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  1. #1
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    Nov 2012
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    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 05:44 PM. Reason: Changed thread title to reflect the question

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

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

  3. #3
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,440

    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
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    Dec 2010
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    Old Town, Maine, USA
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    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
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    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
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    Dec 2010
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    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
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    The varieties that didn't produce were Tettnanger, Willamette, CTZ, and Centennial although all varieties grew well.

    I'm thinking it would be interesting to try one of the higher alpha hop varieties near one hive and see if it makes any difference.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2013
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    Gresham, OR USA
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    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.

  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Gresham, OR USA
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    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.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2010
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    Old Town, Maine, USA
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    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.

  12. #12
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    Feb 2013
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    Gresham, OR USA
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    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.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2012
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    Haymarket, Virginia
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Hops can be grown from seed, although it's not a sure thing and you're both correct about the potential issues. I threw it out there if you're desperate to get your hand on that particular cultivar. Other than rolling the dice on finding processed seeds, I think you're stuck buying them from your lhbs, etc.

    Do you ever take rhizome cuttings from your main plant? I rooted some cuttings last year, but this year I'm going to have to do some serious cutting to keep things under control.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    I prune my rhizomes back every year. As soon as I see shoots coming up out of the ground, I hit them with a spade. The pieces that I prune I share with friends, or replant elsewhere on the property.

  15. #15
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    Feb 2013
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    Gresham, OR USA
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    It would be great if I could get that variety but I don't think growing from seed would produce the results I want and create a sting, healthy, and productive plant.
    In the fall after they turn brown I just prune them down to the ground. I do the same thing as Ledge and spade them in half after the shoots come out through the ground in the spring. If a friend wants one I'll put them in a pot of soil, and if not I'll toss it into the yard debis bin. I actually have to cut back the roots and rhizomes to keep them manageable or the side shoots will go everywhere and then the plant just takes over. In my garden I just want to keep them semi manageable.

  16. #16
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    Jan 2013
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    Lebanon, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Hey guys I have a quick question for you, do hops need pollination and do they have nectar and/or pollen? Just curious as we have a couple neighbors that grow there own hops and I don't have any experience with growing them at all. Thanks
    Mike

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    I grow several hop varieties. They have never impacted the bees, though they provided a privacy screen for a few colonies for several years. They have been getting skeletonized by grasshoppers the last few years, which I suppose is a sacrifice to protect the veggie garden.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    Hops don't need, nor do you want them to be pollinated. When you grow hops for brewing, you grow the females. Growing hops is very similar to growing, umm, cannibis. You don't want the energy of the plant to go to the production of seeds. You want it to go to the production of the magical compounds inside the bud. In the case of hops, it is the oils that come from lupulin glands.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    It's pure speculation on my part that male hop plants might have some (limited) pollen, but I wouldn't suggest it. Might make for some mad homebrewers.

  20. #20
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    Feb 2013
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    Islamabad, Pakistan
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    Default Re: Hops planting near hives

    I think no one is going from such kind of issue. If anyone want to plant a medical herd near hives the he need to took that hive on that tree. Which is quite difficult. So i dont think that some one have this kind of issue.

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