Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The beeyard I'd arranged unexpectedly fell through and I'm down to Plan C, which means putting hives at my parents' place. The spot we've settled on has vinyl privacy fence on two sides and 6' tall chain-link fence on the remaining two sides. One side of the chain link backs up to an alley, and would definitely need to covered to prevent panic/vandalism, etc.

My original thought was to transplant some hops against the chain link as a privacy screen. Then it occurred to me that I should look into something beneficial for the bees. Any ideas for a fast growing, climbing plant that's drought-resistant and hardy in zone 7? Wisteria is probably a no-go.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
You might want to goto the local nursery if you have one there and ask them which plants meet your criteria.
Some online catalogs have them available to fit your location. And put some key words to do an online search might
reveal something for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,224 Posts
silver fleece vine you can't kill it and bees won't stay off it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,953 Posts
Poison Ivy might keep out the neighborhood kids :)

deknow
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
Now that you mention ivy, I am thinking the regular fence ivy with big cluster of light yellowish flowers for pollen and nectar.
Hope you can see the pic:
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good ideas. Not sure about the silver fleece vine as I just read it attracts Japanese beetles - if that's true it would be bad news for my weeping cherry!

I guess I could also check with the County's Master Gardeners. I think my parents are in USDA zone 7B while we're slightly cooler and much wetter in the northern part of the state.

Poison ivy and my old, gnarly rose bush is too good for the local thugs...I'd be worried about finding a few surprise entrance holes in the hives if they are visible.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,097 Posts
I use hops (of course), and they're great... fast-growing, hardy, and attractive IMO. The large leaves, and persistent bines, make for a good year-round screen once established. Be sure to prep the site; they like plenty of nitrogen and well-draining soil like most fast-growing vines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Follow up with the County Extension office

Spoke to Karen Carter, the County (Henrico) Extension agent for horticulture this morning. She was very helpful, following up our phone call with an email of additional suggestions and some very nice reference material. Additionally, she recommended "Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants" by Douglas Tallamy is supposed to be a valuable resource for us Mid-Atlantic folks. Especially if one is looking at potentially invasive species.

Our phone discussion concentrated on Clematis (no particular species), but these were the follow up suggestions:

Bignonia capreolata, cross vine
Campsis radicans, trumpet vine
Clematis virginiana, virgin’s bower
Lonicera sempervirens, coral honeysuckle
Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Virginia creeper
Wisteria frutescens, American wisteria​

Leaning towards the honeysuckle or clematis. I have enough experience with wisteria and hops to keep them under control, but my mother's tired of battling wisteria and isn't exactly what you'd call ecstatic about the hives. Resigned is probably a better description. As it is, she's the only thing keeping keep my father from cutting down half the trees in the yard (including my 10-year old weeping cherry tree). So I'll be grateful with the "far" back corner and try not to inconvenience anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,487 Posts
Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

I think you will find that honey bees aren't interested in most of those plants listed. Some of them aren't even possible for a honey be to get nectar from like honeysuckle. They don't touch the orange trumpet vine in my area, I've heard some say they work the yellow. Our wisteria is worked almost exclusively by carpenter bees.

From what I've read over the last few years autumn clematis, & porcelain berry vine are about the only two true vines honey bees love.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

Don't plant the honeysuckles! We have them in our backyard all year long and very invasive too. They are all over the end of our yard now. The frost cannot kill them at all. Any vine that touch the ground will take roots. The downside is not one honey bee can go in to take any nectar or pollens out from the flowers.
The flowers just too narrow and no pollens are sticking out for the bees. I will chop them all down when the weather gets warmer here. Then will replace them with something more useful for the bees to forage on. I'm thinking a type of vine that has milky sap with fragrant small white flowers that look like honeysuckle shape leaves but with edible young shoots on the vines and the luffa spongy gourds that we can eat when it is still young. They are extremely invasive from the flying seeds much like the dandelion seeds when they fly in the winds if not pick all the mature fruits off the vines. And the small clusters of flowers do attract the bees for the pollens and nectar. Don't know the name if it though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

I got very little interest in porcelain berry when I called home. What about passionflower?

Or should I sticky my dwarf apple tree nearby and just put up two more vinyl panels to cover the fence?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

I got very little interest in porcelain berry when I called home. What about passionflower?

Or should I sticky my dwarf apple tree nearby and just put up two more vinyl panels to cover the fence?
When I read the title of the thread, I immediately thought of passaflora (passionflower) species. There are a few variety, and 1 that I know of that will produce fruit the first year. It has some of the most gorgeous flowers, and fragrant too. I'm not sure how honey bees like it, though if my instincts are on course tonight, I dare say it would be at least a decent nectar and pollen source.

Bee careful though, they form a symbiotic relationship with ants. They have nectar excreting nodes on the leaves, and the ants love love love them. They "weed" around them to take out competitor plants, and help clear off pests n such, to ensure the survival of both of them (plant and ant) This might not be a big concern, and I might be making a bigger deal about it, just something to think about.

I tinker with the passaflora incarnata (sp?) species that grow here all the time, smelling, looking at, taking cuttings, pictures etc etc and ants dont bother me.

Im a newbeek so that's just my two cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

Just to update - I ended up finding another place for the hives, but it's still a fall back location and the fence still needs covering. We're going to go with a Passiflora, preferably incarnata, if I can find it. Any advice on starting a plant from seed?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
Re: Follow up with the County Extension office

Good choice! There are so many variation on this plant with many different color flowers too.
It is better to start with the cuttings. I like the red color flowers plant better.
That way you don't have to wait for the plant to mature.
I do not know for how long to flowers but you might be able to search for the many different
species of them. But for sure, the cuttings are faster to give flowers than growing them from
the seeds which might take a few years to establish the plants. They can really take off when
growing condition is good so be careful where you put them on the fence.
If you already have the seeds then cover them 1/4" in moist soil on a sunny location. I think you
grow them like the moon flowers. You can find them on ebay too or try amazon for the seeds.
Also, local nursery might have them in the Spring time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Most (if not all) passafloras have incredibly low germination rates. I have germination mats (like heating pads), really nice professional grade lighting, and the equipment to create most any artificial environment i desire depending on what im growing. Thats not to brag, but to add signifigance when i say ive never had success germinating in passaflora.

I humbly recomend a cutting, preferably rooted (havent seen it sold unrooted, actually) they all grow great once established. Incarnata's fruits do not taste good, imo. Eudilis fruits it's first year and grows similarly to incarnata. Both beautiful specimens. But if you are looking for tge added benifit of delicious fruits, i do not recomend incarnata for this reason. But if you do not really care about fruits, incarnata is one of my favorites, in fact I make a habit out of taking pictures of the "wild" ones growing around here when they bloom, and use that for my phone's walpaper.

Amazonit a great source for the various species, as noted above. You probably dont need more than a few, depending on hpw much area you are trying to cover, as they have a tendancey to take over alot of times. Plus, they are easy to take cuttings from or air layer, if you are into that.

My 2cents
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top