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Providing forage

Posted by brewcat Lyons, CO (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 27, 04 at 15:46

So in my smaller yard, I'd like to help the bees along as much as possible in an area that does not have a lot of formal agricultural fodder (but lots of prairie grasses). My yard is @ 1/4 acre, and has a flowering crabapple, a peach tree, two small (flowering) ornamental gardens and some mints and dandelions and such.
How much forage (say in square feet) is worth planting to be beneficial to one or two hives? We have a couple parkings on the streets (low-traffic, @ 10-20 cars a day) that are about 8' wide and around 50' and 20' long that I could till up and plant.
Any recommendations (in a semi-arid, high-sun area) for plants that'll be nectar-intensive for helping the hives forage through the season?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Providing forage

  • Posted by Zeke Iowa (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 29, 04 at 22:10

dandelions are good for starters, white clover is another legume that is benifical too honeybees .
red clover rarely can provide nectar for honeybees
as they arent able to get deep enough in the bloom .
are you close to any farms or open country ??
honeybees tend to find the blooms that are benifical to them
in most cases .

RE: Providing forage

Buckwheat, viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare), tree lucerne (Chamecytisus palmensis), Callistemon, if your winters aren't too brutal, forget-me-nots in spring. Willows are good for pollen if there's a damp spot far from your sewage line! Lucerne - which also makes good compost. Borage, hyssop, lemon balm (Melissa), thyme are all good bee herbs, too.

Thyme honey is usually very dark and is less pungent if blended with clover honey. It makes a nice ingredient in homemade icecream. It is also a useful overwintering supply and probably has antiseptic properties from the thymol in the plants.

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