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What to plant?

860 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  RudyT
I want to put some plants near my hive and was wondering what are some good things to put. I have my hive on the back of my property and it was recently cleared so there is no shrubbery, its mainly woods. I am going down today to take the queens cage out. I went yesterday and it appears she is out but there were bees all in the cage and I figured I would leave it 1 more day. Is it normal for bees to bee all in the queens cage after she leaves? I also noticed that it seems all the bees are around where the queens cage was put. They really are not on the other frames.
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Since you can seldom compete with the 8,000 acres around you that they will forage, I would focus on filling gaps. Early, drought, and late are the times they need resources. It doesn't hurt to fill some other times as well. Early sources for pollen (which they are usually desperate for) would be pussywillow and red maple. Crocuses don't hurt either. Drought on into late is filled well with chicory. Asters, goldenrod and smartweed are great for late as well. A variety of clovers is always good. White dutch, white sweet, yellow sweet, hubam, purple prairie, aslike, ladino, crimsom. Plus birdsfoot trefoil, anise hyssop, mustard, dandelions, hairy vetch and any fruit trees. Other good trees: basswood (linden), Black locust and tupelo.
Like michael said, What you plant is a drop in the bucket compared to whats available in the sq mile around you. I would plant what you enjoy.
I would ad BeeBee trees to Mr. Bush's list. If you've got open fields, sweet Yellow clover is awesome.
I really like Michael Bush's list (thank you). I bought (and recommend) a pollinator-mix such as from Johnny's Seeds for pollinators and for beauty. I have noticed a lot of pollinators on the various flowers -- but only sometimes honey bees--I am satisfied. Even Dutch white clover in my lawn sometimes they work and other times not -- I assume they are going to the best available pollen and nectar and will work the clover at the right times.
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