Pre-Planting For Honeybees
We live on a six-acre, mostly wooded lot at the edge of a small town; we're bounded on two sides by a subdivision (which in turn borders a lake), on one side by private homes and on one side by a busy highway with private homes and swampy wooded land. Our own woods is heavily maple, oak and white pine; lots of moist patches; not a lot of plant diversity underneath the trees. We have a large open lawn, lots of clover and dandelions, with a pond, several perennial beds and a decent-sized (23' by 24') vegetable garden.
We'd really like to try raising honeybees. We know that bees have a fairly large forage area, but we'd like to add more nectar- and pollen-rich plants to our immediate area. (We recently planted some buttonbush, red osier dogwood and ninebark to our pondside, partly for aesthetics but partly because we were told these were useful bee plants.) Any more suggestions? Or should we relax and let the bees find their own noshes around the neighborhood?