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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Anniston Alabama
    Posts
    37

    Default First time Alfalfa?

    I know a guy that grows alfalfa. I buy all my bales from him for my horses. We started talking about bees and he seemed really interested in putting my bees on his field. He lives roughly two hours away, and I have never done anything like this before. I only have 5 hives. Would it be worthwhile to move my bees out there for five hives? What else should I know about this? I know that I would need to check to see if he uses pesticides, but what are the pros and cons to putting my hives on his property?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Le Grand, California, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: First time Alfalfa?

    Alfalfa honey is really good. Before doing it you should check to see if he does use pesticides better to be cautious them to pay the disappointment of losing the five hives you have. Good luck bud.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,662

    Default Re: First time Alfalfa?

    Since the alfalfa is being cut for hay, the timing of the hay harvest may affect the amount of nectar that bees can harvest from alfalfa. If the alfalfa was being grow for seed, then it offers lots of nectar, but hay perhaps not.

    If your farmer was interested in your bees for pollination, you should read the "Alfalfa and bees" section of this page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfalfa

    You may be interested in this older thread:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...RES-OF-ALFALFA
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: First time Alfalfa?

    As Sidetrack noted, when the alfalfa is cut is key. For highest protein content, alfalfa is nearly always cut before it blooms. If, for whatever reason, he lets it bloom, then it's an excellent source of nectar.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: First time Alfalfa?

    I agree with sidetrack and Indy. I have 6 hives here in Idaho right in the middle of 100 acres of hay, very little is allowed to bloom. the farmer always misses some on the edges so that helps. Another thing to look at is, do you have the time to drive 2 hours one way to keep track of your hives, for myself it would not be worth the drive unless I had family I could visit or other things to accomplish on the trips. I think it would get old real fast to drive two hours to check them ever two weeks, then probably every week during a good flow to make sure they don't swarm on you. I know it sounds good but I would weigh the pros and cons. Just my thoughts. I am no way an expert, pretty new to this myself. Third year keeping bees. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Anniston Alabama
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: First time Alfalfa?

    Thanks for the replies. I did some researching on my own as well as weighed your responses. (The wiki page on alfalfa was pretty good). I think I am going to keep them up here with me and put them on a small 5 acre apple orchard that a friend I have lives on. It's only 30 minutes down the road and he really wants them out there. I think it is a better deal all the way around. Thanks a lot guys!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,682

    Default Re: First time Alfalfa?

    If he lets the alf bloom and it's irrigated I'd go for it, but if it's being cut for hay, don't bother.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Anniston Alabama
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: First time Alfalfa?

    He just grows for hay. Sounds like I'll be keeping them close to home then!

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