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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Laurens SC
    Posts
    74

    Default For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall?

    Dear Friends,

    Can you please tell me what your planting this summer or fall for the bees? I planted some wildflowers, buckwheat and clover this spring and wanted to see if there were other things I could plant now or fall for the girls. The buckwheat has done all it is going to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,437

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Here are some ideas and links from a SC beekeeper.
    http://www.pickenscountyscbeekeepers.com/beeplants.html
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,042

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    i sowed about an acre of a supposed "honeybee" wildflower mix last spring, about 10 lbs @ $25/lb.

    every pollinater except the honeybee seems to be working them.

    most of the wildflowers and the nectar bearing trees have played out here, but i see my bees working dutch clover anywhere they find it.

    i am going to resow the wildflower plot and seed in dutch clover everywhere i can for next year.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    I just planted another crop of Buckwheat ... it's a good nectar producer, but only blooms for so long, so you have to re-plant to sustain the flow
    Also, the cotton generally blooms later in the year here, so you could maybe plant some cotton (or sesame) for a later nectar flow to give your bees some extra stores closer to winter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,715

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Ditto on the white (dutch) clover. I haven't planted any myself, but I'm seriously considering planting some next winter/spring. I hear it takes two years to mature to the point where bees can use it though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Michael,
    If the buckwheat has flowered and seeded, after the seeds have matured you can mow (bush-hog) and lightly disc to get another...and another...crop. I have always made three crops per season if I planted early enough and had moisture enough in summer.

    I have planted more borage. The 3 plants that I had last year self-seeded and are now 14. I have planted some chicory - although it won't bloom until next year. Just trying to establish something to fill in the summer gaps.

    CC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Quote Originally Posted by ChickenChaser View Post
    I have planted some chicory - although it won't bloom until next year. CC
    Hey CC,

    Do your bees work the chicory? There is a lot of chicory growing in our area, but I have never seen a bee on it.

    Shane

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Laurens SC
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Thank you all. I went out last night and plowed the buckwheat under and then went ahead and sowed a few more pounds over the top of it. I have new good sized spot I sowed as well. I planted a good bit of wild flowers in patches here and there but have yet to see any of my bees on them. I got a feeling these wild flowers are just not what the bees really like. Of course we have a huge amount of dandelions blooming as well. I have seen a few bees working them but not as much as I expected. I got a feeling they have found something much better that I am not seeing. Of course all our hives are new(were NUCs) so we are feeding in small amounts to make sure it does not get rank in the feeders.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    IDK if you have them over there, but the morning glory weed-vines here just came into bloom in the past 3 days, and last year the bees were slamming all over them (which is the only reason I haven't pulled 'em up yet this year lol )...now I don't have to worry at all about my bees having enough to eat for the next several weeks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    I just discovered borage as the best forage I've ever seen. It blooms in 60 days, apparently the flowers refill with nectar every 2 minutes. I have about a dozen plants and the honey bee are ALL over it all day. It is an annual, and apparently you can cut the flower stalks off and it will keep reblooming until hard frost--haven't tried this yet. If you plant now, it will be ready for the August dearth and go through Octoberish. I just ordered more seeds on Amazon, organic Seeds of Change, 200 (large) seeds for $5. I'm going to soak them overnight in a weak Superthrive solution and pop them in anywhere I have a hole. They recommend direct sowing, although I started the first ones in little jiffy pots and they were fine. They really grow fast and the blossoms are beautiful.

    I think that the main problem with wildflower mixes is that on any given trip supposedly a bee will only collect pollen/nectar from one kind. Many times there just isn't enough of any one flower to make it worth their while. Plus they include perennials, biennials, and annuals. They seem to prefer a big area of one flower, but many I've been told were bee friendly haven't interested my bees, although the bumblebees and native pollinators like them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Quote Originally Posted by tsmullins View Post
    Hey CC,

    Do your bees work the chicory? There is a lot of chicory growing in our area, but I have never seen a bee on it.

    Shane
    Shane,

    This is my first attempt at chicory. What I have planted so far is just a test strip on the edge of my garden. The seed are two years old and I mainly wanted to verify they would germinate. I think every one came up - I'll be sowing this fall and hoping for blooms next summer.

    Sorry to be long on replying - computer was being "flushed"...

    CC

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Pumpkin should be planted soon and my summer squash are being worked hard I have had pumpkin grow in the lawn and field from old pumpkins thrown about... they flowered but didn't produce anything big enough to use.

    Daniel
    Maryville, Tn

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Clifton, NJ, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Quote Originally Posted by thenance007 View Post
    I just discovered borage as the best forage I've ever seen. It blooms in 60 days, apparently the flowers refill with nectar every 2 minutes. I have about a dozen plants and the honey bee are ALL over it all day. It is an annual, and apparently you can cut the flower stalks off and it will keep reblooming until hard frost--haven't tried this yet. If you plant now, it will be ready for the August dearth and go through Octoberish. I just ordered more seeds on Amazon, organic Seeds of Change, 200 (large) seeds for $5. I'm going to soak them overnight in a weak Superthrive solution and pop them in anywhere I have a hole. They recommend direct sowing, although I started the first ones in little jiffy pots and they were fine. They really grow fast and the blossoms are beautiful.

    I think that the main problem with wildflower mixes is that on any given trip supposedly a bee will only collect pollen/nectar from one kind. Many times there just isn't enough of any one flower to make it worth their while. Plus they include perennials, biennials, and annuals. They seem to prefer a big area of one flower, but many I've been told were bee friendly haven't interested my bees, although the bumblebees and native pollinators like them.
    I planted Borage right next to my hives and the bees seem to love it. It is either the first thing they forage or the last on their way back. It grows like crazy. I will try deadheading the flowers and see it that makes for more blooms.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Mooresboro, NC, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    African Blue basil and mountain mint are both excellent nectar sources.

    In fact my bees work the African Blue basil more than anything else I have seen.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Going to plant a 4' X 12' plot of Borage for my bees on Sat 28 July. A little late, but maybe I'll get a Fall boost being in Houston.
    Thanks for the tip.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Clifton, NJ, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Mike,

    Mine grew about 3 to 4 foot tall and then fell over. You might want to stake it when it starts to get large. Even though mine feel over the bees are still working it. I never got around to deadheading it but it still continues to bloom.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Knewbee View Post
    Mike,

    Mine grew about 3 to 4 foot tall and then fell over. You might want to stake it when it starts to get large. Even though mine feel over the bees are still working it. I never got around to deadheading it but it still continues to bloom.
    Will do, I'll get some bamboo stakes and put them in when I plant on Sat.
    Thanks a bunch!
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Mike, I have a few late plants that just emerged. 80 days is what is stated until - I assume - flowering. That should be around October 1st. I generally don't get a frost before the 15th but my goal was to get them self seeding in another location. I don't think the seeds will mature that soon. I guess I'll just have to plant and transplant next spring.

    The 4x12 plot is the ticket. My individual plants were worked pretty well by the bees, but the 4x4 mass from last year's seeds were worked heavily all day long.

    CC

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    Interesting ChickenChaser. Here in Houston we may not see a frost until Dec. so this will be a interesting test. I am not sure how our Aug. heat will treat them, plus a lot of flowering plants bloom based on hours of sun. So even if it is still warm they may not flower, next year I will be ready...
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: For the beekeepers in the south east - What are you planting this summer and fall

    I have had good results with Borage but you have to keep it watered. I planted Niger for the first time this year and the bees seemed to like it better than the borage.

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