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Minimum maintenance bee planting

 
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:15 pm    Post subject: Minimum maintenance bee planting Reply with quote

Hi Anyone
We have a community gardening project in a village and have been donated the use of some green spaces both by a developer, the parish council, and some private owners (essentially waiting for development rights).We have already been donated 50 fruit trees by a local nursery which have been planted around the village.
I am looking for some low maintenance, preferably low cost (though some funding is provided by the council) planting that can be done in these areas to support bee health and vitality throughout the year. Hopefully providing a steady nectar flow.

I found this on one supplier site.
http://www.organiccatalogue.com/p2380/SEED-COLLECTION-and%2339Bee-Friendly-Flowersand%2339/product_info.html?CHASE=J731517958162630253151531257

When it comes to plants unless you can eat it I don't know it some I would really appreciate some guidance. Thanks in advance.

PS - We keep pigs some there is no shortage of organic matter to help things along Smile
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Merinos
Foraging Bee


Joined: 12 Sep 2011
Posts: 163
Location: Brussels, Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salix Triandra Semperflorens. The best willow for bees.
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds like a fantastic initiative, Keep us updated!

This is a wide topic! Where to start?

What kind of planting are you thinking of? Trees? shrubs? meadow? perennials? a bit of everything?

I find that some seed companies charge a LOT for tiny packets of seeds. For large areas finding a mail-order that supplies small farmers and market gardeners is worth thinking about. In Ireland that would be somewhere like https://www.fruithillfarm.com/p-235-bulk-springsummer-green-manure.aspx
Just to give an example, where phacelia, buckwheat and clover can be ordered by the kilo. (I only looked briefly at your link but got the impression it was aimed at garden scale).

Some Plants, especially perennials, may be worth starting from seed from your supplier. One thing that I see frequently, is that bee-friendly does not mean honey-bee friendly (of course these plants are still good to plant) and there are varieties that are better than others.

Kim
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would certainly prefer planting that is going to come up every year once established so it may well be good to get seeds started as you suggest. Otherwise, large purchase seeds from farmer suppliers sounds like a good idea.
So:
phacelia
buckwheat
clover

I take it these are spring though summer sowing and flowering.
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B kind
Scout Bee


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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Planting phacelia and buckwheat would give a good short term return on a temporary site or would help to give an affordable quick impact in the first year while long-term trees, shrubs and perennials are still small. For example on the site I quoted, 1kg sunflower seed is 6.90 Euro or 1kg buckwheat 4.20Euro.

For planting that will come up every year, if it is to be low maintenance then tough competitive plants are required. Mahonia is one of my favorites in this category. Willow and hazel are good, Tilla cordata(Lime), sweet chestnut...... these are for the long-term. What is the expectation for this site? A forest garden is very low maintenance and wonderful for bees but a lot of people don't appreciate the beauty, especially when it is establishing.

Is there a local garden group. Gardeners almost always have plants to share freely, especially for a community project.

Kim
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CharlieBnoobee
Guard Bee


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

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:23 am    Post subject: Bee plant seeds Reply with quote

Since it's not a native species, Viper's Bugloss (echium vulgaris) is hard- to-impossible to obtain in decent quantities this side of the herring pond. More's the pity because from everything I've read about it, its nectar output is absurdly out of proportion to its floral density. This is allegedly due to the way the flower's structure keeps the nectar stored and protected from both drying out or being rain washed away. However, it likes dry, sunny conditions, so this might not suit your location. In dry, sunny Australia it's considered an invasive nuisance weed, so that says a lot about its vigor under the right conditions, especially where other plants are having a rough go of it. It obviously self-seeds with relish. Why don't you Google it and check it out?
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madasafish
Silver Bee


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

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Echium vulgaris -appears not to do well in damp cool conditions - the pollen and nectar output in the ones I have had have been so low in the past 3 years that my bees do not bother.


Now opium poppies and phacelia do well under these conditions and self sow....and the bees love them...
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