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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
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    197

    Default Hops planting near hives

    I've seen a thread or two where beekeepers have planted a variety of medicinal herbs (e.g., lavender, thyme) in close proximity to their hives. Does anyone have hops trellises nearby, and if so, would common hops pests (especially spider mites) pose a problem for the bees?
    Last edited by urbanoutlaw; 01-06-2013 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Changed thread title to reflect the question

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Haymarket, Virginia
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Dumb question? Or, perhaps no one has had this issue?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,592

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Hops is a fairly new item in the beekeeping world, so I doubt there is much experience with it for people to comment on. Just be careful, one of your neighbors my be a home brewer and turn out to be your biggest pest.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Old Town, Maine, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    I'm game to give it a try. I have several varieties of of hops growing on trellises. Maybe I'll throw some rhizomes in the ground between my hives next year. I couldn't put any hives under the current trellis location, as it is very close to my neighbor's driveway, and I don't want to find out if they would spazz out over the hives being close to their property.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
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    197

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    With Hopguard being a treatment product, I figured beekeepers would be familiar with hops, BUT it makes since as hops aren't useful to bees.

    @Ledge - which hop varieties are you growing? I have several here, but only Nugget and Cascade produced well last year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Old Town, Maine, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Brewers Gold, Crystal, Cascade, Chinook, Nugget, and Zeus. Last year was a crappy year for hop yields for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gresham, OR USA
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    23

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    I have 4 hop plants that I use for my home beer making. The only pests I really notice is sometimes I'll get a few aphids. I'll spray a compost tea or a mild soap solution every 10-15 days and that seems to do the trick. The hops grow along a fence and offers a nice screen for my hives. I currently have Cascade, Chinook, and Fuggles. I'm looking for the Summit variety because it's commonly used in a local IPA but I haven't found anyone who sells it. If anyone knows where I could get this variety I would greatly appreciate it!
    I don't think the hop pests bother any of the bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Hi Eric - Last time I checked, Summit is proprietary, so we can't get rhizomes or crowns for it. The best you could hope for is to luck into some whole leaf hops that have a few seeds leftover.

    As far as the plants themselves, I was more looking at hops as a potential deterrent for hive pests. Looking more into things, however, I don't think it would be effective, except for possibly near harvest, and probably not then.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gresham, OR USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Ya, I'm not sure if they'll deter mites but they make that Hopguard and I've used it before. Don't know ifi'll use it again as the stuff is very sticky and messy. Apparently you're suppose to reapply every 2 weeks.
    The hops are sure a interesting plant around the hives though, and it does a great job of providing a little privacy. I hear that summit was tough to get because after it came out a few breweries got the proprietary for it. It's suppose to be a high alpha and big producer, but dwarf in size. I may try your suggestion of seeing ifi can get the seeds to grow but after the leaves have been processed don't know how much luck I'll have. They're a fun plant though, and once established very low maintence.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Old Town, Maine, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    I hope nobody around me ends up growing hops from seed. A male plant nearby would really screw things up. Hops are like apples in that if you raise them from seed instead of rhizome (or scion in the case of apples) you don't get offspring that are comparable to the parent. It could produce crappy offspring. That, and seeds in my cones would really tick me off.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Gresham, OR USA
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Yes, exactly right....I believe it's the female plant that produces the cone, and hops grown from seed don't really work. I don't think a person would be even be able to get one to grow from a cone that has aldredy been processed. I think you would need a lab and all right equipment then maybe you could pull it off. Sounds like too much work. For us hobby guys I have always just cut a few of the shoots out in spring and put them in a pot with some good soil, and the passed them along to friends who wanted them. I've taken divisions as well and planted in different parts of the yard. Very hardy plant.

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