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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good day to all, I am looking at planting Partridge Peas on a few acres for a little nectar help in late summer. Can anyone tell me if honey from these plants is good. Any idea about the taste? Thanks Mark
 

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I am curious about this question. I have never seen a honey bee on partridge pea while looking hard over the last few years. I have seen a bumble bee or two on it. I am really curious if it is really a plant the bees use?
Cheers
gww
 

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I have some in my garden and they do attract honey bees, although not as much as other plants, such as oregano, cucumber, aster, and etc. But I have no idea what will happen if I had a few acres full of partridge peas.
partridgepea1.jpg
 

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Similar story - several years ago, I had several hives in the middle of partridge peas. Never saw a honeybee on them. I don’t think it would be worth it. Just my opinion. Plant white clover!
 

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I planted about 5lbs last Spring to augment what we have here naturally, only time I have seen bees on them is early spring just as flowers bud, but honestly, not as much use as I expected. Bees go below the flower, not on the flower.

Buckwheat on the other hand, gets hammered for me here, but only in areas it can flower before deer get to it. I planted 100lbs and only got stands in our high fence garden and a small place in the back yard by the dogs run, food plots never made it over 4-6" and the deer took it out.
 

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I have some of them growing around my area and have never seen a honey bee pay any attention although they are worked by bumbles, apparently good for the Bob White population.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
GWW The story is I planted Silver River sweet clover and it did great. But it dried up by mid June, and did not reseed the next year. It is very dry where i am in Texas,no rain mid June- October. However I planted yellow sweet this year and it dried up also, there were two Partridge Pea plants that came up with it and as of yesterday they were green and had flowers and the bees were working them? I have 8 acres I can plant so looking for a mid to late summer dry weather bee plant. Also tried Black Oil sunflower, bloomed great but bees left it alone.
 

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Partridge pea is about all that I have blooming in my area and for the last three years I have watched pretty closely. Michael bush has said it is a good plant to have but I just have never seen a bee on it except a couple of bumble bees. One thing I do do besides looking in person is type a plant and the word honey bee in google search and then I will look at all the images. Then I look in person to see how it is in real life. I am too cheap to plant stuff except in the garden. I did a three acre field of ladino clover about 20 years ago and it only lasted one year and so I am done throwing good money after bad.

I was really curious myself about the responses you might get on this thread cause I was curious if I was just missing something. If you do find something you really like for this time of the year, I am all ears though.
Good luck
gww

Ps Buckwheat in my garden last year did get hit good last year.
 

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So this afternoon, I observed first-hand significant foraging activity as Western described in a previous post noting, "Bees go below the flower, not on the flower."

A little context- I planted a warm-season conservation cover mix this Summer on approximately 4 acres and this planting included partridge pea, which is considered a native for my locale.

The plants themselves have begun flowering profusely over the last week or so and I have not seen the first bee on the flowers themselves.

That said, this afternoon they were aggressively foraging at the nodes where two lateral branches come together- reminded me of honeydew gathering.

I don't know if this is the normative foraging mode for partridge pea, but it was interesting to observe.
 

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russ
They have nectar nodes not attached to the flowers. I knew this while looking for the last three years and still have never seen a bee on them. Your report does make me feel a little better about the plant though. There is a period of time here where that is what is most in bloom and not much else. Thank you for letting us know about it.
gww

PS My bees were hitting perilla and some kind of green onion type plant. The perilla is a very short bloom period but the bees go crazy. Don't plant it though cause I think it causes problems in Tennessee. Kills goats or something like that.
 

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Russ
I learned something from your link that I did not know. It stated that they also produce nectar the old fashioned way though the flower. Thanks for posting.
gww
 

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Russ
I learned something from your link that I did not know. It stated that they also produce nectar the old fashioned way though the flower. Thanks for posting.
gww
GWW, I didn't read, or understand it that way, as it says "The flowers don’t produce any nectar. Yet, we repeat, partridge pea is a major source of honey."

I believe what you referenced falls under what they say is "generally" found in flowers with a nectaries, but my understanding and observation of PP is all bugs skip the flower and go to the node or what they call the nectary in the article. I also see wasp, small butterflies on them quite a bit at times using the same source locale as the bees.

I know mine are blooming again heavy right now after a 1" rain, PP is sure hardy even with some dry hot weather, I was about to do some mowing before I saw it blooming again, so will wait and let it seed out more.
 

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Western
I believe you are correct. I went back and read it and the sentence that caught my eye was in a place talking about plants having nectaries and not partridge pea specific. Ok, I thanked russ for the wrong thing. I should have thanked him for showing me that I can't read.:) Thanks for pointing this out cause I like to have my facts strait rather then putting long lasting fallacies in my mind that later refuse to leave.

I have seen big bumble bees and small butterfly's work the flowers. I have lots of it here that grows along the woods edge and in the road ditches.
Thanks
gww
 

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GWW, dont take it as you cant read! I read it twice! lol

I think the true culprit is in the writing of the paragraph. IMO, they should have put the clarification, "The flowers don’t produce any nectar" after the paragraph, it's like they poured mixed info through a strainer and came up with the paragraph:D

I have also seen bumble bees on the flowers now that you mention it, wonder if it's a bid for pollen?

BTW, think I saw where you may have been on the trail of building a sawmill somewhere on the "net", was that you?
 

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I have not seen a bunch of yellow pollen coming into the hives. I have seen a little white which I think is probably chicory and some brown?.
Cheers
gww
 
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