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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Shelbyville,Indiana,USA
    Posts
    166

    Default This years flowers for the bees.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Algood, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    Nice pictures! Did you plant all that just for your bees?
    Last edited by Barry; 12-14-2013 at 02:31 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Shelbyville,Indiana,USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    yes. they had a play ground for most of the year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    Do sunflowers produce much nectar? I had planned on planting sunflowers for chicken feed this year. If sunflowers produce a lot of nectar I'll be planting a lot of sunflowers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    986

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    Sunflowers produce plenty of nectar as well as a good deal of pollen.
    The middle of the flower is a compound blossom; every place that produces a seed has a nectary.

    Hybrid sunflowers are the exception though: many produce little or no pollen.
    I don't know if/how hybridization affects nectar production.

    Excellent choice for feed, btw.
    They've an excellent nutrition profile, and our chickens loved the seedheads, leaves, and roots, but didn't eat the stalks.
    The leaves are an excellent calcium source.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    Any suggestion on a sunflower variety? I was thinking of planting black oil sunflowers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    I plant the multi-colored ornamental tall types and the bees just go crazy for them. To my eye they produce more nectar and pollen than the black oil types.
    Dave

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    One thing to keep in mind with sunflowers......the honey sugars quickly. I grew up in North Dakota when Sunflowers were king. The honey that we would get would always sugar within a couple months.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    Thanks Dave. Since I am trying for a dual purpose crop, nectar and chicken feed, I may try the more feed oriented varieties. I may plant a patch of the ornamental variety up close to the house and see which the bees tend to work the most.

    Thanks for the info LeonardS. I would assume that it would be fine for bee food. I'm more focused on raising bees than producing honey and being able to use it as stores in nucs would be fine with me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    598

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    Tx, then I think either confectionery or oil sunflowers would work fine for you.....and the bees will stay busy with them!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    986

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    TxGypsy
    Black oilseed should give you and excellent feed value for both your chooks and your bees

    From research I did on the subject, I concluded it's a better poultry feed value than confection or ornamental types sunflowers.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Shelbyville,Indiana,USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: This years flowers for the bees.

    These were black oil type from the bulk bin at the local farm store. .89 per lb. put in the 2 row planter and run them. cultivated twice and they got tall enough to keep the weeds down. you could literally hear the buzzing from all the bees.

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