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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default your bee garden this year

    So what is everyone's bee garden plan for this year?

    Are you adding anything new or want to change certain planting features on your plan?
    I would like to see my sunflower patch expand more to 20' and plant a patch of clovers.
    What about you?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    983

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    We've got some bare areas where we will be putting down white and/or yellow clover as a cover crop to get things started. My wife has some herbs in mind. We're blessed by an excellent mix of wildflowers, including late bloomers, already, so mostly we just need to encourage what we have.

    We have a lot of crown vetch that the bumblebees love but I'm told the honeybees can't get much use of. We'll work on replacing it with the better local stuff like mountain mint.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Southern Connecticut
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    My wife and I were fortunate to buy our house from a retired couple that gardened constantly. Our yard consists of what I believe as an ideal bee spot and we feel very fortunate for it. The only addition I have for the year is a few linden shoots from my parents house. My great grandfather planted them many years ago and my grandfather and I are going to transfer some to my house.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    553

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    I was a horticulturalist before I became a beekeeper, so my yard is pretty well stocked with things to their liking. However, I did find myself converting my vegetable garden (which the deer eat before I do) over to a wildflower garden for the bees. I went to Selectseeds.com and did a filter on honeybee plants. I selected items that I've never grown before and am looking forward to seeing how well the bees love them. Some of the items I purchased were: Blue Woodruff, Clary Sage, Kiss me over the garden gate, Mignonette, Shirley poppy, annual candytuft, prickley poppy, lavertera, and linaria. It was a forager honeybee on my purple malva last year that started my current obsession with honeybees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Mifflin PA USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    My property abuts a creek with about 100 yards of mixed woods and open patches of no mans land on the other side.. Last year I seeded Sweet Yellow clover on both sides of the creek for about a 1/4 mile one way and almost a half mile the other way. I ordered lots of Centaurea and Borago seeds and will start plants with them and stick them anywhere there is a spot. We already have multiple plantings of lavender and mint as well as many types of berries and fruit trees. I even think I am going to forget the vegetable garden this year, I have several years worth of canned food already and can buy what I need from the Amish cheaper than I can grow it. So my old vegetable garden 42' X 80' is going to be planted with Sainfoin and when that finishes, I will plant Mancan buckwheat again to provide late flow until the frost kills it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    983

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    I meant to mention, my wife looked for buckwheat recently, but her favorite seed supplier was out. They usually have it by the bin. It is on the list.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    I have a pretty bee friendly yard to begin with (numerous apple, pear, fig, persimmon, pawpaw, and other fruit trees, as well as several huge patches of rabbiteye southern blueberrie bushes). Just built a raised bed with lots of herbs and some flowers. I understand that the main bee forage sources are tulip poplar, black locust, and blackberry, but figured it wouldn't hurt to supplement. Also planted some Montmorency cherries and Asian Pear trees this spring. And behind the blueberry bushes in the center back of the photo, I have a large vegetable garden that should get some bee attention.

    herbbeegarden.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    I marked out spots yesterday for the 20 heather plants that I will pickup this weekend. Now to dig the holes - a pity it is raining today Common milkweed and Joe Pye weed are stratifying in the fridge and should be ready to start seeds on Monday. Yellow Clover - 2 lbs of seed scattered over snow. Buckwheat - 50lbs of seed acquired and initial arrangements made to have the ground harrowed for June planting. Saw bees on very tired looking alder catkins yesterday. Seeds in hand for Sunflower, winter squash, pumpkins - now if the ground will warm. Lots of herbs but my wife is in charge of those: Just what does one do with borage? May get first Linden blossoms this year on trees planted 5+ years ago.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    And don't forget about planting a few bee bee trees also. They are good for July-August blossoms when
    others are not readily available.
    Mustard is also good for pollen too. They have a short grow time and flower plenty. So don't forget to plant some of those.

    What to do with borage? Watch out that they reseed all over the next season. The seeds are not that easy to harvest as
    they drop to the ground when mature. They can grow into really big bushy plants too. Bees are all over them from sunrise to
    sunset.

    Here are the borage and mustard just sending out the flowers:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I luv bee source!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,947

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    The bee bee tree (Tetradium) in my initital research is considered an invasive. Is there someone who knows the scoop here?
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    I put in two raised beds with blueberries, daylilies, gaillardia and marigolds in one (have since found out that blueberry plants are not all that useful to honeybees, but our bumbles loved them!) -- the other has a flatwood plum in the center, with liatris, cosmos, zinnia, blue-eyed grass, glads, and sedum. Not sure the bees care about glads, but they are my fave cut flower. Also have a 1 pound bag of bee-friendly wildflower seeds, but we're in the middle of putting in fences, so haven't gotten those distributed yet. Our yard already has a couple of bradford pears and carolina cherry laurel, which was covered in honey bees while it was blooming! (not my bees, though; the package hadn't arrived yet). Otherwise, the milkweed is coming back as well as the gaura (not sure bees care about that one, either), and I am going to see sweet clover in a 1/4 acre spot along the woods and get some black eyed susans into the ground along the new fence. There's also a ton of wildflowers where I am which is great, but I am SO loving having bees as a theme around which to plant!
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    Buckwheat by the acres........ white clover, alfalfa, sanoifin....... bees and deer and turkeys all get some.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    In Florida there are many different kinds of goldenrod in the Fall.
    It is an amazing golden carpet of flowers when
    they do bloom. Do you see any goldenrod there? If not would you consider
    growing some along the side of your fields as well?

    Goldenrod from transplant:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I luv bee source!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    In Florida there are many different kinds of goldenrod in the Fall.
    It is an amazing golden carpet of flowers when
    they do bloom. Do you see any goldenrod there? If not would you consider
    growing some along the side of your fields as well?

    Goldenrod from transplant:
    I do believe we get goldenrod, though perhaps not the variety you posted. I looked up the flower on wikipedia, and I know I've seen that. Currently, we have a wild form of virginia sweet spire blooming all over. It smells wonderful, and my daughter reports that she's seen lots of bees on it. I'd like to add golden rod and joe pye weed to our various fence lines...I think the joe pye will do well in the clay-limerock soil.
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    arvad, colorado, usa
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    We're ripping a large chunk of the lawn and replacing it with iceplant and sedums. The sedums bloom in the fall and the iceplant blooms pretty much constantly. The honey bees and wild bees love both. This girl worked every single bloom on my smaller patch of iceplant a few minutes ago.
    beeiceplant5152014.jpg

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Newberry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    Quote Originally Posted by tabby View Post
    We're ripping a large chunk of the lawn and replacing it with iceplant and sedums. The sedums bloom in the fall and the iceplant blooms pretty much constantly. The honey bees and wild bees love both. This girl worked every single bloom on my smaller patch of iceplant a few minutes ago.
    beeiceplant5152014.jpg
    I've got a good patch of sedum (blooming now), but thus far, the honey bees have showed no interest! Maybe a different species? I've been watching all the plants around town like a crazy person looking for what has honey bees and what doesn't -- have found honey bees on duranta but no natives, and a few feet down, gaillardia covered with native bees, but no honeys. I will definitely be buying some duranta -- I had some a few years back, and whatever it's nectar is, I had butterflies landing on it while I was transplanting!
    1 TBH, started 4/09/14

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    983

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    Don't know how iceplant is for bees, but I've been thinking about it the last few days due to the fires in San Diego. The fire departments there highly recommend it as ground cover around homes because it makes a firebreak. Naturalists hate it because it is non-native.

    Meanwhile, my Master-Gardener wife has been planting sedum, but has to protect it against deer.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    Anybody growing Borage now? I have them all over my garden from last year's seeds that fell to
    the ground. Just one plant will turn into a big bush with plenty of blue flowers blooming from
    morning til night. My bees are all over them everyday. They will bloom for months if you plant
    them in succession. Borage will provide pollen and nectar too. I also grow the mustard and turnip veggies for them.
    I luv bee source!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    983

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    Borage. Sounds like another name the Master Gardener tosses about. Wouldn't know it if it bit me.

    Now, viper's bugloss I can spot. Fortunately, it doesn't actually bite.

    Just glad the natural garden includes several acres of mature tulip poplars, that the black locust looks like it's blooming this year. She detests the invasive autumn olive, but the bees are all over it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    arvad, colorado, usa
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: your bee garden this year

    I used to have Borage and the bees loved it, but it proved too invasive and got into all my gardens so I removed it. It took me years to get it all.

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