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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default How many plant bee plants

    I am wondering how many beekeepers take the time to look up what herbs, flowers that bees love to forage on and take the time to plant them. Or do you just rely on what is around the your apairies to let the bees forage on?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,673

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I have planted clover and vetch. I have borage seeds to go in this summer. I've also planted Apples, Peaches, Linden and Tulip Poplars. My plantings are very much the frosting on the cake for the natural forage, of which I think there is much.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I plant with all pollinators in mind. We have recently started a pollinator garden which concentrates on plants that have dual purpose of personal usage as well as forage for hummers, butterflies, bumbles and honeybees. The best bang for the buck to be found is in the herb section. My list of recent plantings:

    Lemon balm: great citrus smelling herb which is great for teas and fantastic chopped into fresh chicken salad with mayo, I use it for bee tea as well
    Chives: love them on salads and potatoes, eventually let sections go to blossom and let bees work
    Bee Balm (Monarda): great fragrant plant when leaves are smashed and brilliant blooms. I choose the red varieties, but there are other colors like purple. hummers love the blooms and the plant is no-fuss with a great propensity to seed and "swarm" the garden. Bees love it as well.
    Mammoth Sunflowers: just love the stunning look in the landscape. I harvest the seeds for more plantings next year or drying and salting. Bees will work for pollen (I hope)
    Zinnias: great for cut flower arrangements and stupid easy to grow. I both direct sow into my horrible sandy soil and start from seed.
    Mint: will swarm and bees will work blooms. Great uses for baking, teas, and what not.
    Rosemary: also good in that fresh chicken salad, looks nice in the landscape after training (Florida, doesn't die back). Can be planted in pot and taken inside for winter. Let flower and bees should work it.
    Basil: absolutely love this stuff!!! Make pesto, put fresh on pizza, pasta, salads...I would be a basil farmer if I could!!! It blooms then goes to seed. Bees should work it and then harvest seeds for planting more basil. Lots of great varieties and tastes from spicy to sweet.
    Lavender: nice purple blooms and great for drying. Good for use in soaps, sachets for the closet or dresser drawer. Impressive when planted in mass.

    I am also concentrating on planting more native wildflower species for planting on the property line. Both for forage and proliferation of native stuff.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    media, pennsylvania
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    i must begin by stating that this is my first spring keeping bees, but so far all of mine go elsewhere to forage, despite abundant white clover, privet blossom, all kinds of wild and domestic flowers, squash blossoms, melon blossoms, cucumber blossoms, sage, oregano, chives, etc in my yard.

    the only bees i get in my yard are bumblebees, which is fine... there's a lot of them. but my honeybees seem to have found a motherlode of more desirable forage in some other spot.

    -eric

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    Being in the desert, every litte bit helps, so I have started adding specific flowers and trees that the bees like. Well, that I like, as well. I have planted peach, cherry, and plum trees, in addition to the apricot and apple trees that were already here. I have a vegetable garden that the bees seem to enjoy, and have added various salvia, lavender, russian sage, bee balm, butterfly bush, mint, sunflowers, and a wide variety of native wildflowers to the yard. I have put in various types of clover, as well, but it doesn't get hot enough here for it to flower, so I just use it as a green mulch/fertilizer.

    I see the bees on pretty much all of the plantings, but they really love the fruit trees, lavender and russian sage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
    Posts
    778

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I'm trying to go all natural. My beekeeping experience is only 15 months long. I intend to keep 10 or so hives on approximately 1,000 acres of West Texas brush country. My bees will have to feed on wildflowers and brush. I'm not going to plant anything for them. They will make or they will not. I realize there will be good years and horrible years following this approach, but it is my plan. At heart, I'm a naturalist.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    "They will make or they will not. I realize there will be good years and horrible years following this approach, but it is my plan."

    If you can make it in West Texas...you can make it anywhere. I remember driving through that part of Texas which included the panhandle as a young pup on a family camping trip out West. Desolate stuff!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Caldwell, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I am just starting and I'm in Idaho. I know they go out pretty far to forage. I already have a dozen fruit trees. I wish I had gotten bees a long time ago. If I see lots of bees on something, I plant more of it. They love dandelions so I have let them grow in the yard and in the orchard, not spray. Also the honey locust trees that are getting choked out by other trees and dying from borer beetles around here...I am planting more of those. Planted clover, mint, corn, herbs, perennial flowers, salvia, sage, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries...some of this obviously for me too lol but hey it's all about balance

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I totally plant forage plants, but I also understand that it takes a significant planting to be a meaningful forage for a given apiary. I do it more to attract bees and on general-interest principles than with an eye towards "feeding" my bees.

    That said, definitely ground covers and ornamentals, trees like locusts (I LOVE the purple-robed black locust), and the occasional seed-bomb with lupines/coral bells etc.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I have Hyssop, bee balm, Russian sage, flowering Quince is worked good but my favorite so far is buckwheat. It loves water at the proper time and when it blooms the blooms are up and down each plant and sew it thick and the bees love it in the mornings. They get pollen and nectar from buckwheat. The larger the patch the better but my 5x10, 20x30, and even a 10' circle patch were worked greatly and a slight to behold. Some say the honey is a bit strong, but no more than I have I cannot tell the difference but the bees are a slight to behold. Here is a small plot video on utube which is just about a minute or so long and will show you what buckwheat looks like and how they work it and may get your curiosity up to explore planting some. The seed I got at the co-op and it is a great cover crop which puts phosphorus in the soil when tilled by in and needs only a little nitrogen fertilizer, like 50 lbs to the acre. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smUGp...eature=related

    Here is a 100 acre field video of 54 seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=uCH-S_0zmKU

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Humboldt, South Dakota
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I planted a pink/white mix of clover between myshelterbelt tree rows which totals about 2 acres of clover. The bees have been woking that pretty hard the last couple of weeks. There is also plenty of wild white and yellow clover growning on my field edges as well as cottonwood and willow growing aroound the water which the bees were really working for pollen early this spring. My shelterbelt trees were planted 3 years ago. Among the species that should be of interest to the bees are maples, hawthornes, hackberry, chokecherry (which started blooming this spring) and honey locust. I've heard that the bees don't work the honey locust though, just the black locust so I planted a dozen of those this spring where the original trees had died out. Also planted a half dozen northern catulpa around the place. My orchard has about 26 fruit trees (apple, pear, plum, cherry, apricot, peach and persimmon) that are just reaching the age where they are starting to blossom. I've got a dozen black cherry trees planted in another part of the yard, but it may still be a few years before they're producing. The bees really like the raspberries and strawberries, too. I've started an experimental planting russian sage along the side of my morton building in hopes that it will spread and fill in.

    Haha - now that I see it all written down, it seems pretty ridiculous! Ah well, I've always lived by the motto: "Anything worth doing is worth over-doing."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    This is nice to look at and they have regional pdf files. Ok is does include other polinators, but I still think it is nice:
    http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm
    Another interesting site is:
    http://www.xerces.org/pollinator-resource-center/
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I have yet to see a honeybee on my Russian sage or monarda or cantalopes. But they LOVE the Borage and Vitex shrubs. I read that the borage blossom refills with nectar every 2 minutes and given how many bees are all over it all the time, I believe it. It is supposed to bloom until hard frost and if it gets gangly/messy just prune it back and it will come roaring back. I just planted more seeds to add to my dozen or so plants. The bumbles like the Russian sage and many of the other herbs and flowers--I figure if they drink those, they are leaving more nectar for my honeybees in the borage. This is my second year beekeeping. Last year I never saw a bee in my yard, though my hive was on my back deck. I moved it over winter to my front yard where all my beds are, and now no matter what time of day my front yard is alive with pollinating bees and flies of all sizes and varieties. Now I love sitting on my front porch or wandering around the front yard checking out all my "wildlife".

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    I was waiting for someone to say borage. That is one plant which will be very beneficial in any garden. There are more herbs that create nectar within 45 min. also. I have an extensive list of many hours searching, reading about all herbs and flowers. I am in the process with my tractor this weekend getting all my ground ready for planting. I am also going to a friends house tomorrow and fill the back of my truck with cow manure for fertilizer. I have rich soil which I just cleaned and now getting all the roots out from under the soil so my tiller will go through it much easier. Borage is one herb I am planting. But with all the info on herbs on the internet your can make one huge, beautiful herb garden that your neighbors will be jealous of. Down hear we have long growing periods with short winters, so bees will be producing like crazy. My list is compiled of around 100 to 150 different herbs which tell if the bees go to it slightly, moderately, or highly. My wife has always wanted a nice garden. Oh yea and I also have a place to plant my food plot for the many deer I have in my backyard. Clovers alfalfa and biologic plants. As soon as I get them all going I will make a website with pictures, info about all the types. Dont be afraid to look at the herb sights in the UK and Australia.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Princeton WV
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    In the past I've depended on the native plants, but this year I did plant some clover for my bees and am thinking about buckwheat. Tulip Poplar is the main nectar source for my bees, so I'd like to plant some things to help them after the big flow is over.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Bay Minette, AL. USA
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: How many plant bee plants

    If you like sunflowers they are also good for bees. I like the flower and going to line my property with many different varieties.

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