Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I'd been wondering if there's somewhere that lists a sorted list of nectar producing plants 'By efficiency of space'?

Its easy to find lists of flowers and I know most of the bee plants that people use around here. And we know many of them and have been around them for years.. But sorted by space/nectar production per acre or square foot is something else that I'm not quite sure where to look, and I don't think there is such a thing (?).

I know you don't have to do this. But I already do stuff like this anyway. But I'd like to improve the efficiency.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Per square foot I'd argue that clover gives you the most nectar. This is why honey producers move their hives up to the clover fields, to pack in the nectar fast and heavy. I've read that dutch clover gives a very high yield along with sweet clovers. As such, I have planted these all over my 3.5 acres as the dutch clover blooms early and the sweet clovers will go into mid-summer.

With that, I think it's just as important to note what blooms when and what you should plant for the overall health of your bees throughout your season instead of monocropping for one massive honey flow.

And even further, even if I planted 100% of my 3.5 acres with clover the bees fly something like 50,000 acres as their forage area. What you plant makes a difference, but it's more important to know what your neighbors have planted.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ankklackning

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Per square foot I'd argue that clover gives you the most nectar. This is why honey producers move their hives up to the clover fields, to pack in the nectar fast and heavy. I've read that dutch clover gives a very high yield along with sweet clovers. As such, I have planted these all over my 3.5 acres as the dutch clover blooms early and the sweet clovers will go into mid-summer.

With that, I think it's just as important to note what blooms when and what you should plant for the overall health of your bees throughout your season instead of monocropping for one massive honey flow.

And even further, even if I planted 100% of my 3.5 acres with clover the bees fly something like 50,000 acres as their forage area. What you plant makes a difference, but it's more important to know what your neighbors have planted.
Wow. That's neat. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
I've had good luck with Hancock Seed. They even have a section of seed specifically for the honey bees along with some mixes that would be fun to try out.

Honey Bee Seed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,555 Posts
'By efficiency of space'?
You should be thinking 3-D, not 2-D.
:)

Trees, of course, have much higher efficiency per the foot print.
A good size linden tree alone will beat Dutch clover by a mile (if there is an equally good flow).

Else, define what is your 'efficiency of space'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
You should be thinking 3-D, not 2-D.
:)

Trees, of course, have much higher efficiency per the foot print.
A good size linden tree alone will beat Dutch clover by a mile (if there is an equally good flow).

Else, define what is your 'efficiency of space'.
Touche. I'm sure our laurel bays and acacia produce a LOT more than the clover underneath it.
 

·
Registered
6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
Joined
·
558 Posts
Trees for sure. Phacelia highly recommended, Sunflowers (pollen producing varieties), Allium, Cariopteris also trying Figwort this year. I seeded clover and viola into my lawn and love it. There's a variety of clover that binds well with grass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
One of the many things I've been reviewing, is the continuity of nectar flow over the course of the year. Now everything is is local and some of the plants/trees discussed here don't grow in my area. I have some land that I will be placing hives on, 85% or so is hay field so I have a blank canvas. We have had a pretty balance season with flow from the first thaw to the first freeze. Here in New Jersey, Rutgers University Ag School publishes a list of pollinator plants which includes trees and grass along with average bloom dates over the course of the year. I would think that if one had certain months with strong flows and other months with dearth, we would look at planting vegetation that would yield better flows during any dearth as the surround forage would be available (and plentiful) during normal peak flows (Is that understandable?) You'd reserve your property for the dearth to ensure some forage during those times. The Rutgers' list is very much focused on NJ and mostly native plant so mileage may vary outside our area. I'm sure one could figure out their locality with a little research. I am planning on planting around an acre of milkweed (in patches) but that more to support monarch butterflies-I've always like them since I was a small kid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,170 Posts
You should be thinking 3-D, not 2-D.
:)

Trees, of course, have much higher efficiency per the foot print.
A good size linden tree alone will beat Dutch clover by a mile (if there is an equally good flow).

Else, define what is your 'efficiency of space'.
I have also heard that trees are much more efficient. Based on the number of bees in my apple trees when they are blooming I can easily believe this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
One of the many things I've been reviewing, is the continuity of nectar flow over the course of the year. Now everything is is local and some of the plants/trees discussed here don't grow in my area. I have some land that I will be placing hives on, 85% or so is hay field so I have a blank canvas. We have had a pretty balance season with flow from the first thaw to the first freeze. Here in New Jersey, Rutgers University Ag School publishes a list of pollinator plants which includes trees and grass along with average bloom dates over the course of the year. I would think that if one had certain months with strong flows and other months with dearth, we would look at planting vegetation that would yield better flows during any dearth as the surround forage would be available (and plentiful) during normal peak flows (Is that understandable?) You'd reserve your property for the dearth to ensure some forage during those times. The Rutgers' list is very much focused on NJ and mostly native plant so mileage may vary outside our area. I'm sure one could figure out their locality with a little research. I am planning on planting around an acre of milkweed (in patches) but that more to support monarch butterflies-I've always like them since I was a small kid.
Wow. Cool.

How do you find those average bloom date lists? I was looking for one in my state and can't find it anymore..if there was one.

I like your idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,961 Posts
On a per acre basis, Canadian goldenrod can produce 100lbs of honey per acre.

Trees are really good too, if you have 10 years to wait, plant an acre or two of linden trees.
Yeah, when it grows under the 'right' conditions in Canada.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Yeah, when it grows under the 'right' conditions in Canada.
Agreed. I've planted many things that are supposedly honeybee magnets that weren't touched including vipers bugloss and phacelia. I think local growing conditions are important for the plant your trying out. Probably cultivar too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,351 Posts
Yeah, when it grows under the 'right' conditions in Canada.
Up here on the north west shore of lake Huron I usually get no appreciable fall flow from goldenrod. Sometimes I smell a bit of the smelly socks of drying down golden rod. Some people who pull honey supers very late have enough goldenrod content to make their honey crystallize quickly. That is the time of year I want to be treating for mites and getting ready for winter, usually feeding some sugar syrup. Goldenrod not much of an asset to me.

Joe Pye Weed which grows quite heavily in the low ground around me is far more yielding. Highly aromatic honey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Up here on the north west shore of lake Huron I usually get no appreciable fall flow from goldenrod. Sometimes I smell a bit of the smelly socks of drying down golden rod. Some people who pull honey supers very late have enough goldenrod content to make their honey crystallize quickly. That is the time of year I want to be treating for mites and getting ready for winter, usually feeding some sugar syrup. Goldenrod not much of an asset to me.

Joe Pye Weed which grows quite heavily in the low ground around me is far more yielding. Highly aromatic honey.

Everything is local, we do real well in late summer with the Joe Pye weed here too. Our goldenrod runs right out to late fall and we get a decent amount of rain during that period so it's a decent flow. The point I was making earlier was to identify what you have for natural flow and plot it on a calendar then identify your dearth's, then find (preferably native) plants that will produce during that dearth. NJ has a variety of micro climates from north to south. Surviving Our Bees' is only 60 miles north of me and his climate is more like the Catskills in NY where as my climate is lower in elevation and is more influenced by the ocean so we're more like the Chesapeake Bay. This also reflects in our vegetation and flows. An add for my end being slightly urban is we have a lot of gardeners who plant some non-native species which give us a little more wiggle room during what should be late summer dearth.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,209 Posts
One of the many things I've been reviewing, is the continuity of nectar flow over the course of the year. Now everything is is local and some of the plants/trees discussed here don't grow in my area. I have some land that I will be placing hives on, 85% or so is hay field so I have a blank canvas. We have had a pretty balance season with flow from the first thaw to the first freeze. Here in New Jersey, Rutgers University Ag School publishes a list of pollinator plants which includes trees and grass along with average bloom dates over the course of the year. I would think that if one had certain months with strong flows and other months with dearth, we would look at planting vegetation that would yield better flows during any dearth as the surround forage would be available (and plentiful) during normal peak flows (Is that understandable?) You'd reserve your property for the dearth to ensure some forage during those times. The Rutgers' list is very much focused on NJ and mostly native plant so mileage may vary outside our area. I'm sure one could figure out their locality with a little research. I am planning on planting around an acre of milkweed (in patches) but that more to support monarch butterflies-I've always like them since I was a small kid.
can you irrigate?
dutch clover, in an irrigated field would bloom all year. just need to mow on a rotation like 25 percent every week to 10 days and there would be some blooming until the dearth, if you can water it then it blooms till fall.
Sun flowers are also a good fall bloom.
Sweet clover mowed just prior to bloom would re grow and bloom late.

if you have water to irrigate lots of options, if not the tree idea would have merit.

GG
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top