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Rural Gardening: trading some bee-loving-nectar plant-seed for my bees

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Forum: Rural GardeningReplies: 10, Views: 103
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Stockton, CA

November 3, 2010
2:56 PM

Post #8192887

I try to stay with the plants for my honey bees. I know for a fact that my honeybees liked my plants that I have on my list here, because I watched them. I also found out of the plants/flowers that they don't land on. Last season, I planted mammoth sunflowers, chocolate sunflowers, gigantic pumpkins, blazing stars, Allium drumsticks, Lilies of the Nile, and lilies of the valley, which they produced enough seeds that I can trade for other kinds of bee-loving-nectar plants. Anyone interested? example I would like bee-loving-nectar plant-seeds: Heartleaf Ice Plant 'RedApple' (Aptenia cordifolia), Angelica gigas, clover seeds, and Pink Gaura, . Dose anyone have some other kinds or thoughts you can share.

This message was edited Nov 3, 2010 7:44 PM
Bel Air MD
United States

December 3, 2010
11:59 AM

Post #8242462

I can recommend a lot of different plants that honeybees find valuable. Categories flowers, weeds, shrubs and trees. I have a list of over 100 I have been working on. I am a beekeeper and trade seeds with other beekeepers. I currently have for trade: borage, echium vulgare, anise hyssop, lacy phacelia, lavender, vitex negundo, golden rain tree and korean evodia (bee bee tree). Some of these will bloom the first or second year, but the evodia takes about 7 years to bloom.
Tucson, AZ

January 26, 2011
7:50 PM

Post #8332539

I would like to find a good trap for catching spring swarms, anyone have any good ideas? I've seen several differant things used, and they've all seemed to work, but I would like to know what would draw them from an unknown distance and direction. I've heard lemon grass oil works realy well. Planning on using top bar hives. Love the siplicity of them, but I dont know a whole lot about them. Anyone have any feed back on them?

thanks, Keith
Midland City, AL

January 30, 2011
9:56 PM

Post #8339879

I've always been told that rubbing the inside of a hive with lemon balm leaves (Melissa officinalis) will attract bees to that hive. I have no real experience though. I'm a newbie myself. :-) "Newbee", in this case, I guess.
Can anyone tell me if there are plants that should be removed from a landscape where bees forage? Oleander, specifically, is what concerns me. ~Nadi~
Tucson, AZ

January 31, 2011
9:49 AM

Post #8340634

Thanks for the info, I'll try to find some.
Midland City, AL

February 6, 2011
6:46 PM

Post #8358065

Just thought I would share what I learned from research. Oleander and azaleas are detrimental to bees and the toxin can get into the honey. It is probably not anything to worry about outside of this particular area where oleanders and azaleas are extremely common. (We even have an azalea/dogwood festival in spring.) Luckily, I live in an isolated area so once I get rid of mine it will not be a problem for my bees...
I have seeds for giant red clover (Trifolium pratense) Dewberries and blackberries are weeds here so I have an endless supply of those. I don't know if those are major nectar plants outside the deep south, however. ~Nadine~
Tucson, AZ

February 6, 2011
7:36 PM

Post #8358121

We have oleander all over down here.
Midland City, AL

February 7, 2011
10:46 AM

Post #8359244

Here are a few of the info sources I'm going by.

There does seem to be disagreement about the subject though. Some say bees wonít work oleander.
Probably, it is like the disagreements about what plants are or are not deer-proof. Deer will eat ANYTHING, if they are hungry enough. I imagine if there is a preferred nectar source nearby, the bees wonít bother with the oleander. Yellow Jessamine (Gelsimium sempervirens) is going to be my problem plant. It grows wild here and I understand it is another plant that bees shouldn't use as a major nectar source. Iím seeking out some irresistible nectar plant I can plant near the hives that will be in bloom at the same time the Jessamine is in bloom in the woodlands. ~Nadine~.

Tucson, AZ

February 9, 2011
12:59 PM

Post #8362918

I just planted lemon balm to draw them and I hear lemon grass is realy good also.
Midland City, AL

February 11, 2011
11:58 AM

Post #8366596

Thanks, I didn't know about lemongrass. I suspect I'll have to re-plant it here this spring. It usually survives our mild winters, but I don't think it will be coming back this year. . . ~Nadi~.


Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 8, 2011
7:39 PM

Post #8548774


Last summer we pulled up lawn chairs in the driveway to watch the honey bees, bumbles, and all kinds of flying critters feeding on pycnanthemum in our driveway. This plant came from Stuart, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Like other mints, it spreads. I have it in the perfect place - a "trench" about 12" wide which runs the length of the driveway.

I don't have seeds. I could be persuaded to ship some to you. :)


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