Planting around hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Mason county, WV, USA
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    85

    Default Planting around hive

    Does anyone plant flowers directly around the bee hive? I have a wild flower mix I am ordering in early April, and wanted to know if I took some of the extra seeds I know that will be left over plant them around the hive location. Is that a bad idea?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
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    2,095

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    most bees have wings and can't walk to work. will have no affect on the bees but if that makes ya feel good do it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Keosauqua, IA, USA
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    237

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    most bees have wings and can't walk to work. will have no affect on the bees but if that makes ya feel good do it.
    My uncle plants buckwheat end of April, then a field of clover. His first year hives almost always boom, and produce excess honey. I did it my first year, it was a huge success. It could be my area, or my bees.


    But, do what you like.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Keosauqua, IA, USA
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    Quote Originally Posted by QueenlessDrone View Post
    Does anyone plant flowers directly around the bee hive? I have a wild flower mix I am ordering in early April, and wanted to know if I took some of the extra seeds I know that will be left over plant them around the hive location. Is that a bad idea?
    It can't hurt. Some people say it has no effects, I believe it does. If anything you can (somewhat) flavor your honey to your liking.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Mason county, WV, USA
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    85

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    My concern was maybe it would cause robbing? Being that the flower seeds would be sowed directly around the hive. I know we will have extra left over after seeding the driveway. Just trying to think of places to plant them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    moravia,ny
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    2,095

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    no robbing problem but if it takes 2 mil. visits to flowers to make 1 lb honey what good does a few hundred flowers do?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Mason county, WV, USA
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    Default Re: Planting around hive

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    no robbing problem but if it takes 2 mil. visits to flowers to make 1 lb honey what good does a few hundred flowers do?
    Well when I clear the area around the hive like I plan on doing before I plant the wildflower seed mix. It would look better with flowers blooming than grass growing up around it. I do not own a weed eater only a push mower and the location where the hive will be I can't mow around. So the answer to your question is it would look better, and be a place to get rid of my extra seed mix rather than wasting.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    moravia,ny
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    2,095

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    now that sounds better. lol good luck with your bees.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dayton, OH
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    In my experience, bees ignore flowers in a 10-20' radius around the hive. If for decoration, go nuts. If for nectar, you may want to think twice.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    Last year I planted some daikon flowers around my
    bee hives about 3 feet away. They were all over the
    flowers during the Spring time. So your flowers should
    work for them. Going to repeat this experiment again this year.
    They like the Borage flowers about 25' away too. If you plant it they will come!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tigard, OR
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    My hive sits on a bench-style trellis in the backyard and I've just got a couple of honeysuckle plants climbing it; I usually put DE around the legs of the trellis to discourage ants from moving in the hive.
    As for me, all I know is that I know nothing... - Socrates
    western Ore. zone 8b.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    I planted flowers around my hives last year and it helped a lot. 60+ acres of Tansies! Everything within 10 feet of the hives got roundup and rubber mats!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    Have seen bees work flowers right next to the hive, even flowers that are inches from the entrance.

    Tall plants near the entrance may block the flight plan and slow the bees down a bit, and may even cause drift.

    If I were to plant next to the hives I would look for a low ground cover that would smother tall weeds, maybe a white clover or dandelions.

    Which wild flower mix are you getting? What's in it. Often wild flower mixes don't work very well, some even contain fillers like fertilizer and potting soil. I might target a specific flower a group of several that do well to your zone and soil type. Natural seeds selected for your state or area will do better that just a prepackaged wild flower mix.

    Find the soil requirement for each flower, if your soil PH is not just right the seeds may germinate then die right after.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    I plowed the fields by my apiaries last year in July, but the tractor broke down before I could finish the job and sow anything. Luckily for me, it led to about an acre of spontaneous field mustard to germinate, and within a month, it was in full bloom 'till the end of the season. I do feel like it really helped my apiary there, because it kept on going when most other things died out, into October. While it yielded about a third of my honey harvest, according to the pollen analysis I had done (and that was the only harvest I did that year, and it was done at least a month before the mustard stopped flowering), I suspect it yielded a very large proportion of the pollen intake during that period. Qualitatively, the hives felt like they were developing much more during the mustard bloom than they were the previous years at the same time of year.

    And I'm not saying "wow, that acre changed everything for my 2 hives!", I had about 80 colonies (nucs and splits accounting for about half) at that apiary. Forage and timing are critical. Had I sowed an acre of white clover, I probably wouldn't have noticed a difference. But field mustard is an excellent honey plant, and it bloomed at an excellent time, and we had excellent weather. All of that combined easily offsets the "it's only 0,01% of their forage area", in my opinion. In my area, flowers that bloom in late April, early June, and September+ do yield a visible gain at the acre scale.

    Now I'm hoping that the field will spontaneously grow back, but unfortunately, I know it'll be blooming much earlier than last year, and I'm hoping it won't bloom simultaneously with the rest of the flowers. I was satisfied enough with the results of that wild mustard that I'm thinking of paying a farmer to combine it for me next year. Sure, I could buy white mustard or brown mustard, but that field mustard looks even more promising bee-wise.

    The way I see it, bee pastures are just like any other pasture. Sure, you can let your cattle feed on a large abandoned field, eating whatever's there, a mix a low-digestability, low-palatability, or low-energy species with poor regrowth and low leaf yield. Or you can take the same herd to a much smaller field, sow productive cultivars, fertilize, do drainage, and leave the cattle on small sub-sections only long enough for them to eat up the excess vegetation while allowing for enough to be left there for the plants to recover. Same with bees. Sure, you can let them fly for miles to get to their flower, forage on low-sugar nectar and low-nutrition pollen, with poor nectar/pollen yields, possible pesticide contamination, and poor blooming dates with periods of dearths and other periods of excess bloom, or you can pick species that have high sugar concentrations in their nectar, good amino acid profile in their pollen, good yields of both, right next to your bees.

    A good bee pasture does make a difference, of this I am convinced. However, there's not much science on them, unfortunately. Finding the sugar concentrations and amino acid profile of pollen for different species is hard at best, and the data is only there for a select few. Then there's the economics of it: how does the cost of a pasture compare to the cost of feed, and what impacts it has on the bottom line. There just isn't any answer for this. And I don't have much faith at all in most of the "bee pasture" mixes available out there on the market.
    www.apisrustica.com Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
    www.facebook.com/Apis.rustica

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Mason county, WV, USA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    Have seen bees work flowers right next to the hive, even flowers that are inches from the entrance.

    Tall plants near the entrance may block the flight plan and slow the bees down a bit, and may even cause drift.

    If I were to plant next to the hives I would look for a low ground cover that would smother tall weeds, maybe a white clover or dandelions.

    Which wild flower mix are you getting? What's in it. Often wild flower mixes don't work very well, some even contain fillers like fertilizer and potting soil. I might target a specific flower a group of several that do well to your zone and soil type. Natural seeds selected for your state or area will do better that just a prepackaged wild flower mix.

    Find the soil requirement for each flower, if your soil PH is not just right the seeds may germinate then die right after.
    I will be using this mix http://www.vermontwildflowerfarm.com/deluxe-mix.html mostly because I like 95% of the flowers. We think it would look better comming up the driveway than whats currently growing. (brier's, small trees, etc...) We wanted something that wouldn't scratch the car when we leave or come home hehe. There is alot of work to be done before I can plant it, and as soon as the snow melts I will be getting started. Thank you everyone for your replies!

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Henrico, VA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    I'm brand new... getting my bees in late March. Before I took a beekeeping 101 class last month, I was planning to put my hives into my garden (thinking the bees would be right there to pollinate) but the instructor (and I'm reading somewhat the same thing here) said that if I want them to pollinate my veg plants, I'd best plant them on the other side of the yard. I'd prefer inside the garden because a) there conveniently located, b) it's a great SE facing location with lots of sun, and c) I (perhaps mistakenly) thought the bees would pollinate my veg plants since they're right there (I've been hand-pollinating a lot the past few years, even though I've planted lots of native flowers around the garden to try and draw in pollinators).

    So, am I better off putting the hives across the yard, either in full sun and south facing (they'd have a fence with trees behind), or SE facing, but right next to an often-used walkway? I appreciate any and all advice

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    With a potential of 60,000 bees flying during the flow, I would not put them on or next to
    a often used walkway. Bees should be keep 50' away from human's path.
    They will forage a 3 mile radius so anything you plant that the bees like they
    will frequent there. In this case I think your inspector is wrong. The bees will
    forage with a feet of their hives on the flowers they like. I have tested this theory before.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Henrico, VA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    Thank you SO much!! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer

    I'll put the hives into the garden and hope for the best!

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    40 miles south west of paris, frane
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Planting around hive

    each plant i buy and plant in my garden is good for bees , we need to help them , in some areas nothing in left for them , i'm talking about de places were fields are all over like were i live , they call that intensive agriculture and there are bearly no flowers lest there .
    i work in landskaping and when a client asks me what kind of bushesor flowers he can plant à make him a list whit the best ones for our bees.

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