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Thread: Sunflowers

  1. #1

    Default Sunflowers

    I'm curious of sunflower placement rate, and any experience specifically type/rainfall and any honey production, prices etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Sunflowers

    Sunflowers? I always see WAY more attention being paid to my sunflowers by the native bees than my honeybees...even see more wasps than honeybees on my sunflowers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,322

    Default Re: Sunflowers

    If you are talking about commercially grown oilseed sunflowers, yes they can produce quite a bit of nectar at least in the western US. They do have a lot of pest problems and get sprayed frequently, though we have only seen bee losses on a few occasions. the honey is high ELA to low white and it granulated very quickly, very important to separate it from your whiter honey.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    souris, manitoba, canada
    Posts
    758

    Default Re: Sunflowers

    A lot of confection, edible sunflowers grown here, I think they yield a little less. depending on the year.We pack a sunflower liguid pack
    but after it is heated and run thru a filter press it seems not to have the same delicate flavor and of course it is a little darker.Right out of the comb or drum ,sunflower honey has a very unique flavor, aroma, taste... I really like it .If there is some late canola mixed in it is even better

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Sunflowers

    I have trouble with crop spraying but if your grower knows your there they will usually refrain until evening to spray. Honey yields are unpredictable and frustrating at times but you will collect a bounty form time to time
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Sunflowers

    Out here in California, sunflowers grown for fertile seed put in at rate around 1.5 to 2 hives an acre, but your bees get pretty beat up. Dry, very little nectar, and sprayed all too often. Sunflowers grown for oil the bees actually have a chance at making some honey, but I have never heard of anybody being paid to put bees around those fields as the grower doesn't need viable seed and usually doesn't plant male sunflower rows.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Sunflowers

    Quote Originally Posted by UVBee View Post
    ...as the grower doesn't need viable seed and usually doesn't plant male sunflower rows.
    Ummm....I've never heard of a "male sunflower" ... though I have heard of male & female "disc" flowers interspersed in the middle of a sunflower, and female (nearly always infertile) "ray" flowers adorning the outside. Where is there a reference to an entirely male sunflower plant? I'd like to research that further.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Woodland, CA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Sunflowers

    Please do research it, and when you do if you could clarify what we are looking at. I have been pollinating sunflower fields for the past 14 years, and the farmers refer to a specific row as the "male row." Every 4-6 rows of females (a single "head"), is a single row of males which have smaller and multiple "heads." I know that ornate varieties and "wild" sunflowers have different systems, and maybe this is what you are referring to. Nonetheless, fields of sunflowers grown for seed and needing pollination in my experience has not been a great place for bees. Conversely, the sunflower fields grown for oil have the potential to make honey if the conditions are right.

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