Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Franklin, Illinois,USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    I live in central Illinois where land is expensive and every inch is cultivated for corn and soybeans. I have bees but the have to work hard for everything. I have a great 1/4 acre tall grass prarie that the bumblebees and butterflies love but I donít see the honey bees working it but am not looking 24/7. I am going to do a 7 acre prarie probably next year. Putting wind farm in this area and wiring is going through prarie area but still think will plant next year. Anyone found any native plants that bees feed on? I also planted some clover last year in July that grew pretty good this year. Got it from the bee and butterfly guy. See bees on it but not a crowd. What plants put out a lot of nectar and throw some pollen in there. I donít think I will live long enough for trees. I do have 4 Korean bee bee trees. Young trees. I hear people talk about BORAGE like it is poison and it has to be treated like a delicate flower and canít fight weeds. What clover is the best. Have a big sunflower patch 1/4 mile away. Two years ago I got of nectar from something This year they planted again and I saw no difference. Do hybrid sunflowers give nectar. What about sunflowers. Got some pussy willows but Japanese beetles got in to them and they survived. See about spring. WHAT ARE SOME GOOD PLANTS TO PLANT. I WILL TAKE ALL ADVICE. LIVE IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS. IF CORN AND SOYBEANS WERE GOOD FOR HONEYBEES I WOULD BE DOING GREAT. I know soybeans have some nectar but I donít see it. Plenty of goldenrod but the honey tastes terrible. Some people say if you store it 6 month Its good. HELP MY BEES DONT BRING IN WHAT THEY COULD. THANKS

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    4,784

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    No native plants produce much of nectar to speak of - save for later asters (the goldenrods are largely still invasive, if that matters).
    Added: in the IL corn country, to be sure.

    Search this exact subforum (Nectar & Pollen Plant) - no need to rehash the same the N's time.
    It is not hard to even review the subjects and read 2-3 discussions.

    Speaking of the goldenrod honey - it is delicious.
    Whoever says it tastes terrible, I will call them out they never really tasted it.
    Last edited by GregV; 09-02-2020 at 09:23 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    Dog,

    if you are challenged where you have your bees, a consideration worth investigating is a better site. In your travels to and from your humble Abode, go a different way each day and look for an area that has a drainage or other non tilled area, Hay fields are ok as well pastures. I have at this point bees at 5 different places, for a fact each is different, some are only 4 miles apart. Not every site is an optimum Bee keeping site. there may be better sites near you. I realize gas is an expense , but I have 7 hives at my dad's 4 hour drive away. this year they did the best. I visit my dad with supers and bee stuff in the car. In My mind I am going there occasionally any way so I do not really make special bee only trips. consider where you now go, and what "could work" for a different site. I have a site that I will need to feed 100% of the hives there fortunately it is only 5 but next year they move. The concept than bees can be kept any where is not valid unless you plan to feed, and maybe treat.
    I would think on the side of a better Apiary site. Know any buddies with farms or hunting camps, that you now visit a couple time a year?

    good luck

    here I start with Maple and Pussy willow, shift into dandelions then lots of stuff for the spring.
    Late is 2nd or 3rd or 4th cutting hay, alfalfa seems the better , and trefoil. white sweet clover, asters , goldenrod and purple loosestrife for the fall.
    by 9-15 we will be mostly done here.

    GG

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    2,272

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    I have the same problem, only with me it's cabbages, cauliflowers and potatoes.

    This year has been great though - due I suspect to the virus, which has reduced the workforce who normally shave the earth to within an inch of it's life. So - plenty of 'weeds' this year, and plenty of honey as a result. Next year - who knows ?
    Borage - I love it, but here it tends to grow tall and then falls over in the slightest breeze. Dunno how it's survived on this planet for so long.
    There's always heather if you have an acid soil, but you really need large areas of it to make a difference - likewise lavender.
    Trees would be best of course - pity we don't get more than one lifetime.
    It is possible to buy honeysuckle in bush form, I'm currently on the lookout for some.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    4,784

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    ...... So - plenty of 'weeds' this year, and plenty of honey as a result. .......LJ
    So yeah, as much as the humans may hate it, the COVID is good for Nature, indeed.
    What is this limitless desire to control the "weeds"?
    For sure it drives the poor bugs hungry (and every other animal too).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    2,272

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    So yeah, as much as the humans may hate it, the COVID is good for Nature, indeed.
    What is this limitless desire to control the "weeds"?
    For sure it drives the poor bugs hungry (and every other animal too).
    Yeah - control is indeed the word - a need to control. Also an obsession with "Neat and Tidy" - you only need take a quick look down any street in one of Britain's suburbs: manicured hedges, shaved lawns, flowers like so many lollipops (popsicles ?) - all lined up in rows - not a single 'weed' poking it's head up along any of the driveways ... what's that all about ?

    But - it's normal. It may be a form of insanity, but it's what many (most ?) people view as normality. It's us - we're the ones who are weird (by society's standards).
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    4,784

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    LJ,
    I can even understand a little bit of "neat and tidy" as in your front yard. I do that too.
    But when this replicates into thousands of hectares of "neat and tidy" that is insanity and total destruction.
    For shame, indeed.

    Good deal on your honey crop this year.
    Save some of that for yourself, I assume.
    Great demo on the necessity of the "weeds".
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Franklin, Illinois,USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    Farmers right next to me hate weeds and whoever produces weed seeds(me).

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    Quote Originally Posted by dogmechanic View Post
    Farmers right next to me hate weeds and whoever produces weed seeds(me).
    Right,
    And if you push it , HE may just spray something full bloom and wipe you out, so antagonize the farmer with trepidation.
    AND work toward finding a better place, if possible.

    Like I suggested, my best Apiary is 4 hours travel away from my home. Good Spots exist, to find one and figure out the travel schedule is the challenge.

    Or feed, and keep the combs separate so you do not end up with Syrup on your toast.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    640

    Default Re: Live in a corn and soybean forest-bees hungry

    Do you have any pastures near your location. I don't know if it is wild or planted but every pasture I am aware of is loaded with clover.

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