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Thread: Spearmint

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    449

    Default Spearmint

    We have wild spearmint growing in places along the canals and drains. I have yet to see bees or any other pollinators on it. I always thought that all mints were good nectar producers. Anybody have any ideas why it is not utilized? It grows in wet places. We have a boggy area on the property, and if the bees would use it I would encourage its growth.
    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: Spearmint

    Spearmints seem to get foraged pretty well here, though they're uncommon compared to the other mints.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Spearmint

    This may be off the beam and have nothing to do with mint producing nectar. One of our retired bee inspectors was telling our class (a while back) that he knew some folks that had two fields of clover on each side of the road and there was not a bee to be seen. Soil on one side was amended (I believe it was lime but I'm not sure) and the other left the same, after some time he came back and the amended side was covered in honey bees and the other side was still ignored. They were getting ready to amend the other field as well. My point is does the mint require soil to be of certain ph to produce nectar or the type of nectar that will attract the bees?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Spearmint

    Quote Originally Posted by notaclue View Post
    . My point is does the mint require soil to be of certain ph to produce nectar or the type of nectar that will attract the bees?
    This is essentially what I am asking. Our soil is very alkalin, pH 7.5-8.5, our surface water is the same. Another quirk of our area is carbonate soils. It takes tons of acid per acre to move the pH. If you poor vinegar on the soil the soil will foam.
    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Spearmint

    Bees will often ignore very good forage if something they think is better is available.
    For example, in early spring, my bees were all over the dandelions. Now that there is a much broader range of forage available they are ignoring it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Spearmint

    [QUOTE=Beregondo;844852]Bees will often ignore very good forage if something they think is better is available.

    Our bees do this with alfalfa, especially if the sweet clover and sainfoin are blooming.
    Dave

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