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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I planted several anise hyssop plants (purchased from the nursery) as companion plants in my asparagus beds. They grew into lovely bushes of lavender flowers and seemed to attract all sorts of bees and butterflies. I even saw a few honey bees (hopefully from my hives which are not too far away). They have bloomed all summer and are still going strong. I am thinking about doing a mass planting for next year if I am convinced my honey bees will benefit (as well as my honey crop!) The flowers and leaves are edible for humans, too, and have a licorice taste. Yummy. Does anyone else have any experience with Anise Hyssop as relates to their honey bees?
 

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I have a hive about a 1/4 mile from a Lowes home improvement store and my bees are over there in the garden center all the time.I can go see what they prefer just by walking around the garden center and looking at the different flowers.The Hyssops are always full of bees and so is the Salvia.Strangely enough I bought 5 or 6 Hyssops and planted them 35 feet from my 30+ hives and I rarely ever see them on the flowers.They will go where stuff is most abundant.
 

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I have about 6 anise hyssop blooming right now- nice full bushes about 3 1/2 feet tall.
This morning I counted about 7 different species of bees on them (including my own honeybees), plus a couple types of butterflies. Very popular with nectar insects, and such a lovely plant! :)
 

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I have at least 30 anise blue hyssop plants around the yard. The bees love them, the yellow finches are eating the seed heads.
Read an article in one of the be mags that claimed, 2 acres of anise blue hyssop can support 250 hives. This is a large statement for them to make. So I give seedlings to the neighbors, & bee club members.
 

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It is one of the most beneficial honey plants there is. The more you have the better. Sometimes when you only have a few of anything the bees don’t seem to care about it. I only have 2 plants and if I stand there long enough I may see a honeybee on it. I want lots more of it next year and may plant it along the garden fence. Not to change the subject but my corn has a dozen bees per top and has had for a week now. They are loading up on pollen and it is non GMO, non treated, heritage open pollinated corn grown organically; so they should be ok. Unless they fly just over 2 miles to the factory corn nearby. The workers wear full chem suits when they spray over there. They poisoned the soil first but I have no Idea if they used treated seed or not. Back on track; the hyssop will work out great for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, everyone. I am excited. Can't wait to plant a whole field of anise hyssop for next summer. From what I have read, North Florida, at least in my area (Lamont, FL) has a summer dearth starting in June or July, so I am stoked to know we can help the little girls out in late summer. AND my family has the benefit of edible flowers and leaves for summer salads or just grazing in the garden (which I am prone to do!). Adopting bees is one of the best decisions I ever made.
 

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Beecuz, sounds great.

One tip- i direct planted an entire packet of 100 or so anise hyssop seeds this spring and from that I wound up with only about 8 new plants, even though I kept the seed watered and sort of coddled it. So you may need to plant more seed than you might think.
My three 2nd year plants that I bought last year in pots are now HUGE and beautiful., and the ones from seed this Spring are almost as big.
You can also multiply them by digging and cutting the whole thing in half, root ball and all.
 

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One of the favourites for bees, great nectar producer,according to the experts if you have 1 acre field of this flower, you can expect anywhere between 1-1,5 tons of honey.
From June - July to September bees are all over it.
I sow some seeds this spring, some flowers came up, some will hopefuly come up in the spring. This fall I will plant 120 plugs (one tray). Good thing it's perenial and it keeps reproducing without our help, once established. It's good for humans too, dried could be used as herbal tea, or nice anise scented culinary seasoning.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One of the favourites for bees, great nectar producer,according to the experts if you have 1 acre field of this flower, you can expect anywhere between 1-1,5 tons of honey.
From June - July to September bees are all over it.
I sow some seeds this spring, some flowers came up, some will hopefuly come up in the spring. This fall I will plant 120 plugs (one tray). Good thing it's perenial and it keeps reproducing without our help, once established. It's good for humans too, dried could be used as herbal tea, or nice anise scented culinary seasoning.:thumbsup:
What a lovely accident in selecting my companion plants!
 

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i went to visit a friend 1/2 mile from my house today.
She has one large anise hyssop in her backyard, and also a large russian sage plant.

The hyssop had quite a few bees on it, including bumbles and honeybees (probably my honeybees)...but the russian sage had almost TWICE as many bees on it, lots of honeybees too.
Maybe we should all get some russian sage too!
Here is what it looks like. Not too unlike anise hyssop in appearance and bushy growth. They both have very fragrant leaves. :)
Another bee favorite is catmint (more than catnip), and it too has fragrant leaves and purple flowers, but grows in mounds rather than tall/bushy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i went to visit a friend 1/2 mile from my house today.
She has one large anise hyssop in her backyard, and also a large russian sage plant.

The hyssop had quite a few bees on it, including bumbles and honeybees (probably my honeybees)...but the russian sage had almost TWICE as many bees on it, lots of honeybees too.
Maybe we should all get some russian sage too!
........



What a treat. I love your photos! I agree - russian sage, too! And I'll check into the cat mint! Thanks so much for sharing...:applause:
 

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I'm a lousy gardener. However, I bought some Hyssop plugs from a supplier here on Beesource two years ago and they're doing well. How, and when, would the gardeners among you recommend to divide these plants to propogate them? Also would you split them into two or three or how many? They are about three feet high and are in bloom. Thanks, Adrian (zone 4)
 

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I would only divide the plants if they are robust and large...like 2 1/2 wide tops and 3 feet tall. Spindly plants will not divide as well.

Dig deep and get the whole root ball up and out. Get a really big sharp knife or a sharp shovel and cut the whole root ball in half or in thirds. Gently pull the top apart as you separate the parts. I would not divide into more than 3 parts, better survival.
Do this dividing in the Fall, before the freezes set in.
Plant the new divisions and water deeply several times during the first month. mulch the ground around the new plants a little for the winter.
 

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I think that might be well true if my bees were foraging on several acres of mint, hyssop, or sages...but I doubt that a dozen plants will effect the overall taste of my honey. I keep in mind that my bees are likely foraging over 4 miles out in all directions from home. :)
 

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Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is great for honey bees. They flower for a long time and the bees are on them constantly. I have tried (and continue to grow) two varieties: the regular purple and a white variety called snow spike. They are both very appealing to bees.

They will flower and produce seed the first year (at least around here). Note that these plants produce a lot of seeds. In my case I started with one packet of each, and that year harvested about 1kg of seed. The trick to harvesting the seeds is to dry the flower stems after they have matured, then shake them upside down once dry.

http://aprici.com
 

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Anise Hyssop will reseed profusely that's for sure, the honey bees love it, I have seen as many as 4-5 bees climbing around each 4" tall flower spike. John
 
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