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I will be placing 4 colonies on 20 or so acres of red clover with a pond and a small spring less than 200 yards from them. Will that be enough clover for them to forage on as we plan on letting it bloom and keep it blooming for them throughout the summer. ther is also some soybeans with in 2 miles of us. Now being new colonies is there any chance that we will get a honey crop this year?
 

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There is always a chance.Just try it and see,thats the only way to know for sure.Bees dont work red clover here,but do in other regions.
 

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Bees don't work red clover here either. They love crimson clover. I'm not sure about the soy beans either - I think it depends on the variety (some are wind pollinated and don't produce much nectar for bees).
 

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There is a lot of documentation that says tha bees CAN'T work red clover because their tongues are long enough. It was a big goal of breeding bigger bees to get a tongue longe enough for red clover, but I don't think that ever happened.

I don't have any personal experience on this, but am simply saying what I've read.
 
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I have sowed some "mammoth red" clover in the fields that
are cut for hay in attempt to make the hay more valuable.

As the bees attempt to forage on this clover, I expect
them to grow longer tongues.

This "progression" (the opposite of "regression", as is
done with small-cell comb) should result in bees with
VERY long tongues, and much better able to forage on
a wider range of plants.
 

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Why not just use a bee with a longer tongue? A caucasian perhaps? As the beekeeper attempts to work with the bees, perhaps, as opposed to against them, no need for aggression just look for succession.
 

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>This "progression" (the opposite of "regression", as is
done with small-cell comb) should result in bees with
VERY long tongues, and much better able to forage on
a wider range of plants.


Oh yes, a continuation of the South American breeding program, Apis-Hummiflora. It should be quite a boon for the honey producers as there are no over wintering problems since they migrate to south America every winter.

Clovers as forrage:
Red, poor
Crimson, better
Yellow, good
White(s), (mammoth, alsike, dutch, etc.) very good
Huban, best

Check this out
http://www.beeculture.com/beeculture/book/index.html
 

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>ther is also some soybeans with in 2 miles of us. Now being new colonies is there any chance that we will get a honey crop this year?


I got honey off soybeans last year, but being two miles from it you will not get much. You should see about setting them on it. Surely you have some alfalfa nearby?

I think you are starting packages, so the clover, wildflowers, and beans will help a lot, but if we get our typical drought and hot dry summer with no rain or midsummer flow, be prepared to feed until the fall flow and maybe until early winter. How late you feed will be determined as to how much stores you get packed away.

As I stated in another thread, if you get your two deeps drawn and filled this first year without much feeding, you will be doing good. If we get a good goldenrod flow and late freeze like we did last year, and you get a medium of G-rod, leave it for the bees and splits next spring. Goldenrod makes a fast granulating honey and not that good for a table honey.
 

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We have a farm within about 30 minute drive of here that has acres on acres of white clover. They already have around 100 beehives working their crops, but they let me harvest dead heads from the clovers, and let me dig up a ton of the clover for planting in my own yard. I planted about 20 of these in my yard, and scattered the seed all around the neighborhood public lands that don't get any treatment other than the occasional public lawnmower. Hopefully I'll have a nice white clover range next year.

I don't know how long white clover stays in bloom around here.
 
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