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Favorite garden bee plants

 
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: Favorite garden bee plants Reply with quote

When our bees first came I was so happy to see the bees on the Angelica and the poached egg plant, I have been following them around the garden all summer, especially joyous when my favorite plants are also enjoyed by the bees. I have a few photos of the bees current favorites, Sedum and Aster, on this link http://www.honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2013/09/sedum-and-aster.html

and while I am here I'll share this link to my 11 yr olds bumble bee photos http://honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2013/08/the-garden-is-buzzing_13.html

Kim

This was the poached egg plant back in June.
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Bugscouter
Silver Bee


Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 808
Location: USA/California/ Sacramento

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG, have you tasted the honey from your poached egg plant? Its sold here as Meadowfoam and it carries a premium.


Edit: Oops. Our Meadowfoam is Limnanthes alba. Your Poached egg plant is Limnanthes douglasii. They look very much alike and I bet the honey is similar.
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my first year and I haven't taken any honey (They started off small and have gone from 1 to 4 colonies despite my beginners bumblings so I won't stretch them further this year.
I think being able to take just one frame of honey during specific flows will be something I will really like about TBHs.
First the bees have to get through the winter though!

I am so pleased to hear good feedback on Limnanthes honey, I expect the honey is similar for Alba and douglasii. It is a great little self seeder in the vegetable garden and it gives good winter ground cover too.
Kim
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mahonia is covered with bees on days when the weather is warm enough to fly, which is most days for a few hours at least.

http://honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2013/11/honeybees-enjoying-mahonia.html
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say Im jaleous Smile 27th Nov and your bees are gathering stores! Not just that but you have flowering plants at this time Razz wow

My ladies are clustered in their hives. Frost and cold has arrived a few weeks ago in our locality. No flowers except a few newly planted Canola on a near by mono crop field are blooming (strange).

The last flower my ladies worked was Asters. We have no Ivy.

My absolute favorite plants are:

Spring - Snowdrops and Siberian Squill. After that Dandelion.

Summer - Fireweed, White Clover, White Honey Clover (bushlike plant) and Hawksbeard/Hawkbit

Fall - Himalayan Balsam, Sedum and Aster

Have been collecting in nature bulbs and seeds all year to plant on our new farm Smile
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are having a very long Autumn.



The bees are still loving the Mahonia.

Kim


Edit... Removed a couple of poor Huge photos to tidy up this thread!


Last edited by B kind on Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weather here continuing mild and sunny.

The above photos and a couple more here
http://honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2013/12/the-bees-are-still-busy.html

Photos from yesterday with the bees on the Rosemary.
http://honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2013/12/honey-bees-on-rosemary.html
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1567
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great photos!

My bees have also been very active the past few days and there is still a bit of pollen going in, which I think is ivy. Interestingly I saw a wasp this morning. Not a queen wasp but just a normal worker. It was hovering about showing interest in my haylage bale whilst I was bagging it up for the horses. Not sure if it was the golden colour or the smell that had attracted it but can't say I blame it because it smells heavenly!
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of days ago we were still seeing the odd wasp coming and going from the massive ground nest outside our kitchen window. At one time there were at least 60 wasps a minute coming and going from it.

2 days ago the first yellow crocus was not just up but open! I haven't seen pollen going into the hive for a couple of weeks now but I am still seeing what looks like orientation flights.

Kim
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I keep thinking, "this is the last plant for the bees before the winter" but yesterday I saw a honey bee on the Abutilon for the first time. I only had a brief opportunity to look and I could only see one bee so it is not significant but I do enjoy seeing what the bees can make use of, It did appear to be gathering nectar.

http://honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2013/12/honey-bee-on-abutilon-ashford-red.html

Dec. 15th Edit. Have seen several honey bees on the Abutilon since posting so I am now certain it is being worked. The Rosemary continues to be busy too.
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bees have been out foraging today. I saw them on the Rosemary, crocus, mahonia and snowdrops. For the first time this year I saw pollen collection.

http://honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2014/02/honeybees-on-snowdrops-crocus-rosemary.html

Kim
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Solarpat
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 220
Location: Bandon, OREGON, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:09 am    Post subject: Early flowers for the bees Reply with quote

We planted bulbs in November for the early bees, but nothing compares with the turnip greens which have gone to flower. They started blooming in mid January and the bees have been hitting on them for a month.
Also 'featured' is the pussy willow tree that's just started blooming in our back yard about a month early.

I shot some video so you can see the bees working.
http://solarbeez.com/2014/02/12/bees-enjoy-winter-turnip-flowers-and-more/
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This forum is a great place to learn the buzz on bees.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another of my new favorites is the perennial Jerusalem Artichokes. Not an early bloomer but rather late in Summer. Last year I have seen lots of Honeybees on their flowers and the roots are edible Smile so a win win situation for both me and the bees Smile
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat, You are ahead of us with your turnip flowers and your willow catkins, but thank you, you have reminded me to leave all the small turnips to flower. You have great photos of so many plants on you blog and I gather your climate is quite similar to here.

We had a big storm a couple of days ago with a peak wind gust of 63 mph and SO much rain this winter but I am amazed at how often there is a sunny spell in the middle of the day and the bees are out. Yesterday it was 7C in the shade and the bees were out. (Even though I read it is better for the bees to have real cold and keep their winter cluster as they use less energy, but it is as it is).

We have seen the bees collecting white pollen from the rosemary.

I can hardly believe I don't have artichokes in our garden, I have read that once you have them, you have them forever so I have been thinking where would I put them? But this year I will just have to go for it!

Kim
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plant Jerusalem Artichokes in a corner somewhere as a solitary perennial plant. It will spread itself in time. It tends to stay in that area where you plant it. They are TALL Smile I think over 2 meters. If you were my neighbor I could give you lots. One of my new Danish friends will come tomorrow to get some artichokes from me. I think I will propagate them some more. Fantastic as food for us and great for bees (Sunflower family).

It is so strange for me to read that people have Rosemary flowering at this time of the year. We cant even grow Rosemary outdoors in winter. We usually plant it the greenhouse in spring and then it dies in winter. I think I might grow it in pots from now on.

I still cant see any Bumblebees which I think is normal. This winter is a bit too warm here and it could trick them out while there is still chance for cold spells to arrive.

The previous owner which lived on our farm planted huge amounts of Willow Very Happy my bees will love this paradise in Spring
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw the first Bumble bee of the year today. I have never known a January to go by without seeing one but we had a very late start to winter and saw many into late December.

Sunny & calm today 12C. Bees were on gorse, snowdrops and crocus.

http://honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2014/02/honeybees-on-gorse-crocus-and-snowdrops.html

Kim
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been quite windy for the last few days but it is sunny and the bees are loving the crocus and rosemary. Also on gorse and viburnum tinus.

http://honey-oak.blogspot.ie/2014/02/honey-bees-on-viburnum-tinus-crocus.html

Kim
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have another photo post of bee flowers, apricot, peach, hellebore... and now, all bee-flower posts are all together on one page.

http://www.honey-oak.blogspot.ie/search/label/Bee%20Flowers

The apricots are as good as finished now and willow is just starting. I will be glad to see the bees finished in the polytunnels, Some bees have a hard time getting out and I have been rescuing tired ones every afternoon! Next year It may be worth overwintering a small colony in or near a polytunnel and moving it outside after the apricots and peaches finish.


Kim
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