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Thread: Bee Planting

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Lincoln County, MO
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    Default Bee Planting

    I'm looking to do some plantings for Sping nectar and pollen for my bees. We are in Eastern/Central Missouri and have about 2 1/2 acres to plant. Any suggestions are welcome!

  2. #2
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    Jul 2011
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    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
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    355

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    dutch clover,buckwheat. just my 2 cents.but buckwheat isnt spring nectar source.how much u want to invest makes a huge difference.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2011
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    Lincoln County, MO
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    Default Re: Bee Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by mrqb View Post
    dutch clover,buckwheat. just my 2 cents.but buckwheat isnt spring nectar source.how much u want to invest makes a huge difference.
    We are willing to invest. This year we have spent a fortune on sugar syrup, and would be willing to spend that on watering plants instead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Penfield IL USA
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    Default Re: Bee Planting

    I would add alsike clover to that as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    oconto county, WI
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    65

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    dandelions give a good spring flow. They are pretty easy to grow in most areas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    sewell, nj
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    Default Re: Bee Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Bee View Post
    We are willing to invest. This year we have spent a fortune on sugar syrup, and would be willing to spend that on watering plants instead.
    how did you do with the planting?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
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    2,963

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    I e-mailed Yellow Bee just a few minutes ago to let him/her know that there was activity on this thread and that people were curious to know what ended up being planted and how well it worked as bee forage.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Bee Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by mrqb View Post
    dutch clover,buckwheat.
    I've read so many times how buckwheat is a great nectar source, and now we have a new place with a little over an acre currently unused. We had thought of putting in buckwheat, specifically for the bees. It was our plan, then a couple weeks ago we happened to find buckwheat honey in the store, so we bought a bottle, just to try it.

    If one is considering planting buckwheat for the bees, I strongly reccomend you find a bottle of buckwheat honey and taste it first. That stuff is just AWFUL. It has a flavour pretty much identical to the smell of a stale urinal.

    I'm glad we stumbled on that bottle of buckwheat honey, because it confirmed one thing for us. Our back acre is going to be planted with clover in the spring. I dont want our bees anywhere near a field of buckwheat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Bee Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Bee View Post
    I'm looking to do some plantings for Sping nectar and pollen for my bees.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Bee View Post
    This year we have spent a fortune on sugar syrup, and would be willing to spend that on watering plants instead.
    I would plant a variety of different plants, focusing on those that produce nectar at times other than spring. Since most plants in your area are likely to be spring bloomers anyway, focus on providing plants that offer bee food in the dearth times. For me in my area, I'm working on planting more fall-fruiting raspberries (summer blooms) and also vitex negundo (summer blooms also). Since you are prepared to irrigate, install some drip irrigation for the raspberries. And you can eat the raspberries also!
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    YB - something that will be very helpful is keeping a journal of flowering plants in your immediate area. I failed to do this the first couple of years, and now that I have started, I can see what to "expect" next...I can see what may or may not be dependable due to weather...I can see if bloom times are overlapping or steady, etc. This may be more for my entertainment than me being able to help the bees, but as a result, I have made plans to fill in some of the gaps or increase what the girls seem to work the hardest.
    That being said, as to your question on spring pollen and nectar - red flowering quince is an early source of pollen for me. Long bloom time ( I think I recorded this spring around 6 weeks ) and relatively easy to propagate from suckers. Not sure on the nectar provided but the pollen is awesome.

    CC

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Big Stone Gap, VA
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    992

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Bee View Post
    I'm looking to do some plantings for Sping nectar and pollen for my bees. We are in Eastern/Central Missouri and have about 2 1/2 acres to plant. Any suggestions are welcome!
    You could consider some tree plantings as well. The nice thing about tree plantings is, once established, maintenance is minimal. Not sure what does well in your area, but for us, the maples are important early spring trees. Perhaps the most important is the red maple, which blooms here in late Feb. Box Elder (a close maple cousin) is also important. The red buds are worked heavy here as well. The willows also bloom early. Please check with locals for what trees might work well in your area.

    Another tree/shrub that makes a great honey is autumn olive. It is considered an invasive, but a great honey source nonetheless.

    For us, trees are the major early nectar/pollen sources.

    Shane

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
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    207

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    I have some spearmint, which grows like crazy and keeps coming back year after year from underground runners. My bees, bumblebees, and other pollinating bugs are on it all the time. Bloom time is long since each stem will produce a flower sooner or later.
    I also have a ligistrum bush(jack frost) Late spring bloomer huge amounts of pollen.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
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    765

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    Boarage, blooms all summer till frost , and it reseeds itself readily
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
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    280

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    From what I can see in my garden, Borage (which I agree has a fabulously long bloom season) also does a great job of smothering everything around it! Should make for natural weed control...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    894

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    When do you have holes in nectar flow? How many colonies? It take the nectar from about 2,000,000 flowers to make a pound of honey. So, it takes a significant planting to impact a colony.

    Dandelion is often the first plant that can provide surplus nectar with a strong colony.

    Sweet clover tends to bloom late spring/early summer. Bloom period can be extended with different varieties being planted.

    Basswood/linden trees are good nectar producers. They take a while to mature to nectar producing size. Black locust produces a very mild, almost water white honey. They tend to grow quickly and flower while still young.

    Niger thistle produces a nice, light honey.

    The key is to plant crops that are either more attractive than other nectar sources or fill a hole in local nectar flows.

    I have a fiend who had sweet clover and niger blooming at the same time. The bees worked the sweet clover and not the niger.


    With something like sweet clover I think you would want to start with a 1/4 acre plot minimum.

    Tom

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    sewell, nj
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    529

    Default Re: Bee Planting

    Thank you andrew

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