Milkweed and pretty soon would be the time to save seed. I am looking at planting Borage as I read bee's love it and the nectar returns to the plant 2 mins after a bee takes the nectar out.
Spieker do you know if deer eat Borage herb? And if it reseeds it's self as it is a annual.
Why does it matter if deer will eat the plants? Is your area so overpopulated with deer that they will eat every last plant?
If you have so small of a patch of plants that you have to worry about a deer eating all of them in one night, your patch is likely too small to be of any real benefit to the bees. If your patch is large enough to be a nice benefit to the bees, it likely is large enough that it won't make a difference if a deer eats a meal there.
Thistles, black raspberries, ironweed, and goldenrod are all good bee plants that animals don't seem to bother.
Yes, I plant 15 acres of sweet clover and others for my bees. But I don't plant it thick enough to be used as a bedding plot. I have mixed in Crimson Clover, and New Zealand White. A little of about every kind of wild flower I can get my hands on. That 15 acres is strictly set up for bees. Once you get it started, it takes care of itself.
Ash trees. I don't know if bees have any use for it but ash wood will give you both a bow and arrows (I believe your area is bowhunting only.) Honey-glazed venison, anyone?
Not much to add to the posts above. How much land and what setting are you talking about? For suburban planting I'd focus more on ornamental, early pollen plantings and let them forage for nectar. Willows for wet areas and boxwood for well drained areas are both good early pollen plants and the neighbors will think you are just landscaping.
My bees are working knotweed even more than goldenrod right now. Knotweed is really invasive though and it might even be illegal (or at least highly undesirable) to plant in your area.
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