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Author Topic: Best source of honey flow.  (Read 271 times)

Offline Bob Wilson

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Best source of honey flow.
« on: January 09, 2020, 12:28:01 am »
There is a YouTube video by Mike Conner called Bees and Trees. It claims that...
1. Planting bee friendly flowers in the yard provides almost nothing towards a honey flow.
2. Planting fields of bee crops is not the best either.
3. Instead, trees provide vastly more nectar and pollen than anything else in nature. Two grown basswood trees provide the same as an acre of planted clover.
It is a fascinating video. Do you think it is true? It would be a game changer for me, considering my plans to move in the next two years to a more rural area. I would focus on staggering tree blooming through the year. Maybe plant a few maples, tulip poplar, a few ornamental cherry...

Offline Seeb

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2020, 10:46:20 am »
Are you familiar with the Xerces Society?  They are a pollinator conservation program that have educational resources on plants for pollinators, pesticides issues, etc. This is their website https://xerces.org/resources

The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over.

Offline yes2matt

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2020, 11:10:26 am »
There is a YouTube video by Mike Conner called Bees and Trees. It claims that...
1. Planting bee friendly flowers in the yard provides almost nothing towards a honey flow.
2. Planting fields of bee crops is not the best either.
3. Instead, trees provide vastly more nectar and pollen than anything else in nature. Two grown basswood trees provide the same as an acre of planted clover.
It is a fascinating video. Do you think it is true? It would be a game changer for me, considering my plans to move in the next two years to a more rural area. I would focus on staggering tree blooming through the year. Maybe plant a few maples, tulip poplar, a few ornamental cherry...
My initial thought is that you plant clovers and camellias and dandelions and hellebore for your bees, cherries and tulip poplars for your kids' bees, basswood for your grandkids' bees.

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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2020, 11:57:40 am »
It is a fascinating video. Do you think it is true?
I think it's probably true.  Here in the mountains the terrain prevents a lot of land from being developed.  This means that a large portion of the landscape around here are essentially forested wilderness, since there aren't developments or neighborhoods anywhere except the valleys.  Most people have sections of their properties that are left untouched due to incline, and without the neighborhood vibe to enforce unspoken or spoken rules about yard maintenance, many people have wild looking yards with minimal landscaping.  Therefore the overbearing vegetative presence in my area is trees.  So far, over the course of my 2 summers beekeeping, I have never experienced a pollen dearth.  As long as it's not winter, there is pollen coming in.  I also haven't had much of a summer dearth.  The first year I had bees, my mother and I focused on trying to plant for them, but honestly we found that they just do not need it.  Unless it's a plant that honey bees go crazy for, like borage or something, any single plant or group of plants we put in just can't compete with the awesome floral resource that is 3 miles of blooming trees.  We have shifted our focus flower-wise onto only plants that the honey bees LOVE, and other than that we plant flowers for the native pollinators to help support them since we have increased the pollinator load in our area with our hives.   

2. Planting fields of bee crops is not the best either.
I think the trouble with bee crops is that unless it's something that flowers continually (like certain types of clover), once it's done blooming then it's over, and you have a big green field that's not doing you any good.  Good succession blooming is what is really helpful.     
           
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online CoolBees

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 05:45:39 pm »
...
1. Planting bee friendly flowers in the yard provides almost nothing towards a honey flow.
2. Planting fields of bee crops is not the best either.
3. Instead, trees provide vastly more nectar and pollen than anything else in nature. Two grown basswood trees provide the same as an acre of planted clover. ...

This is one of my favorite topics - Great choice Bobll. I began to go down this road 3 or 4 years ago, and haven't returned from it.  :cheesy: ...

My initial thought is that you plant clovers and camellias and dandelions and hellebore for your bees, cherries and tulip poplars for your kids' bees, basswood for your grandkids' bees.

Excellent advice Matt, & I would concur completely.


I noticed early on that once the trees stopped flowering in my area, the bees had little increase of honey for the rest of the year.

So, I started by planting clover and alfalfa. I planted the wrong clover at first and the bees didn't touch it. Then I researched, and got 7 total types of clover, mixed the seeds, and planted. Since I'm on a small(ish) property and have to be careful on water useage, the clover didn't grow very well. Then I switch my thinking to trees ...

Question: When are the #1 & #2 Best times to plant a tree? ... answer: #1 - 20 years ago. ... the 2nd best time to plant a tree is Today.

sooo ... I began researching Nectar producing trees that I could add to the property. Specifically, different types of trees so that I could have a flow going [as close to] year round as possible - essentially trying to get something that was flowering at all times.

I already had Cherries, Pears, Plums, Apples, Ovacado's, Apricots, etc, but these are all "Spring" flowering trees.

Since then I have added a citrus orchard of some 30 trees of 7 varieties - These will flower between August & November.

Here's a list of some of the trees that I have planted since, or have on back order, or am looking for ...

Goldenrain tree
Black locust
Linden, American (Basswood)
Tulip Tree
Arbutus Marina Std (Strawberry tree)
Japanese Pagoda Tree
Tupelo, Black Gum
Lilac Tree
Staghorn Sumac
Linden, European (Littleleaf Linden)
Linden, Silver
Sourwood
Japanese Lilac Tree
Thornless Honey Locust
Late Lilac Bush
and more ... Nectar producing Shrubs and plants will be my next focus - to fill in between the trees. I see no reason that Clover & Mint (both are Nitrogen Fixing Plants) cannot be planted beneath the canopy of trees, as well as various shrubs around the area.

I have one 15 yr old Honey Locust - The bees cover it in July when it blooms - there are 4 more of these trees growing in pots currently.

All my trees are on Drip irrigation systems with timers and controllers. It is worth noting: When you plant trees, their full mature growth size must be accounted for, and they have to be planted on the correct spacing from the beginning. For now, I have been planting 2-3 of each. I buy the trees in the smallest size possible to save cost - 10" bare root sapplings are fine - I just add 3 years to my schedule.

I look at it this way: the next 20 years are going to pass, whether I plant trees for my bees today or not. The only question then is: Will my bees have a [more] reliable nectar source 20 years from now, or not? ... That's up to me to decide ... today.

All-in-all, I don't know if [the correct] trees will out-produce a field of clover - but I'm going to find out some day ...  :grin:

You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Troutdog

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2020, 06:16:14 pm »
best time to plant a tree look at farmers almanac,
tip for planting is make the hairy part of the root ball face north. in other words the root ball when examined will have a definate aspect that has more root than the rest this is the north of the plant.
it has to do with the dowsing stuff of the telluric energy flows from south to north.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2020, 06:43:57 pm »
Well. That decides it. I will be looking for the flowering time for different trees (thanks for the resource Seeb), so I can make a succession flowering planting plan. I have a landscape nursery background, so I am going to landscape the property regardless. The difference is that I used to think, "pretty view here", or "outdoor usable room there". Now I tend to think, "water feature for the bees here" and "nectar source tree there".

Online CoolBees

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2020, 07:20:45 pm »
.... The difference is that I used to think, "pretty view here", or "outdoor usable room there". Now I tend to think, "water feature for the bees here" and "nectar source tree there".

 :grin: :grin: :grin: ... yeah, that's how I see things now too.  :grin:
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline yes2matt

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2020, 07:26:38 pm »
Well. That decides it. I will be looking for the flowering time for different trees (thanks for the resource Seeb), so I can make a succession flowering planting plan. I have a landscape nursery background, so I am going to landscape the property regardless. The difference is that I used to think, "pretty view here", or "outdoor usable room there". Now I tend to think, "water feature for the bees here" and "nectar source tree there".
You'd like a copy of _Garden plants for honey bees_ by Peter Lindtner (wicwas press)

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Offline Seeb

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2020, 09:20:40 am »

My initial thought is that you plant clovers and camellias and dandelions and hellebore for your bees, cherries and tulip poplars for your kids' bees, basswood for your grandkids' bees.

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[/quote]

Reminds me of a favorite song from the late 70's early 80's  by Si Kahn. Kahn fought for the rights of many, but was mostly known for his work for the Coal Miners. Here are the lyrics - my favorite is the verse about the apple trees:

I remember the year that my granddaddy died
Gone, gonna rise again
They dug his grave on the mountainside
Gone, gonna rise again
I was too young to understand
The way he felt about the land
But I could read his history in his hands
Gone, gonna rise again

Well it's corn in the crib and apples in the bin
Gone, gonna rise again
It's ham in the smokehouse and cotton in the gin
Gone, gonna rise again
It's cows in the barn and hogs in the lot
You know, he never had a lot
But he worked like a devil for the living he got
Gone, gonna rise again

These apple trees on the mountainside
Gone, gonna rise again
He planted the seeds just before he died
Gone, gonna rise again
I guess he knew that he'd never see
The red fruit hanging from the tree
But he planted the seeds for his children and me
Gone, gonna rise again

It's high on the ridge above the farm
Gone, gonna rise again
I think of my people that have gone on
Gone, gonna rise again
Like a tree that grows in the mountain ground
The storms of life have cut 'em down
But the new wood springs from the roots in the ground
The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over.

Offline Seeb

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2020, 09:38:26 am »
best time to plant a tree look at farmers almanac,
tip for planting is make the hairy part of the root ball face north. in other words the root ball when examined will have a definate aspect that has more root than the rest this is the north of the plant.
it has to do with the dowsing stuff of the telluric energy flows from south to north.

Very interesting, I've never heard this before. Thanks for sharing
The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over.

Online Nock

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2020, 10:08:26 am »
I plant food plots for the deer and other wildlife. So I keep the bees in mind with what I plant as well. They really like the crimson clover and brassicas.

Online CoolBees

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2020, 02:43:36 pm »
Great song Seeb. I like it. Had to find it and listen to it. Thats a new one for me.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Seeb

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Re: Best source of honey flow.
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2020, 10:32:41 am »
The difference is that I used to think, "pretty view here", or "outdoor usable room there". Now I tend to think, "water feature for the bees here" and "nectar source tree there".
[/quote]

This came from Brainpickings this morning and I thought about this post on trees.  Beautiful paintings by Rebecca Hey, a poet, painter, and amateur naturalist
 
https://www.brainpickings.org/2020/01/06/sylvan-musings-hey/?mc_cid=0c6d63fe26&mc_eid=3f13d93ce9
The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over.