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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m a first time beekeeper who will be getting my first six nucs in May. I was wondering if planting flowers would be helpful to make sure my bees have plenty of pollen nearby? The bees will be located on a rural farm in central Texas. If planting anything would be helpful, any recommendations on the type of plants and how many would be appreciated. The soil is clay and drains poorly(so berries and lavender are out I think).
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

You can plant flowers for your bees to forage on it you want, but that is more for you to watch your bees enjoy the blooms. Your bees will forage over approximately 8000 acres of land around your hives. This equates to a circle with a two mile radius. Sometimes they will even go much further if they have to to find resources. You can look at your location on google maps and use the measure function to draw a line 2 miles long to get an idea of your bees forage area.
 

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Look at Prairie Moon Nursery for native plants for your location. Depends on how much space you have. Going native dependant on location is just fun and adds to the adventure although doubt it makes much difference to the bees depending on the area.
 

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Langstroth hives. As many as I can.
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Hats off to you! Six nucs. I am nervous about two nucs coming this spring. That’s a serious learning curve. Good luck. Hope you have great success.
Having plants around is just for you to enjoy your bees more but any little bit helps
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Nice "feel good" effort to plant pollinator friendly plants, but it will be more for you than the bees. The bees forage such a wide area that what you plant will make ltttle to no difference for your bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I can plant my garden of sunflowers and wildflowers for enjoyment, but I don’t need to worry about planting 4-5 acres worth. Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks everyone.
 

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Hats off to you! Six nucs. I am nervous about two nucs coming this spring. That’s a serious learning curve. Good luck. Hope you have great success.
Having plants around is just for you to enjoy your bees more but any little bit helps
It is a lot, but my sister going to help out too. It’s more like 3 hives for me and 3 for her.
 

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Chaste tree or Vitex agnus-castus originally from China but growing in your area since 1670. Very drought tolerant.
"Blooms from late spring until early fall with long, upright spikes of pink, lilac and white flowers. Any shrub or tree that blooms all summer is well worth planting, but when it also has pleasantly fragrant flowers and foliage, it becomes a must-have plant. Chaste tree garden care is easy, but there are a few care essentials you need to know to get the most from this outstanding plant.
Chaste trees need full sun and very well-drained soil. It’s best not to plant them in soil that is rich in organic matter because organically rich soils hold too much moisture close to the roots. Chaste trees do very well in xeric gardens where water is scarce. Once established, you’ll probably never have to water a chaste tree. Inorganic mulch, such as pebbles or stones, allows the soil to dry between rains. Avoid using organic mulches such as bark, shredded wood or straw. Fertilize the plant every year or two with general-purpose fertilizer."

Read more at Gardening Know How: Chaste Tree Info: Tips On Chaste Tree Cultivation And Care StackPath
I planted one in my yard.
Also,
Lupinus texensis or Texas Blue Bonnet would be an easy flower to grow in your area as well.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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So I can plant my garden of sunflowers and wildflowers for enjoyment, but I don’t need to worry about planting 4-5 acres worth. Sounds like a plan to me. Thanks everyone.
Russ
Bees need about 1 million flower visits for 1 TBS of honey.
for 6 hives, to be "covered" for the year you would need between 600 and 1000 Acres planted in a fashion that each week a different plant blooms.

your sunflower idea is good 3-5 acres would get you some nice late nectar, for the bees, sun flowers bloom a long time if you watch them they bloom in rings and make row after circular row of seeds. Buck wheat will help the soil and bees.
Plant what you wish, if it blooms it will help.

GG
 

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Where in central Texas? I assume you're east of I-35 if you're on clay. Williamson county and Austin both have very good beekeeper clubs. I'm just starting out myself (8 nucs toward the end of the month), but WCABA is proving to be very helpful.

To the point of your original post, do have have any mesquite on or near your property? Ranchers hate the stuff, but it's the only reliable summer bloom during drought. Apparently mesquite honey has a tendency to crystallize very rapidly, though.

Blackberries ought to grow well enough, but the soil is far too alkaline for blueberries.
 

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Trees and shrubs will far outdo wildflowers, sunflower, clover etc. Consider also adding plants that bloom during dearth's, pollen in late Fall. Shrubs that bloom during winter months may also give you some emergency nectar and pollen during snow events. Everything on the ground can of course be written off, including bulbs. Uploaded pictures are of Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree) and Manzanita. The former would not be hardy in Texas but you might have similar plants. Point is that Jan. bloomer keeps the hummingbirds going and the March blooming Manzanita is always a favorite of the bees and bumblebees. Sure Texas has native plants to match. It was nice to see the bees working these flowers when we had a three week snowfall that was three feet high.
62887
 
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