed Rape has a unpleasant taste? have you tried it? This thread has got my dobber down i bought 100 lbs. of cc to sow ( this fall) where i had some dozing done in a wooded area that i have 12 hives, i've read that bees work it hard? i guess the deer and turkey will like it.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    2,173

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Alex, I've read them too. We have literally an unlimited amount of privet. It grows everywhere here where it isn't killed out. Our largest field is 35 acres and the entire perimeter of the field at the woods edge is privet. When it blooms you can smell it inside our house. I know the bees get pollen from it and I'm sure they get some nectar but I've never seen it worked like I would have imagined that it was. Maybe it's because there is so much of it the bees are scattered.

    brooks, I have no experience with Rape.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,116

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    Brad,
    I have read many comments here on BeeSource such as " waiting for Privet to bloom" and similar comments from mostly Northern beeks if my memory serves me correctly.
    We had good Spring weather this year, so I know their lack of interest wasn't weather related.
    Alex
    blackberry bloom is well over with by the time "our" privet blooms. blackberrys already have berries on them while privet is blooming as we speak.
    bees are on collecting nectar and white pollen.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    Here, the Privet blooms at about the same time as the Blackberries are beginning to wind down. The BB bloom was enormous this year, so that may be the reason for the lack of interest in Privet. It may be different next year.

    They do work the Persimmon, both male and female, no matter what is blooming.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014. Going for chemical free.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    570

    Default Re: crimson clover for bees' use?

    I planted 4 acres of a clover mix last fall. I include a 18" tall white early clover, a tall yellow clover, an even taller white clover, and a reddish or crimson clover. I was disappointed in all of them. I saw very few bees working any of them. Sure there were some, but not like I hoped. They bloomed in the order that I listed them, co there was and still are flowers there. Hopefully next year will be different.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads