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Author Topic: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?  (Read 419 times)

Offline paus

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Can planted flowers make a difference?  I have planted several hundred borage plants.  Will I notice a difference in honey flow as we are entering the end of spring honey flow.  I have also planted Lemon Queen Sunflower.  I have NO experience with planted bee flowers. 
1. Will I see a noticeable difference in honey flow.
2.  Which plant is more productive?
3.  Which will be productive longer?

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 09:14:59 am »
Not unless you planted an acre of something.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 09:22:00 am »
Can planted flowers make a difference?  I have planted several hundred borage plants.  Will I notice a difference in honey flow as we are entering the end of spring honey flow.  I have also planted Lemon Queen Sunflower.  I have NO experience with planted bee flowers. 
1. Will I see a noticeable difference in honey flow.
2.  Which plant is more productive?
3.  Which will be productive longer?

I am not familiar with the borage plant. Is this the one you are referencing?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borage

A couple hundred plants and some other plants should make a dent but not enough for a flow on its on. I have heard that bees need at least a couple of acres of flowers to be doing ok

Offline paus

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 09:35:07 am »
Yes that is borage.  I have over a half acre of borage and sunflower, several acres are on the agenda.

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 09:57:14 am »
With half an acre should be able to give up to 100lbs per acre according to this I found on wikipedia. F   Borage[3]   Borago officinalis   6   10   no   feral, ornamental   minor, but can be major on cultivated area 200 pounds honey per acre; 60-160 pounds pollen. So it might really help your bees out. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable will come along.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 10:52:01 am »
If you have the time, energy, space to plant that much then it will absolutely help. I would suggest finding something that blooms when everything else is done. If you plant something that blooms when everything else is blooming it may not be as effective as you'd wish. That's when the all beekeeping is local kicks in. In my locale we get a steady stream of nectar from may through July. I am far from saturating my home apiary so what I plant is going to be beneficial to me (apples, pears, garden, etc).
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Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline cao

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 08:23:37 pm »
Anything you plant that flowers will help.  Will you see a difference?  I kinda doubt it.  How would you be able to judge that any increase came from what you planted.  About the only way to judge is if you see the bees working what you plant.  There is always other benefits from planting "bee" friendly plants too.  Everything from butterflies, birds, rabbits, deer and many other creatures including other types of bees enjoy the benefits of your labors.  I've seen many different creatures take advantage of my little 'bee' plot.  It's only about 10' x 100'.

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 11:19:30 am »
Anything you plant that flowers will help.  Will you see a difference?  I kinda doubt it.  How would you be able to judge that any increase came from what you planted.  About the only way to judge is if you see the bees working what you plant.  There is always other benefits from planting "bee" friendly plants too.  Everything from butterflies, birds, rabbits, deer and many other creatures including other types of bees enjoy the benefits of your labors.  I've seen many different creatures take advantage of my little 'bee' plot.  It's only about 10' x 100'.

Interesting stuff. The greater variety of plants have to help things out I would think.

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 11:55:59 am »
I would also believe that if you saturated an area with a specific type of plant that you could change substantially the flavour of your honey.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 11:42:00 pm »
Bees forage the 8,000 acres around the hive.  It's doubtful what you plant will make a crop.  But if you plant things that fill gaps fro the bees it may IMPACT the crop by keeping the colonies strong and helping them build up for the flow.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 09:05:54 am »
1. Will I see a noticeable difference in honey flow.
2.  Which plant is more productive?
3.  Which will be productive longer?

So many variables it is hard to predict without running the experiment in your area and then there is the variable from year to year.  So it might be hard to repeat the experiment.  What you plant can't be in competition with something else because it is small in comparison.  The timing has to be perfect to fill in a gap.  On the other side there is no harm to the bees or the environment for planting something.  The only harm might be your wallet.
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Offline KeyLargoBees

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Re: Can planted flowers make a difference in honey flow , how much?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2017, 04:25:38 pm »
As others have stated....if you plant something specifically as bee forage pick something that blooms off cycle from the other typical flows.

Think about it like this...in every hive or even group of hives there are a finite # of foragers that work the surrounding area. The chances of them hitting every flower in that area during a flow on any given day and sucking every last drop of nectar dry is minimal so there will always be nectar left over un-foraged. So no matter what you plant  if it blooms in addition the the naturally blooming plants during a flow it will make no difference.

If however you can plant to extend a flow by blooming before or after the main flow or better yet find something that blooms in the dearth....you will greatly impact your hives to their benefit.
Jeff Wingate

Changes in Latitudes...Changes in Attitudes....are Florida Keys bees more laid back than the rest of the country...only time will tell!!!
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