Food for bees

Page 1 of 2  
Hello to rec.gardens after a long abscense. I have been duking it out with removing Garlic Mustard from a Nature Preserve. There are 11 beehives just next to the Nature Preserve. I am looking for a bee friendly replacement for the Mustard, but most clovers seem unsuitable for the site. The beekeeper requested big white clover, I assume sweet, but I rule it out in that it will take over the Nature Preserve just like the Garlic Mustard did. Ladino clover has come up in my searches. I have 2 areas I can plant. One is on a semi shady hillside that has bunches of rotten logs tossed down into it, this soil is rich. The other area the soil is middling but is in the sun, with an existant pasture. I'd toss the sweet white clover seed out there any day. Any bee friendly plant ideas out there?
Zone 5a Milwaukee
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Molly wrote:

It sounds like they're not your bees. You have no responsibility to feed them. Considering that bees will fly up to 2 miles (possibly more, depending on the breed) to gather food, your nature preserve (unless it's very large) is probably only a small fraction of their food supply. Since the hives are on the border, it's probably less than half (some bees will fly in the other direction). Of course if there is a food supply close by, they will take advantage of it.
Is this beekeeper a commercial operation or just a hobby beekeeper? 11 hives is more than the average hobbyist keeps. I assume he sells honey. In that case, it's in his interest to provide a supply of food that will produce tasty honey. Clover is high on the list.
Have you considered something like dutch white clover? It's a low growing plant, not suitable for hayfields. We use it in walkways. I suspect that it wouldn't produce as much useful nectar as the larger plant, but that's just a guess on my part.
What is the purpose of the nature preserve? Is it a wild area or is it a park or is it something in between? Are you trying to attract wildlife or human occupation? Do you want a lawn or a food source for wildlife (other than the bees)?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
One other note: I'm not a beekeeper, but it's my understanding that the bees ignore stuff within about 50 feet of the hive, since that's their dumping area. So there's no special need for specific replacement plants in that area.
Check with your beekeeper for the accuracy of that statement.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks for the tip in that direction, as all the garlic mustard that I pulled, was downslope and within 30 feet of his hives. Perhaps he was fearing a loss of food source in early spring, as I know he was putting those upside down pails of sucrose solution on top of the hives, for some time. Also he would comment on the cold spring here in Milwaukee. None the less, the beekeeper knows a fellow beekeeper who has an established feed garden next to his hives, and he thought it was a cool, if somewhat limited, idea. Actually, he figured he couldn't feed many bees off the area I cleared. At one point I specifically asked him about the use of Round Up over in the Nature Preserve, from the point of view of the bees. Would Round Up harm the bees if used, say, a mile away? His response was that whereas he rents the land, other hobbyist beekeepers who do own their own land will spray the entire area around the hive just to keep it clear.(Therefore, my proposed pesticide use wouldn't hurt the bees.) Clearing the immediate area of vegetation seems counter to growing a bee food garden in the close in zone, where I was. I'll let you know what he says. As for my own ideas for that slope, I am thinking stablization. Virginia creeper & grapevines are all over down there, it should fill in. Molly Zone 5a Milwaukee
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I doubt that is true since bees are quite happy to take sugar water place that close to their hives.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Bees have a flight language to communicate to other bees where they found good stuff. According to The Dance Language & Orientation of Bees, by Karl von Frisch, the figure eight flight pattern means "close to the hive," & repeating the figure eight several times in succession means "Oh my god LOTS of nectar close to the hive."
Also, while honeybees hunt a great distance, most of our gardens are pollinated by smaller sorts of bees which have surprisingly finite hunting areas, often not even going as far as the other side of the garden!
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
paghat wrote:

The figure of eight dance, or the waggle dance, is for more distant nectar sources (generally greater than 100 meters or so, the round dance is for nearby sources (<50-80m). These dances are not flight patterns, they are done by a bee walking or running on the verticle comb surface. May I suggest: http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov/ic/dance/dance.html . Round dances elicit flight and foraging close to the hive.
FWIW
Keith
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Cool easy article, & I clearly needed to refresh my memory on this stuff. von Frisch has been on my bookshelf for twenty years & probably about that long since I read him. Been thinking about bees & bee-flies a lot lately, & was "petting" a bumblebee about ten minutes ago. What I need is something good about little solitary bees & their look-alikes all over the gardens, it'd be nice to know the specific life histories of sundry "less important" species.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
There's an interesting review of how much we know about all this, and how much is guesswork, at
http://www.beesource.com/pov/wenner/jib2002.htm
Lazarus Cooke
--
Remover the rock from the email address

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@stonecurlewfilms.co.uk wrote:

Fascinating. I never knew von Frisch's work was thought to be merely hypothetical. This is almost as disappointing as when John Lilly on dolphin language turned out to be debunkable myth & exaggeration. Next people will be claiming the stories in Genesis might not have happened just that way.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Next

Don't be silly!
By the way Paghat, I was so taken by your sig, which I saw on uK gardening some time ago, that I went off to a library and looked up the poem. It's a very haunting couplet.
Lazarus
--
Remover the rock from the email address

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Fascinating. I never knew von Frisch's work was thought to be merely

Yep - nice fat controversy there. There are, of course, folks that think Dr. Wenner's hypotheses are not all that and the proverbial bag of chips either.
Me, I think they are both interesting reads, but I figure I'll leave understanding the dance up to the professionals - the bees.
Keith
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Very interesting. I have an apple tree right next to my hives. It's been there for about ten years. The yield has not increased noticeably since the bees arrived some three years ago. I thought it would. Also, a lady along the road used to keep bees before I got mine. A Ceanothus in my garden was always covered in bees when flowering. Then she moved away. My bees live about 20 feet away from that same shrub and they rarely go near it.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The bees that come to my Frequent Flyers "meadow" like gaillardia, goldenrod and New England asters
Emilie NorCal
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Honey bees seem to like oregano plants.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Look at these sites for info: http://www.wildflowerfarm.com / http://www.prairiehabitats.com /
These will tolerate poor-ish dry soils. Here's a list for sunny areas:
Lavender Hyssop - Agastache foeniculum Red Milkweed - Asclepias incarnata Butterflyweed - Asclepias tuberosa All Gaillardia - Gaillardia sp. Sneezeweed - Helenium autumnale All sunflowers - Helianthus sp. All lupines - Lupinus sp. All blazing star - Liatris sp. Beebalm - Monarda sp. Purple Prairie Clover - Petalostemum purpureum Mountain Mint - Pycnanthemum virginianum All coneflowers - Ratibida sp. & Rudbeckia sp. & Echinacea sp. All goldenrod - Solidago sp. New York Ironweed - Vernonia noveboracensis
Here's a list for shady areas:
Foam Flower - Tiarella cordifolia Columbine - Aquilegia canadensis Nodding Wild Onion - Allium cernuum New Jersey Tea - Ceanothus americanus Black Cohosh - Cimicifuga racemosa
Hope this was helpful. :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a large perinial garden full of nothing but wild flower seed just packets of various seeds all mixed wild flowers asters daisies black eyed susans and bunches of others I love to watch butterflies and this was my purpose in planting a sort of whild lookign bed with wild flowers I live half a mile from a farm which keeps honey beeds for education and for honey they mark their bees from each hive to track their movement and to keep a little record of the bees I offten see bunches of the little guys on my wild flowers and I sit with my daughter and watch bugs for hours their because she loves them so may be just a mix of wild flowers indiginous to your area wil work and just be sort of pretty and varied and attrack other insects like butterflies I get cabbage butterflies eastren monarchs eastren black swallow tails and painted ladies in zone six and bunches of honey bees so hope that helps good luck I like bees they are a wonder michelle On 19 Jul 2004 17:31:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Pen) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Pen) wrote in message

Thanks, got some of this stuff in the immediate area. I need to get a little handier with my seed collecting, propagation. There's gonna be a big blast of Garlic Mustard in there next year, Year 2, also. I'd just squish the good guys as I stumble around the hill. I can take time on this project. Molly Zone 5a Milwaukee
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.