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Thread: red clover ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default red clover ?

    Hi, All. I have read that the bees are attracted to the white clovers.
    But what about the red clover. Are they as attractive to the bees also?
    I am thinking to order some to try if they are good for my bees too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Ga,Madison county
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Hi, All. I have read that the bees are attracted to the white clovers.
    But what about the red clover. Are they as attractive to the bees also?
    I am thinking to order some to try if they are good for my bees too.
    Check with your county agent if you have one. I was told by our's bees do not work red clover.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Bedford, Indiana, usa
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    I raise red clover and market it. I have to have bumble bees to pollinate it. Honey bees will try to work it on the second cut and will get some value on the third cut as the bloom will not be as large. But really it is not much use to a honey bee.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    >Are they as attractive to the bees also?

    No. Honey bees usually can't reach the nectar. Rarely you see honey bees work it, but usually some insect has chewed holes in the flowers lower down, or rain or some other anomoly has caused the florets to be more full (higher up) where the honey bees can reach it. But usually they ignore it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Salem, Indiana, USA
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    Red clover is a waste of money for bees. I cut hay on 50 acres of mixed grass and red clover. My bees will never use it, but cattle love it. I planted sweet clover for the bees and they love it, but I can't use it for hay.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    I saw a website description for red clovers that it says they are good for nitrogen fixation and nectar for the honey bees too.
    So is this website doing a false advertising? Maybe I should invest more on the white clover then. Thanks all for saving me
    money.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    >I saw a website description for red clovers that it says they are good for nitrogen fixation and nectar for the honey bees too.

    Are you sure it didn't say it was a great nectar source for bees? Bumble bees are bees. Red clover IS a great nectar source for bumble bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
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    Jul 2013
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    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    Wouldn't it depend on the length of the proboscis/tongue? I have actually seen honeybees work red clover in my area, and yes, they were gathering nectar (I wish I had the video camera going). Granted, I don't see near as many on red clover as I do in white clover, so to answer the OP's question, it IS probably better that you plant white clovers.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
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    96

    Default Re: red clover ?

    Red clover is not a very good nectar source for honey bees; however, have you thought of crimson clover?

  10. #10
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    Only time I have ever seen honey bees on red clover was when we had a drought and everything else was drying up, the red clover plants were shriveled up too, and the flowers were smaller than usual so maybe the bees were able to reach some nectar in them.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    Now I am clear on this one. The ads said bees but did not say specifically for honey bees. My bad!
    So it must be the bumble bees that they are referring to. I ordered some white clover last year but
    did not plant any because of the drought. I planted sunflowers instead that they did great.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: red clover ?

    I never plant whole fields of red clover, but I like to plant some. I like to help all the pollinators... "A rising tide lifts all boats"
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13

    Default Re: red clover ?

    Anyone ever buy the honey bee seed mix from Round Stone Seed in Kentucky? I'm thinking of establishing a pollinator habitat and here is what they have for their honey bee flower seed mixture. Any other recommendations for suppliers?

    https://www.roundstoneseed.com/mix.asp?p=66
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 9 small cell hives!!

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