Guerilla bee gardening
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  1. #1
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    Default Guerilla bee gardening

    A few years ago I planted some borage in my garden. The bees loved it. I also noticed that in my area, borage will readily self-seed and spread like a weed. I had borage plants popping up all over my property, neighbors' property, etc.

    Now I'm walking to the grocery store and looking around at every plant I see, evaluating its usefulness to bees, and I'm noticing countless little niches and pathways and public spaces where weeds grow anyway, that I could toss some borage seeds down on my walk, and they'd sprout, grow, feed the bees, reseed, spread and feed the bees again - all on their own. No one will probably even notice as these areas are barely tended/not tended anyway.

    So I ordered a 1/4lb. bag of borage seed that I intend to spread around my surrounding blocks this year, and in a couple years, the neighborhood should have a feral, self-sustaining population of wild borage feeding the local bee population.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Please don't go spreading invasive noxious weeds around on the property of others
    Last edited by msl; 03-23-2017 at 08:20 PM.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Please don't go spreading invasive noxious weeds around on the property of others
    https://www.oregon.gov/oda/shared/Do...ossProfile.pdf
    Not the plant I'm talking about.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borage

    I live in an urban environment. This plant is not invading anyone's alfalfa fields, trust me.

    Honey bees are not native to the US. Nor are many of the plants they like. Nor are most of the plants grown in urban gardens/yards in my neighborhood. We're talking about overgrown weedy areas, which will only be improved by planting some useful flowers. If all of Portland removed the invasive, non-native weed blackberries, the local bee population might die entirely. Blackberries are a huge part of the local nectar flow.
    Last edited by damdaman; 03-23-2017 at 08:46 PM.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    whoop, thats why i gave the link, just in case, too many plants called the same common name ie they are both know as borage and star flower...
    and lets be real, your description and intended out come would lead one to beleave its invasive...

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    It does not matter what it is weather it is invasive or not. It does not matter weather it is a noxious weed or not. It is Wrong to do anything at all to, on or in the property of another without permission to do so. It is presumptuous, and self serving to take such liberties! Just plant them on every inch of your property if you want them planted!

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    It does not matter what it is weather it is invasive or not. It does not matter weather it is a noxious weed or not. It is Wrong to do anything at all to, on or in the property of another without permission to do so. It is presumptuous, and self serving to take such liberties! Just plant them on every inch of your property if you want them planted!
    What part of overgrown, weedy public spaces makes you think I'm suggesting going around planting things on other people's property?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    I dunno, you might not like your neighbors! Might nefariously be throwing seeds over their fence in the middle of the night.

    In all seriousness, I've heard of companies selling "seed bombs" and encouraging the same practice so I think you're in the clear.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    someone spread Canadian thistle seeds in between the guard rails on a secondary roadway here, just leading up to a bridge so the the rails formed a triangle on both sides of the bridge. the thistle took off and both triangle areas looked terrific covered with thistle and blooms. the road crews couldn't cut between the guard rails with their equipment so the stand got dense and healthy. by early fall they must of come back because the next time I passed by it looked like roundup was applied and the whole thing was a ugly brown mess.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
    What part of overgrown, weedy public spaces makes you think I'm suggesting going around planting things on other people's property?
    What part of YOU DO NOT OWN IT do you not understand! Your indiscriminate spreading of seeds will eventually lead to contamination of other private property.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Note that Portland Oregon has regulations that REQUIRE property owners to remove invasive plants on their property, even though those property owners may never have planted tose species.
    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/55084

    Borage doesn't seem to be on the Portland prohibited list, but it is at least mentioned on the State of Oregon invasive plants listing for Paterson's Curse ...
    Paterson’s curse is an erect annual (less often biennial)in the Borage plant family. Plants can be single-stemmed or multi-branched with an abundance of stout hairs on stems and leaves. Flowers are most often blue-purple in color, but may be pink or white. Flowers are borne on fiddleneck or scorpioid-like inflorescences. Two of the five stamens in the flower are longer and project significantly from the joined corolla. In Oregon, blooming starts as early as March and continues through June. Reproduction and spread is by seed. Each flower produces four brown or gray nutlet seeds surrounded by a husk covered in bristles giving them a fuzzy appearance. Seeds are spread by vehicles, farm implements, humans, animal, water, wind, hay, and as a contaminant of commercial seed. Paterson’s curse seed has been found in wildflower mixes in Oregon.

    http://www.oregon.gov/oda/programs/w...onweeds.aspx#_
    Given that seed cleaning is not 100% effective, unintended hitchhikers could easily be spread by surreptitious seed distribution. This project seems to be similar to another problem urban areas often have - "art" foisted on unwilling property owners.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    What part of YOU DO NOT OWN IT do you not understand! Your indiscriminate spreading of seeds will eventually lead to contamination of other private property.
    As a tax payer I actually own it just as much as everyone else. Seeing these hysterical replies to what boils down to a neighborhood improvement idea makes me glad I live in a city where most people aren't so reactionary. Most of my neighbors adopt sections of these neglected areas, planting all sorts of things that improve the neighborhood, including FLOWERS FOR BEES.

    But hey, why do that when we could just let weeds grow? Because surely WEEDS will never "lead to contamination of other private property." Seriously, get a grip.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Note that Portland Oregon has regulations that REQUIRE property owners to remove invasive plants on their property, even though those property owners may never have planted tose species.
    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/55084

    Borage doesn't seem to be on the Portland prohibited list, but it is at least mentioned on the State of Oregon invasive plants listing for Paterson's Curse ...


    Given that seed cleaning is not 100% effective, unintended hitchhikers could easily be spread by surreptitious seed distribution. This project seems to be similar to another problem urban areas often have - "art" foisted on unwilling property owners.
    Given that urban environments are DENSE, everything planted anywhere can spread. It's the nature of cities. The ugly, useless, invasive weeds currently overgrowing said areas certainly can.

    Man I never expected such negativity from the idea of replacing eyesores with flowers. Luckily most people in my neighborhood already do this, even in the PUBLIC SPACES that they DON'T OWN. It makes the neighborhood better. As does art. Here's to Portland, OR!

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by sarahsbees View Post
    I dunno, you might not like your neighbors! Might nefariously be throwing seeds over their fence in the middle of the night.

    In all seriousness, I've heard of companies selling "seed bombs" and encouraging the same practice so I think you're in the clear.
    Thanks Sarah, for a reasonable reply to my thread. I'll look into these seed bombs!

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    someone spread Canadian thistle seeds in between the guard rails on a secondary roadway here, just leading up to a bridge so the the rails formed a triangle on both sides of the bridge. the thistle took off and both triangle areas looked terrific covered with thistle and blooms. the road crews couldn't cut between the guard rails with their equipment so the stand got dense and healthy. by early fall they must of come back because the next time I passed by it looked like roundup was applied and the whole thing was a ugly brown mess.
    I've always thought that along roadsides/highways were a great place for communities to start reclaiming large swaths of land for a public good. I wonder if we could convince whoever's in charge of such things to mass plant pollinator plants alongside them as an experiment?

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
    As a tax payer I actually own it just as much as everyone else. Seeing these hysterical replies to what boils down to a neighborhood improvement idea makes me glad I live in a city where most people aren't so reactionary. Most of my neighbors adopt sections of these neglected areas, planting all sorts of things that improve the neighborhood, including FLOWERS FOR BEES.

    But hey, why do that when we could just let weeds grow? Because surely WEEDS will never "lead to contamination of other private property." Seriously, get a grip.
    Why don't you go in front of your neighborhood/community/city council and present your beautification idea to them to seek approval?
    Other taxpayers have a stake in public land too, they own it with you and some may have other plans for those waste spaces.
    The city council may go all in for it and supply the seeds, the community may help you, it'll make the neighborhood(s) better, it is Portland after all.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
    I've always thought that along roadsides/highways were a great place for communities to start reclaiming large swaths of land for a public good. I wonder if we could convince whoever's in charge of such things to mass plant pollinator plants alongside them as an experiment?
    Some state pollinator protection plans have included methods to increase the number of bee friendly plants on public roadways. Check with your state it may be happening already.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Why don't you go in front of your neighborhood/community/city council and present your beautification idea to them to seek approval?
    Other taxpayers have a stake in public land too, they own it with you and some may have other plans for those waste spaces.
    The city council may go all in for it and supply the seeds, the community may help you, it'll make the neighborhood(s) better, it is Portland after all.
    In an ideal world, sure. But in reality neighborhood pathways overgrown with weeds will have to be addressed by the city government sometime after the housing crisis/homelessness crisis, the meth/heroine epidemic, the increased gang activity, and even fixing the ubiquitous potholes that have scarred all the roads after an unusually cold winter.

    Or after fixing that other problem someone seems to think we have... too much art!

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by damdaman View Post
    Man I never expected such negativity from the idea of replacing eyesores with flowers. Luckily most people in my neighborhood already do this, even in the PUBLIC SPACES that they DON'T OWN.
    Individual citizens do not "own" public lands in any normal meaning of the word. Just imagine what would happen if you decided to harvest a tree from the public lands that you seem to think you own at say Portland's ... Washington Park
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    What part of YOU DO NOT OWN IT do you not understand! Your indiscriminate spreading of seeds will eventually lead to contamination of other private property.
    Next time I'm in Pennsylvania I'll be sure to bring seeds just to rile tenbears.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Guerilla bee gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyMcBean View Post
    Next time I'm in Pennsylvania I'll be sure to bring seeds just to rile tenbears.
    Go right ahead plant whatever you like. It is not a case of riling Tenbears, But rather a case of common courtesy.
    But remember when you plant these things to be sure you do so at night in locations where there is no chance of anyone, I mean anyone at all seeing you because if you plant them in a location where you can or should have foreseen that the spread of these plants will invade my farm land. In which case I certainly will file suit in court to recover damages. Just ask the township what happened when they decided to plant Crown vetch along the road bordering my alfalfa fields and the stuff ended up out competing my cash crop!

    I plant 60 acres of purple tansy for the bees, My bees, wild bees, the neighbors bees! Great flowers for bees they bloom at a time when little else is blooming in my area. The difference being I plant it on My own land. Land I have a deed to. I do not go out and plant it in the median of I80. Simply because I want to, And certainly not because I can see a possible benefit to me. People need to realize that they are not the only ones in this world, and the right of scrooges not to look at flowers is equally important as ones right to do so. By the same token when one's efforts result in another having to labor of pay to have labor done to remove the results from others actions, the individual causing such action is responsible and they know it. That is why they would rather do such things on the sly than ask permission. When the seed caster's neighbors start griping that the city planted these flowers in the weedy public spaces and now they have these things growing all over their lovely lawn, and they are crowding out their begonias Is Mr. Seed caster going to tell tem he planted the stuff and therefor will pay to have chemlawn come in and get their lawn straight, Or a landscaper to help their begonias? I doubt it!

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