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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Atlanta, Ga
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    Default If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    What would you plant? We have some pasture that is not being used that I would love to plant for the bees, just not sure what to plant. We have a few cows (not in this field) so if it were something that could produce hay that would be an additional benefit. We will have 5 hives next year. Thanks for any ideas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Clarksville, Michigan, USA
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    216

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by bosco500 View Post
    What would you plant? We have some pasture that is not being used that I would love to plant for the bees, just not sure what to plant. We have a few cows (not in this field) so if it were something that could produce hay that would be an additional benefit. We will have 5 hives next year. Thanks for any ideas
    We did that on 10 acres. We went with white sweet clover! Amazing results.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Tuscaloosa, AL
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    72

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    I am planting clover this year also.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
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    245

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Applemint. You should plant applemint. The bees love it. linn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
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    321

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    I suggest you plant white clover, red clover, alfalfa, and orchard grass. I would cut it for hay, but cut it a bit late to allow the red clover & alfalfa to bloom for at least a week. Your hay will not be as high quality, but all that blooming clover & alfalfa will blow the supers full off honey.
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
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    175

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Buckwheat and alfalfa, let the alfalfa bloom. Gradually convert to wildflower prairie.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Linden or basswood along the fencelines.
    Clover in the field; it's great for the soil.
    You'll love the honey from the linden/basswood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by New Ky Beekeeper View Post
    I suggest you plant white clover, red clover, alfalfa, and orchard grass. I would cut it for hay, but cut it a bit late to allow the red clover & alfalfa to bloom for at least a week. Your hay will not be as high quality, but all that blooming clover & alfalfa will blow the supers full off honey.
    I agree.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Thanks for the great ideas guys. Lots of options

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Sweet clover is a biennial meaning you won't get any blooms the first year. It also has high levels of coumaphos, or something like that. It is an anti clotting agent that can be dangerous for livestock. Red clover isn't a good bee forage. Look at white dutch clover or even better an improved ladino clover.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    989

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by bosco500 View Post
    What would you plant?
    As other have said, Linden along the fencelnes and sweet clover. You could consider some thistle (although you probably would not have to plant thistle since it is very common) as well. Bees produce some very tasty hone from thistle and sweet clover. For some late fall forage, I would consider cultivating some stands of goldenrod and asters.

    Also, try to fill some voids in your honey flows. In our area, we have a strong spring and early summer. Then it is tough going until the fall flowers bloom. And that is not very strong for us.

    HTH,
    Shane

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,550

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Plant what thrives in your locality. What kinds of plants do you see bees working in the pastures in your area? A light sprinkling of sweet clover is excellant and won't harm cattle but won't bloom every year and dosent thrive in all soils and climates. Too heavy of a stand of alfalfa will bloat cattle but it typically does better in northern climates. A sprinkling of some type of Dutch or crimson clover is probably your best bet for a plant that works best for both cattle and bees. They are annual legumes the bees love and make for healthier grass as well.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Sainfoin.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,538

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Plant what thrives in your locality.
    Humbolt County, California?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Humbolt County, California?
    Hmmm, if Michael is referring to growing a popular illegal herb in Humbolt County, it may not do much for your bees. The quote is from a site dedicated to homegrown MJ, from an individual that also claims to be a beekeeper.

    I keep bees so give me a few seconds to explain the whole deal.

    So the question has nothing to do with pollen, as this isn't in honey, it's with nectar. the real question is if you can get honey bees to pollinate marijuana plants. I'll tell you right now you can not. Bees to collect nectar from all kinds of plants, but they do not go to every type of plant. They are very specific as to the types of plants that they will pollinate and collect substances from. Nature, in turn, can be very specificly either for or against bees, depending on the plant in question. Almonds, for instance, only are polinated by honey bees, nothing else pollinates them. Apples are mainly pollinated by honey bees, but don't have to be. Sweat bees, carpenter bees, and other insects occasionally do their part. Pepper plants are not visited by honey bees. They do not provide much nectar for the bees collection needs, and likewise the pepper plant is pollinated by the wind. marijuana plants are pollinated by the wind as well. the bees are not interested in yoru MJ plant, will nto pollinate it, and will nto try to take it's nectar. It just won't happen, sorry.

    Full thread here:
    http://www.rollitup.org/advanced-mar...lse-place.html
    A tip: Don't try this at home, kiddies!




    For the record, I have no personal experience on this subject, and I do not hang out at the linked site! I just know how to use search ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    So much for the party I had planned for my bees.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Quote Originally Posted by bosco500 View Post
    What would you plant? We have some pasture that is not being used that I would love to plant for the bees, just not sure what to plant. We have a few cows (not in this field) so if it were something that could produce hay that would be an additional benefit. We will have 5 hives next year. Thanks for any ideas
    I would plant and maintain the highest quality hay possible, sell it, and use the profit, if any, to fund my beekeeping. I bet you can find a horse farm nearby that would buy good horse hay from you.

    Or you could lease it out to a farmer to help pay the Land Taxes.

    Unless you don't need to be concerned about this, maintaining bee feed land is not profitable, not moneteraly so. Maybe you can afford other forms of profit. In which case, I take that as a sign that our economy is improving.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,550

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    I wont fundamentally disagree with that Mark but the OP seemed to be looking for ideas of what plants might be planted in a pasture grazed by a few cows. My experience is that such lightly grazed pastures can be excellent sources of nectar as the cattle will never let many of these plants mature and go to seed. They can on occasion produce nectar all summer long while still giving the cows something to munch on.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,128

    Default Re: If you had a 20 acre pasture to dedicate to your bees...

    Flood it and make a swamp out of it. Swamps have real diversity. Bees like diversity. At least in this area, swamps always beat mono-crops.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

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