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Author Topic: Planting flowers for new apiary  (Read 1332 times)

Offline SouthAussieBeekeeper

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Planting flowers for new apiary
« on: October 29, 2018, 12:24:14 am »
I want to set up some beehives at this property, but there's not a lot of biodiversity when it comes to flowers. Whilst there'd have to be well over a thousand trees constantly littered in the area, there only appears to be three species of trees, mallee by the looks of it. There's also a few species of shrub flowers but not many. The area is pretty dry.

I want to plant flowers so that beehives can thrive in this area throughout the year, not just when the gumtrees happen to flower. I'm a bit lost as to how to approach selecting what to plant for this apiary.

Are there any decent sources that'll help me to identify the gumtrees that are already there? What about the shrub and ground flowers? Would it be a good, or bad idea to plant more gumtrees up there, when there's many of them to begin with, and they tend to flower when it rains, and the area is quite dry with low rain fall?

Offline Crysalismum

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 06:41:41 am »
I?m curious too.
We have a lot of tea tree and gumtrees

My bees love my fruit trees the plums and apricots are literally humming with bees 🐝 & bottle brushes too so I know they like those. I always let some broccoli go on to Flowering - they love that too!!

Online max2

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2018, 07:49:47 am »
Google for  " Bee Friendly"  by Mark Leech. A great resource and remember that about 80% of our Australian honey comes from Eucalypt trees.

Offline Bamboo

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 08:42:36 am »
Not wishing to decry your desire to plant bee friendly plants in fact I am all for it and as they say every little bit counts. However if you are doing it to support your hives I am not sure that you could plant enough to make a difference. It requires something in the order of 2 to 4 million( depending on who you believe) nectar producing flowers for bees to make about 500gm of honey. So that is one heap of plants that you need to plant. But as I said every bit helps. Just don't rely on your plantings to sustain your bees.

Offline SouthAussieBeekeeper

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 09:23:28 am »
Is that 500 grams? So if I planted 1000 plants and trees, it'll make a negligible difference?

I have a tester hive at the site already. The bees can sustain themselves. I'm unsure whether they have much of an ability to thrive to the point where I can comfortably do some honey extractions on them. I figure the site is going to have periods where it'll have such an abundant honey flow that the bees can't easily keep up (when the gumtrees bloom), and the rest of the year I figure the bees will have too much time on their hands and will be eating themselves into a deficit.

Offline Bamboo

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 03:35:29 am »
Yep 500gms. Hey 1000 trees plants will make a difference as I said every bit helps make it a mix of pollen and nectar producing and staggered flows. If everyone planted a 1000 bee friendly plants it would make a huge difference. Have a look at the weeds around as well, what is not desirable to gardeners or farmers can be very attractive and beneficial to bees.

Offline beepro

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 07:49:39 pm »
If this property has irrigation year round then you can plant anything for the bees.  Clovers, wild mustard, canola, etc.

Offline SouthAussieBeekeeper

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2018, 08:47:02 pm »
So that means that I might be able to supplement the bees but planting wouldn't have much of a difference. I do have a single hive there at the moment. If they end up doing decently I'll move more hives up there and then I'll plant some things for them.

Doesn't.have irrigation currently but the plan was to set some up using the water tank if I ended up planting up there.

Offline beepro

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2018, 06:08:05 pm »
If not enough irrigation then you might consider some native or non-native not invasive drought tolerant
shrubs like sages, etc.  If you plan to supplement feed then I recommend planting more of the
nectar producing plants there.  This way it will strike a balance and hopefully some honey harvest too.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Planting flowers for new apiary
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2018, 11:47:15 pm »
When Dadant started the bee business, they were placing the hives in Basswood tree areas and the bees made  Basswood honey. He was also cutting down the same tree to make hives. They then started planting the Basswood trees in rows and putting the hives in the orchards. When they got to be large enough, he again used the trees for making hives. Pretty useful tree.
I wish I could grow Basswood here instead of pine trees.
Jim