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What are some good bee plants???

 
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Kybeek
New Bee


Joined: 01 Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:37 am    Post subject: What are some good bee plants??? Reply with quote

I live in north central Kentucky and am having a hard time finding what to plant for honeybees and native pollinators. Most of the seed companies only list plants that are beneficial to butterflies and hummingbirds.
There is about an acre of blackberries on my land and a few flower beds with mostly roses. I also have about 20 tulip poplar trees, 1 apple tree, and one weeping cherry. About 5 acres of my 14 are wooded with mostly hardwoods: Red Oak, White Oak, Tan Oak, Walnut, Sugar Maple, Hickory, Ash, and a few softwoods Pine, Cedar, and Juniper.
My intent is to put in a large garden this year, and till up a couple of acres that will be planted with nectar and pollen type plants that the bees can use. Hopefully all re-seeding perinnials(sp?). I was hoping to see if anyone on this blog has any experience with bee friendly plants in my area. Any help would be very appreciated. Very Happy
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major1896
Guard Bee


Joined: 21 Dec 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Great Falls, Mt

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your bees will love the blackberries....for sure...remember they will forage up to 3 miles....

I might add some clover in your acreage. White and red.....the more the better....

Have fun

Howard
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Grzegorz.Przezdziecki
Nurse Bee


Joined: 17 Sep 2012
Posts: 42
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

major1896 wrote:
Your bees will love the blackberries....for sure...remember they will forage up to 3 miles....

I might add some clover in your acreage. White and red.....the more the better....

Have fun

Howard


3 miles or 3 km?
I read about this second distance,

Best Regards
GP
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Low plants; Lavener, Catnip, Borago officialis, Echinacea

Bushes and trees; Caragana arborescens, Fuchsia mocrostemma, Willow, Linden, Potentilia fruticosa.

I will plant a long hedge with Caragana bush. It gives bees lots of forage and the plant is a lagume fixing Nitrogen in its leaves, and is good as a wind break.
Another plant i will plant loads is Borago. I have seen bees going crazy all over it (i have seen so many bees on one Borago plot that i thought its a swarm)

I will also make sure to have a big herb garden with various plants.
Willow is a very early source of pollen. Its an easy tree to plant, it grows fast and can be used for basket making, lowering high feaver (young bark tea), mineral feed for animals (winter), wind break.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
3 miles or 3 km?


Three miles, American bees like British ones still use miles. Smile

And that figure is a general rule. A friend here in Cambridge had one hive that filled a super with Borage honey when the nearest field of borage was 6 miles away. Interestingly, none of his other five hives found it or if they did they decided it wasn't worth the bother.

Back to the original post - Try and get plants/trees that flower over a long period of time. It is worth observing to see when there are gaps that might need filling even if this does mean putting off planting for another year. I agree the blackberries will be good but I will eave other specifics to those with a better knowledge of your climate.
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Bugscouter
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to think about some fall bloomers like the sages, mallows, and rosemary.
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LoCo
Foraging Bee


Joined: 10 Jul 2010
Posts: 120
Location: manchester

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bee's love this tree

Korean Evodia, (Bee Bee Tree), Evodia danielli
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MObeek
Silver Bee


Joined: 20 Jul 2011
Posts: 849
Location: Northwest MO, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brocolli has been recommended in another forum. Also, the rose of Sharon attracts lots of pollinators and the flowers continue to bloom in August.
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RSKNOTT
New Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2013
Posts: 8
Location: USA Michigan Rockford

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At my house the wild honey bees are always on the catnip and mountain mint. They also like the lemon thyme. Catnip also seems to keep deer out of our garden which is a nice bonus! The only problem is that these herbs can be invasive, so be careful where you plant them. Smile
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


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

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be planting the hardy Wild Thyme which bees adore. This plant is also a source of Tymol which is used in treating Varroa. Im sure bees will know how to store this nectar.

RSKNOTT thanks for the tip about Catnip keeping away deer Smile I will be planting some of them too.

Cheers
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ZoltanO
Nurse Bee


Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 32
Location: USA, KY, Morehead

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in eastern Kentucky. My girls love quince which will be flowering before the end of February. Shortly after they will be in the trees. Then, native wildflowers and plants at the garden center of a nearby Lowe's keep them busy through the rest of the spring. White clover appears to be a favorite through the summer. Local weed flowers take them into fall.

I plant a wildflower garden with countless varieties, but the Bumbles and other bees are the ones to work them. The girls aren't interested in them unless there is nothing else. Very picky! I keep trying different plants. This year I have some borage, hyssop, lavender, and others to try.

They manage to gather what they need to thrive in spite of anything I do. Rolling Eyes
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


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

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that my bees choose only flowers which are dominant and avoid if there are just a few. Since bees communicate to each other where good forage is available and usualy choose the one flower/plant dominant sites. Bumblebees on the other hand dont communicate as bees resulting in individuals choosing any flower in the vicinity.

That is why I intend to plant at least 2 square meters with a single plant like Borage, Tyme, Lavender, etc ... to get the scouts bring the ladies for some nectar party Wink
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CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:18 am    Post subject: Zn. 6 plants Reply with quote

As you can see, I'm USDA zn. 6a, I'd say you're 6b? My observations are:
Earliest: Pussy willow (massive pollen output); Bradford pear (being a very popular ornamental helps); quince (the root stock parent of all pears); red maple (not as popular amongst bees as the others, but very early, dependable, cheap and abundant)
Early: mustard/rape; followed soon by blackberries, leading into the ultimate nectar fountain when it does in fact flower, I speak of the beloved-of-bees, the Tulip Poplar, aka Liriodendron Tulipfera, which gets us to May/June. By then buckwheat will be kicking in along with the clovers. Don't bother with red clover as a nectar source for honey bees, the nectar is just out of proboscis reach. Bumbles love it, however. Likewise the vetches. White and yellow sweet clovers are more liked than white clover, especially white sweet clover.
Middle summer: Chicory is great and it reseeds itself but the seeds, being a wild flower, cost rather more than your usual ag./pasturage seeds. Russian sage is a nice, long blooming perennial, and commonly available as well. At this time the Golden Rain Trees are really hauling 'em in, more so even than the Mimosas if that's possible. Both of these fast growers can readily be started from seed and around here at least the mimosas are common as dirt.
Late summer and fall: Goldenrod, period. A super abundant weed the honey of which crystallizes readily but that doesn't slow the bees down a bit. If you want to invest the time to start and propagate asters, especially the aromatic variety, they'll provide nectar way into the fall.
These species all really attract the bees and thrive well, by my own direct experience, and should do the same in your slightly milder climate.
I've heard that the Basswood is an excellent bee tree, flowering right after the poplars giving thereby another three weeks of flowering tree. The smaller, hence faster growing European cousin, I.e. the lindens, flower also about the same time, so that's another species to check out. Particularly the Little leaf Linden. Note: all the Tilia flowers hang upside down which tends to protect the nectar from drying/washing out making more available to the bees.
Echium Vulgaris/Viper's Bugloss has a similar feature in that it actually stores its nectar down in a pouch resulting in a wildly disproportionate amt. of honey yield per acre and floral density. We Yanks have just got to find us a source of decently priced seed for that particular wild flower!
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JGW07
Scout Bee


Joined: 06 Apr 2010
Posts: 270
Location: USA, GA, Hephzibah

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the redbud! Bees are all over my redbuds right now. I don't see many on the Bradford pears, actually. Need to mention that the golden rain tree and the mimosa are considered invasive species in the SE USA. Mimosas, in particular, spread like weeds.
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CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: "Invasive" bee trees Reply with quote

JGW07 wrote:
Don't forget the redbud! Bees are all over my redbuds right now. I don't see many on the Bradford pears, actually. Need to mention that the golden rain tree and the mimosa are considered invasive species in the SE USA. Mimosas, in particular, spread like weeds.

Hepzibah: Well noted. I've heard of one disappointed experience with the brad.pear and have come to the conclusion that not all members of that variety are alike. It may have something to do with blossom timing in a specific locale. .Here, they are the very first to pop and preferred over the red maples coming right along with them. They precede the quince by a little over a week and the red buds by a good two weeks. Also the red buds are received with some indifference here but also aren't as vigorous as they are in the Deep South. That may be a key factor. I know the Mimosa does better further south. In GA it's probably like the Black Walnut is here, namely everywhere you don't want it to be!
In fallow places like fence rows, any good bee forage that will out- compete the multiflora rose is more than welcome to go at it, IMO. Worse than Kudzu and WICKED when tangled with! Truly a briar from the Pit, is this rotten rose. This is over-the-top politically incorrect, I know, but there you are.

Charlie
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J Smith
Foraging Bee


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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kybeek, do not forget bulbs.
Flowering bulbs can be planted in lawn/grassed areas and push through the grasses to bloom and can duplicate & multiply by themselves.
Crocus and Daffodil would be top of my list, but Bluebells, Cyclamen coum (but can flower form January), Fritillaria, Hyacinth, Iris, Muscari, Siberian squill (Scilla siberica), Wood Anemone (anemone nemorosa) are all good Spring flowering plants (if they suit your local conditions).
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Beeswax Paintings
House Bee


Joined: 03 Apr 2014
Posts: 10
Location: North Carolina, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some white gaura, and the bees love this perennial. It also comes in pink. It's a prolific bloomer from spring to late summer.
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