Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
Suggestion for a bee plant thread.
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Bee products, recipes, bee plants and apitherapy
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:38 am    Post subject: Suggestion for a bee plant thread. Reply with quote

When I first joined this forum I scoured for all the posts I could find on Plants.
I found a lot of observations scattered throughout posts in every section.

I have found references for 1000's of plants that bees use but I believe bees are choosy when they can be. I also read that some trees don't produce a nectar flow every year.

I would like to gather all our observations on which plants are drawing the attention of the bees as the year progresses. This may illustrate some plants to perform better over a longer period, and it may show some plants to perform better in poor weather.

No doubt there is a whole book about this already, I am simply interested in our observations this year, and the next....

I would like to start several threads over the next year. At first I thought one for each month. Starting with "February plants for the bees".
However there will be discrepancy between local climates and one could reduce that by having only 8 threads... Early spring, Late spring etc. This also makes it more inclusive to those in the Southern hemisphere and makes their contributions more available at the relevant time of year.

As this will take up 8 spaces I would like confirmation to go ahead. I think it should go in "bee products, bee plants and apitherapy".

It would be good to have photos in the thread and Hurrah! I have now figured out how to post smaller photos! Or we could link to photos.

I realise that garden plants are a small proportion of bees forage and are likely to be over represented but I think they are still important.


Kim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
J Smith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 169
Location: New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Riversdale.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howya Kim.
Sounds like a fun way to share information. Are you looking to provide a planting suggestion section for those wanting to plant bee friendly gardens, or just curious about what bees find most attractive at any given time/season/month of the year?

Living here in NZ with a Kim from County Down, I am bias, but I would be happy to put a Southern Hemisphere twist on your list if you wish.
Some of the most popular bee forage plants here unfortunately also feature pretty highly on the "noxious weed" list. Subsequently these plant forms are often doused with some pretty nasty hormone based chemicals.
A lot of these plants are introduced from the UK by early settlers wanting this new Colony to look more like home. Thing is the plants do not behave in NZ the same way they do back in the UK. Gorse, Broom, Ragwort and Thistle (both Scottish and Californian) are all very popular plants the bees will travel for, they are also some of the main players on the noxious weed list!
Of note, three of those plants carry yellow flowers.
Plants that have a long flowering period seem to be more popular here, Red and White Clover are very important in the low lands that have been developed for farming. In the higher altitude less developed "back country" native plants play a much bigger role, especially the now World popular Manuka, but also trees like Rata.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a book which I found during a random dive into a bookshop to avoid the rain in Chepstow last year. will post back when I have found it. - Gives information for each plant on how good they are for Apis Melifera, bumblebees and solitary bees. I am going to re-read it soon with a view to some guerilla planting.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea to have a visual record of forage plants in sequence, maybe to help with planting to fill gaps. Look forward to it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Are you looking to provide a planting suggestion section for those wanting to plant bee friendly gardens, or just curious about what bees find most attractive at any given time/season/month of the year?


I think the information would be useful for anyone interested in planting a bee friendly garden but also as Broadwell puts it " to help with planting to fill gaps". There will be a lot of variations depending on local climate and local soil. I am also curious what plants others find dependable, to widen my horizons and perhaps find new plant suggestions to try.

Quote:
Gorse, Broom, Ragwort and Thistle (both Scottish and Californian) are all very popular plants the bees will travel for, they are also some of the main players on the noxious weed list!


Ragwort in particular is also considered a noxious weed here too, although there is a naturalist movement which describes it's virtues in order to avoid ragworts complete eradication.

Where a plant is non-native and considered noxious or invasive it will be worth noting.

Principally I would like to draw together all the observations scattered amongst us into a concise and useful thread.

Kim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
J Smith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 169
Location: New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Riversdale.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about those of us that are not that familiar with plant names, but know which plants in their garden or on their property the bees like to visit.
Would it be suitable for them to post photographs of the plant/flower in the treads as a visual reference?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was a time when I knew very few plant names, and given how many plants there are I still know very few! I think it would be a good contribution to post a photo with or without the name of the plant.

I have discovered already through this forum that some of my names for plants are only Irish local names. There is also the matter of plant varieties between species. For example not all clover is good for honeybees (Some have more funnel shaped flowers that only bumble bees can reach). Our member Wildflower had a thread about how some asters are better than others.

I am a self-taught gardener with no background and very little knowledge of plant taxonomy. So I will have plenty to learn. I do Love to see the relationship between a plant and bees and I find many plants very easy to propagate.

I will go ahead and start a late winter and a late summer thread and we can see how it pans out.

Kim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found the book

PLANTS FOR BEES
A guide to the Plants that benefit the bees of the British Isles

W.D.J. Kirk & F.N. Howes
ISBN 978-0-86098 271-5
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked up the book Cathercradle and found links to several more, thank you.

My initial feeling is that 8 threads will be excessive and possibly confusing too.

I will retitle late winter as just winter. The thread titled late summer I suggest I re-title Autumn as I think Barbara's post on Himalayan balsam would fit autumn better than summer?

Kim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or we just do 2 threads, winter-spring and summer-autumn?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Location: Virginia,USA; S. Appalachians;USDA zn. 6a

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:36 am    Post subject: widening the thread Reply with quote

Hi Kim:
I think your idea is great and would really welcome such a thread. I'd like to see it devoted to all matters dealing with bee forage. What you have been suggesting primarily are the 'what' and 'when' to plant, but how about the 'how' and 'where'?
What seems to be lacking —universally—is good info on the vast middle ground situated between garden bed scale and commercial agriculture. Specifically, I'd love to get some guidance, or where to turn for it, on the methods, tooling, and seed availability suited for plantings on the order of 1/4 acre to 1 hectare size. There's been some internet info. addressing the planting of deer forages in woodland clearings, but it's lacking in details.
In much of the US, east of the Mississippi in particular, a sizable portion of the total land area (in the aggregate, scores of thousands of sq. miles) is un/under used. It's lying fallow, steadily returning to the immense forest from whence it came 150 – 300 years ago, due to changes in agriculture, or profitable land use and values, or, it's simply unsuited for any conventional/commercial development due to parcel size, terrain (too steep, too wet, etc.) ownership issues, etc.
Bees have definitely acquired a certain panache and plenty of positive media attention lately; unless I completely miss my guess, I'd say that the owners of such lands would be quite glad to see some of their property put to such a High and Noble Purpose as **!!SAVING the BEES!!**. (whatever is bracketed by **!!——!!** is in Hollywood-ish)
Here then is yet another matter that could be included in a dedicated forage thread, namely the creative acquisition of forage land.
What do you think?
More to the point: what do you, Phil, and the moderators think??
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I have found interesting about the bees foraging is that many "bee-friendly plants" within the bees foraging area are ignored. Our wild garden is about 2 acres, planted up over the last 16 years and includes many many established plants that according to books or internet searches are good for honeybees, and which I have not seen any honey bees on, or very few. I have also sometimes been completely surprised by what the bees have chosen. So I am especially curious what the favourite plants are and I think that is best established by recording what we all see.

The 2 threads started, (Winter and Spring plants for honey bees, and Summer and Autumn plants for honey bees ) are for the purpose of concentrating the information of what we all experience as our bees favourites. I find it useful that the date is on each post.
I spent an hour reading up about
Quote:
Caryopteris x Clandonensis aka Longwood "Blue Mist". HEAVY floral density, deer repelling.....
after you mentioned it Charlie and plan to try it out in our garden this year. Sometimes it would be nice if this forum had a "like" button or was a "thanks for sharing" forum, but I am glad it's not, LOL!,

A thread for planting... "how and where", I will gladly participate. I usually highlight, google search and cross reference when I come across a recommended plant.

We live on a family farm and there are several fields in rehabilitation presently. One is soon to be filled with dandelions as nature is re-mineralising the soil. Fallow land is, in my opinion, best left to nature to choose the plants. Nature will return the land to either forest, or if it is grazed, prairie. The bees have been successfully joining nature in this journey throughout their existence. Bees have also joined in man's agricultural adventure and have become essential companions on that journey too.

In my opinion, to help bees, trees and bushes give the greatest return for human effort with the least disturbance to the soil, and they are ultimately soil building. Planting field scale crops for the bees, I would like to try buckwheat again. It has potential as food for poultry, us and bees. I see the challenge with field scale planting as that of labour. Modern farming methods are so efficient but often not soil friendly. Alternatives require man-hours! We keep a family cow and she and her family are wonderful bee friends, we now have a couple of fields of clover in summer.

I think it is a good idea to think about what information you would like to gather, for example... "bee friendly management ideas for fallow land", or "bee-friendly field scale crops".... and to set an intention to keep a thread to this topic. In this way valuable contributions are not lost in chat on introduction threads (or other) and can be easily found by those with an interest.

I will welcome any plant thread!

Kim


Last edited by B kind on Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:04 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Charlie

In my opinion, rather than planting these areas that you are talking about, they are best left for the bees to develop.

The steep bank side next to where I live was grazed when I was a child but has been left untouched for the past 30 years or so. Since I started keeping bees in this location 15 years ago, they have selected and pollinated the plants they want, until that bank side is now covered in plants that are pollen and nectar rich throughout the season. I have planted things that I think the bees will like but the vast majority of the time they head off to find their preferred plant in the wild. I see quite large areas covered in comfrey where the soil and shade conditions favour that plant and balsam where the ground is damp and my lawns are now covered in patches of white clover and the whole area is knit together with brambles(blackberries) and wild raspberries and great thick areas of blackthorn and cherry. These are just the main clumps of bee preferred plants that I can see and which have developed since I started keeping bees.
I have lived here all my life and the change to the landscape is very dramatic and I would suggest it is more than a coincidence that the great patches of plants that have developed on it are those that are bee preferred, so my view is that the bees are creating the garden that they need, once the animal grazing and man maintenance stopped.

That is my experience of how nature works together if left to it's own devices. If man backs off and leaves them to it, they create their own Garden of Eden, rather than a human ideal of what it should be.
Most people look at that bank side and see a mess (my Dad who was a man of the land all his life, hated the state it was in and it irked him to look out on it every morning from his kitchen window) but he was judging it with his human eye that needed to see land tidy and productive. My bees are teaching me to see the beauty of all those weeds and wilderness.

In my view we need to step back and let the bees get on with it.

Regards

Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Wildflower_VA
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 407
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B kind wrote:
I spent an hour reading up about
Quote:
Caryopteris x Clandonensis aka Longwood "Blue Mist". HEAVY floral density, deer repelling.....
after you mentioned it Charlie and plan to try it out in our garden this year. Sometimes it would be nice if this forum had a "like" button or was a "thanks for sharing" forum, but I am glad it's not, LOL!,

Kim


I just clicked the imaginary "LIKE" button for this suggestion! I checked my local nursery/greenhouse and they have Caryopteris Longwood Blue in stock in a gigantic 3 gallon pot. I especially like the long bloom time. I am in the same plant hardiness zone as Longwood Gardens, so it should do well here. I've been to Longwood Gardens a few times and always noticed it was a haven for pollinators of all kinds, as well as a feast for the eyes and nose for us humans.

--
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
J Smith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 169
Location: New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Riversdale.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim, I think you touched a wee bit on the common problem of a small holders bee forage planting and Barbara added to it.
Thing is, we can plant "bee friendly" till we are blue in the face and the bees might still go somewheres else for dinner. Laughing

Bees are funny creatures, not always the mathematician or scientists we sometimes give them credit for, but they ain't the dullest tool in the shed either.
I think they have some kind of inbuilt "scale gauge" that allows them to size up potential forage areas and decide "wow-this plant is a great one, but if we expend just a bit more energy in flight and jump that hedge to the field there is a lot more of a lesser plant".
You can plant bee friendly (and this will benefit all pollinators), but you cannot suggest the bees feast there.

For small holdings, hedge and shrub/trees that flower and are bee friendly (in my mind) are a better bet than flower beds. Often (around here) it is not the prettiest blooms that catch the bees eye, it is the most productive for them at that particular time- like Willow and Poplar early season.

What might be fun and informative in a thread like this is propagation hints. How people go about multiplying some of the shrub plants in particular that are known bee forage providers, good looking garden plants and suit smaller garden areas. Cheaper than buying stock from nurseries, although it may not be as quick to establish flowering plants.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Broadwell
Foraging Bee


Joined: 22 Jul 2013
Posts: 122
Location: UK, Kent, High Weald

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

B kind wrote:
What I have found interesting about the bees foraging is that many "bee-friendly plants" within the bees foraging area are ignored


Hi Kim. I'm interested to hear if these ignored plants were ignored year after year. From what I've read it sounds like rainfall and temperature differences can mean a type of plant provides good forage one year, but might not another year, meaning the bees might start looking towards plants that they have ignored other years. If you follow me.

But if there are definite duds in your experience I'd also be keen to avoid them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Location: Virginia,USA; S. Appalachians;USDA zn. 6a

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

B kind wrote:

(1)
In my opinion, to help bees, trees and bushes give the greatest return for human effort with the least disturbance to the soil, and they are ultimately soil building. Planting field scale crops for the bees, I would like to try buckwheat again. It has potential as food for poultry, us and bees.
...
(2)
I see the challenge with field scale planting as that of labour. Modern farming methods are so efficient but often not soil friendly. Alternatives require man-hours!
...
(3)
I think it is a good idea to think about what information you would like to gather, for example... "bee friendly management ideas for fallow land", or "bee-friendly field scale crops".... and to set an intention to keep a thread to this topic.
...

I will welcome any plant thread!

Kim


(1)
I can't agree more! Still, field crops do have their unique advantages. Key among these is getting nectar up and flowing ASAP. Buckwheat is a good example of this. Also, annuals can be used to prepare the soil for the perennials that will succeed them. (Buckwheat is to phosphorus as clovers are to nitrogen, for example).
(2)
in terms of time and money expended per year, annual field crops used in commercial ag. have a very low per unit area seed purchasing and planting cost. So low that it would take quite a few years of gradually purchasing and then propagating perennials before the time & money expense of doing that annual work dropped to the same low level.

I'm not saying that annual field crops are a forage panacea, only that they have their place and use in a long term program of bee forage development. One thing for sure is that the whole subject of appropriate tools/methods for smaller scale cultivation is way underexplored.
(3)
I'd say your two topic examples are excellent —for starts. (There's just so much out there that begs seriously looking into.!) You're saying that each such topic would be considered a separate thread and maintained as such throughout the discussion, and that if a discussion started to morph off into another related area, a prospective poster would just pop in her/his contribution as a new topic, rather than a reply?

If yes, than again we're in complete agreement. I feel the whole subject of bee forage is broad enough to encompass a wide range of sub topics each with their own appropriate threads. It is certainly important enough, IMO, to warrant the distinction of a dedicated forum within the Practical Natural Beekeeping section, rather than being orphaned off like a little red-headed misfit in a forum otherwise devoted to Bee Stuff That Humans Like.
Consider this, y'all (and for you, Kim, I'm obviously preaching to the choir): Aren't all of us here keenly interested in improving bee habitat? And isn't where, and from what, bees get their sustenance every bit as important a component of that habitat as the hives wherein they dwell?
I'll leave it at that.

Charlie


Last edited by CharlieBnoobee on Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Location: Virginia,USA; S. Appalachians;USDA zn. 6a

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

J Smith wrote:

For small holdings, hedge and shrub/trees that flower and are bee friendly (in my mind) are a better bet than flower beds. Often (around here) it is not the prettiest blooms that catch the bees eye, it is the most productive for them at that particular time- like Willow and Poplar early season.

What might be fun and informative in a thread like this is propagation hints. How people go about multiplying some of the shrub plants in particular that are known bee forage providers, good looking garden plants and suit smaller garden areas. Cheaper than buying stock from nurseries, although it may not be as quick to establish flowering plants.


Absolutely. Perennials and the propagation methods 'thereunto appertaining' almost of necessity have to be considered together—unless your name is Bill Gates or equivalent—for any planting area larger than a garden bed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Location: Virginia,USA; S. Appalachians;USDA zn. 6a

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:


In my opinion, rather than planting these areas that you are talking about, they are best left for the bees to develop.
...

That is my experience of how nature works together if left to it's own devices. If man backs off and leaves them to it, they create their own Garden of Eden, rather than a human ideal of what it should be.
...


Goodness Gracious, Barbara, but you're rowing your boat out into some mighty deep waters! I'm torn. So many levels of concept I'd like to address, all of them weighty, but so little time to do it. And it's my bedtime too. Here are some key concepts and questions that could be discerned in the depths of those waters:
Dominion, Stewardship, Cultivation, Accountability/Responsibility, Beauty, Order, Chaos, World View, Faith, Ethos, Purpose/Intention, Creature/Creation, What or Who is Nature? or Natural? Good/Bad, Right/Wrong, Why not rape, pillage and plunder while the gittin's good? Why anything?
Seemingly overwhelming this deep blue water, but I don't think we would drown. Perhaps we could paddle around in the Far Side forum if you feel up to it; not so sure I am (up to it). Maybe.
Charlie
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Kim, I think you touched a wee bit on the common problem of a small holders bee forage planting and Barbara added to it.
Thing is, we can plant "bee friendly" till we are blue in the face and the bees might still go somewheres else for dinner. Laughing


Yes there is bee friendly... and there are bee magnets. Bee friendly plants are important, (perhaps containing trace elements necessary to combat viruses....) and there are bee magnets, irresistible, , bread and butter to bees. There are variables too, Some trees performing better in some years.

Quote:
I'm interested to hear if these ignored plants were ignored year after year


I'm interested to learn more about this too, which is why all observations are helpful. It is likely though, that plants which provide occasional fall-back roles are still an important safety-net for bees survival.

I have a thought about wild versus cultivated bee environments..... Perhaps if we would like to see wild or feral bee colonies established then leaving nature to nature is well and good, and there is a place for that.

However human consumption of honey has evolved in parallel with human agriculture, Perhaps for a reliable honey harvest then cultivating plants for our mutual benefit will give a greater honey yield? A cultivated variety of brassica (broccoli/ cauliflower..) will give a greater yield than a wild cultivar, as is the case with most fruits, vegetables and grains. A cow will easily have milk for her calf but to give milk to a family too she requires a little more nutrition.

Modern agriculture has, in my opinion, taken this productivity goal to it's extreme and is driving species of cows, bees, corn and more to their limit of production. It is living on the edge.

I think there are areas of wild uncultivated land that do provide rich forage for bees, Plenty to supply excess honey, and Barbara may be in such an area. I see the relationship in bees developing their habitat and I believe that a plant that grows in a place is giving that soil exactly what it needs, compared to a plant which is consciously planted. Many wild plants in Western Europe have evolved with humans too to provide food, medicine. materials.

A huge endless diverse subject! I do guess that we ALL on this forum agree with each other more than it seems. It is so easy to misunderstand and be misunderstood in writing.

I have been busy propagating bee plants this winter and spring and will happily share thoughts on this, I love how plants multiply so happily.

Charlie, there may not be abundant contributions for a thread on field scale bee plants, and there may be more difference between US and UK uncultivated land than there is between US / UK gardens and farms, but I think you should go ahead and start a thread with your area of interest and see where it leads. The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step!

There was a section on this forum to share bee-friendly environments and I am not finding it right now.

Kim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Location: Virginia,USA; S. Appalachians;USDA zn. 6a

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:59 am    Post subject: suggestions for changing topic taxonomy Reply with quote

Kim—
First off, I want to thank you for having brought up this subject in the first place. I did a quick sort through the thread subjects on just the first page of this forum; out of 44 new threads fully half deal with bee forage in some way or another. I don't know how much it would cost to rearrange the forum format, or if Phil feels that such a change is warranted, but this is my suggested arrangement for what it's worth.

Beekeeping forums>
Section: Practical Natural Beekeeing>
forum: there are 9 currently, I propose adding a 10th, namely—
Bee forage—all about the what, where, when, and how-to of bee provender >
topic: an unending & indeterminate number

Of course, the title of this current forum would be altered by omitting "bee plants", thus making it "Bee products, recipes, and apitherapy"

So, Phil, Would you give this proposal some serious consideration?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see your point, Charlie, but I have been ticked off more than once for having too many sections on this forum, so I am reluctant to add another unless there is a pressing need.

Happy to hear other opinions, though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
J Smith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 169
Location: New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Riversdale.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all honesty- and no disrespect to anyone concerned- there has been little input in the way of replies/ideas in this thread, so it perhaps does not justify a new section to be dedicated to the topic. Wink

I find the subject very interesting. Anything I can do to make it a better world for pollinators must be good for all, gardening is another of my interests.
We have just under 2 acres available here to plant and it is a constant "work in progress" as some of the old and unwanted are removed and new areas are produced with mainly NZ natives and exotics that are pollinator friendly as well as visually pleasing to the human inhabitants.

Kim, you said you have been propagating over the Winter. What types and how have you gone about producing your new specimen plants?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

J Smith wrote:


.

What might be fun and informative in a thread like this is propagation hints. How people go about multiplying some of the shrub plants in particular that are known bee forage providers, good looking garden plants and suit smaller garden areas. Cheaper than buying stock from nurseries, although it may not be as quick to establish flowering plants.


I have been employing my time in winter working out where all the local sources of pollen and nectar - IN VOLUME - are through Google maps.. and taking cuttings and planning guerilla planting.

Lots of willow cuttings planted - just thrust into suitable waste ground - some will succeed, obtaining plants such as GoldenRod (Solidago) for autumn flowering and planting them .. and mapping out the location of Himalayan Balsam.

As we have zero arable fields with a 4 mile radius, and have LOTS of waste ground near a local waterworks - which will never be developed due to the smell... there is a lot of opportunity..

My daily walk involves a roundup of local likely recipients of my largesse:-)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What types and how have you gone about producing your new specimen plants?


I will start a thread on plant propagation in the next week or so, but briefly... I have been dividing the aster and sedum (dig up, split with spade, replant), planting some things from seed, transplanting things that self seed everywhere, (like poached egg plant) into gaps. Throwing down seed of Phacelia, white clover and buckwheat in areas that I mulched last year.

Snowdrops, dig up after flowering and transplant in the green, I just did one big clump and made about 25 new small clumps. Crocus, transplant when foliage dies back, another month or more here. Layering Rosemary (when roots grow plants can be severed from the parent).

Hard wood cuttings for Mahonia are taken in late summer, this spring I ordered a different cultivar to extend the season.(bareroot 1/3 the cost of garden centre plants and the mail-order is family run on organic principles) and a few different apples and crab apples bareroot.

Gardens of friends and family, farmers markets, school plant sales, garden open day plant sales are good places to find affordable plants that are easy to propagate and locally adapted. Bringing just a few new plants into a garden every year and dividing those already established quickly fills a garden up.

Charlie, It's a nice idea to have a separate Plant section so we will just have to post lots so Phil needs to make one!
I think I could really go find a plant/garden forum to join, only design, special different specimens, pests, fertilising... don't really interest me at all! Bee food does! and habitat, so you are stuck with me for now! LOL

Kim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 97
Location: Virginia,USA; S. Appalachians;USDA zn. 6a

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim, your comment:
Quote:
I have a thought about wild versus cultivated bee environments..... Perhaps if we would like to see wild or feral bee colonies established then leaving nature to nature is well and good, and there is a place for that.

However human consumption of honey has evolved in parallel with human agriculture, Perhaps for a reliable honey harvest then cultivating plants for our mutual benefit will give a greater honey yield? A cultivated variety of brassica (broccoli/ cauliflower..) will give a greater yield than a wild cultivar, as is the case with most fruits, vegetables and grains. A cow will easily have milk for her calf but to give milk to a family too she requires a little more nutrition.


I really resonate with this. It's a perfect expression, or manifestation, of what I call "right stewardship". But, as I somewhat obliquely indicated to Barbara, that subject is so deep and wide (inseparable as it is with one's belief system) that any decent discussion of it would have to go over to the Far Side. If you (or anyone else, of course,) would like to do that, just let me know.

Quote:
I think there are areas of wild uncultivated land that do provide rich forage for bees, Plenty to supply excess honey, and Barbara may be in such an area. I see the relationship in bees developing their habitat and I believe that a plant that grows in a place is giving that soil exactly what it needs, compared to a plant which is consciously planted. Many wild plants in Western Europe have evolved with humans too to provide food, medicine. materials.


Again, right stewardship; and your observation about current practices in agriculture and husbandry exemplify equally well, not non-stewardship, but rather Wrong stewardship, even Wicked stewardship.

What I've been trying to get people to take an unbiased look at for years is the notion that it is possible to enjoy an abundant life—"health-and-wealth-and-friends by-the-score" —as it were, without doing any harm to the non man-made environment. On the contrary, everything we do touch— "impact"— can and should be marked with an increase in health, beauty, and order for all creatures "Bright and Beautiful". I avoided the term "natural" environment because every member of our species is totally natural. This includes every artifact arising out of our individual and collective existances, and that, in turn, includes artifacts like parasitical hedge funds, megaton H-bombs and megaton accidental oil spills. Arrogance, pride, fear, greed, and stupidity (i.e. willful ignorance) are just as natural to us all, alas, as our most noble, kind, and generous acts and impulses. It mostly depends on Who is in charge at any given moment and situation. Once again, however, this thread trail is trailing toward the Far Side.

About starting a dedicated forage forum: OK, I'll bow (not that I have a choice) to your, J Smith's, and Phil's probably better wisdom on the matter. *Sigh*


Quote:
There was a section on this forum to share bee-friendly environments and I am not finding it right now.


Really? I've never run across anything like that. If it were still around I probably would've ferreted it out by now.

Charlie
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Wildflower_VA
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 407
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CharlieBnoobee wrote:


Quote:
There was a section on this forum to share bee-friendly environments and I am not finding it right now.


Really? I've never run across anything like that. If it were still around I probably would've ferreted it out by now.

Charlie


Are you speaking about the Bee-Friendly Zone?? http://www.biobees.com/beefriendlyzone/

What is a Bee-Friendly Zone?
A Bee-Friendly Zone is a safe place where bees and other insects can nest, forage for pollen and nectar and go about their business without coming into contact with potentially toxic chemicals.

A BFZ can be a small as a balcony or patio - even a window box - or as big as your garden.

--
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1569
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Goodness Gracious, Barbara, but you're rowing your boat out into some mighty deep waters!


Charlie I had no idea how far from the shore I'd paddled! I was really just wanting to share my experience of how I've seen bees change the landscape on their own and that often we go to a lot of trouble to plant for the bees and they ignore our efforts and go elsewhere. And also to say that we need to open our eyes to the beauty of nature and work with it, like the bees do.

I'm a practical person, not a theoretical one, so I'm not going to accept your offer/challenge to take this discussion to a deeper level on The Far Side as that would definitely be way out of my depth. I'm wimping out I'm afraid. Rolling Eyes

Regards

Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
B kind
Scout Bee


Joined: 13 May 2013
Posts: 250
Location: Co.Wicklow, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it must be the "friends of the bees" section. http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=62

OK, found it, it was a thread not a section! titled what is a bee-friendly zone?

http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10534&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

I will start a propagation thread soon. Madasafish, I love the guerilla planting!

Kim
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim

I guerilla plant oriental opium poppies on bare soil. Bees go crazy for the pollen ioften 6-7 bees at a time

They grow quickly in spring.

It is of course illegal to sow Himalayan Balsam outside your garden (in the UK) so any suggestion I might do so is to be deprecated..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Bee products, recipes, bee plants and apitherapy All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - Suggestion for a bee plant thread. - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum