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My number one hobby is gardening and I definitely have hundreds of plants (including veggies, herbs and ornamentals), shrubs and trees on my property. Some are certainly hybrids that probably offer little nutritional nectar, but many are local species that are known for being honey bee banquets.

It has been my observation, that my bees rarely hit my flowers unless it is a planted crop (like buckwheat) or a weed (like clover) or an early bloomer (like maples and hollies). I might see a couple on a flower or two, but never real foraging.

Maybe this is a unique experience just for me, but my personal belief is that the bees like to find an area where there are a ton of the same bloomers in bloom. I might have a patch of 7 to 12 of the same type of flowers, but I do not have hundreds of the same variety on my property. I think my bees go out and look for these areas, which they communicate to the hive and that's where the vast majority of your bees go.

But, there's nothing scientific to my belief and I could definitely be wrong. Just my opinion and personal experience.
 

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I read somewhere that bees will ignore flowers within 50 yards of the hive.

Is this true? If it is, I'm wasting a lot of time planting bee-friendly herbs and flowers in the yard...

Thanks,

Adam
I see bees going straight from the hive into the raspberry patch when in bloom. It is 2 meters from the hive. When fruit trees are in bloom I also watch them rushing from the hive to the fruit trees couple of meters from the hive.

You are not wasting your time....plant as much as you can...you will get no honey crops from your yard but it is worth. Each flower counts.....
Plant something that is flowering in times where there is little or no major forage around...
 

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Keep doing what your doing, it's not a waste of time. I used to have keep one of my hives in our yard for my wife's flowers. The bees were all over her flowers and some of the flower plants were within ten yards of the hive.
Big T
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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They MAY ignore them or they may not. It depends on what they are already working and what the richness of the nectar is etc. It's not as simple as them not working things close. They will if that's what they started on and it's still a rich enough source of nectar. They can be quite faithful to a bloom until it gives out, even to the point of flying over another bloom that bloomed after. Filling gaps in the flow, is what I plant for.
 

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They will definutly come to stuff that is close. They are almost always on my asparagus when it blooms, same with rasberries and dutch clover if the flow is over. Mahonia in the spring, when it is the only thing in bloom and it's warm enough to fly, always has bees on it.
 

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agreed, my chokecherry bloomed a bit early this year and the girls favored the crab apple trees up the road because it bloomed a few days earlier. they did not move onto the chokecherrys till the apple bloom played out even thou the hives sit right under the chokecherrys. , litterly inches away :lookout:

beebiker
 

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Like Beebiker's experience, my bees snubbed their noses at my many blooming blueberry bushes 20 feet from the hives because they found the pickings much more attractive at the crabapples blooming 1500 ft. down the road. They definitely have discriminating tastes!! Why shouldn't they? We do!! :applause:
 

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I have a tiny tiny lot and it varies with what is in bloom...vetch they are all over, same with the blackberries and spring beauties. During the summer, as of a few years ago, the crepe myrtle. We'll see with the peach tree next year. I have watched bees go from hive to clover right under the hive. I guess it just depends on what color they are committed to at that time.
 

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I have seen bees working stuff right beside the hive.

Bees do different dances to tell the other bees where the nectar source is. When it is over 100 yards from the hive, the bee tells the direction. When a nectar source is close to the hive, the bee just tells the other bees that it is close.
 

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I stagger plant a flower crop that the bees use for pollen later in the year, all the way into Nov. When other pollen sources are scarce they go direct to mine.
 
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