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white50car 

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Hi, never used one of these forums before but here goes. Does anyone know a good book or better still, website, where I can find out which plants, trees etc provide the best nectar?

Thanks
 

nonstandard 

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Try looking at the BBKA website, they have a couple of pdf's to download


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Silly Bee 

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Simple flowers are the best. Nice and open and easy for bees.

Dahlias, (singles) OSR, Dandelions, Clover.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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If you really want to read up then: F N Howes Plants and Beekeeping & The Bee Friendly Garden by Ted Hooper.

There is little you can do to significantly affect the main honey flow, although single bloom flowers/cottage favourites help eg calendula, cornflower, mallow, sedum, delphinium........and 'weeds' such as dandelion, white clover and rosebay willowherb. And also anything from the lamiacae family.

The main honey flow will most likely come from lime trees, sycamore, brambles, w. clover and rosebay willowherb to name a few.

One thing you can do to really help a colony is provide early sources of nectar and pollen. These are really vital for a colony having just come through/coming through winter.....snowdrops (again single), winter aconite, mahonia, crocus and willow and hazel are brilliant for that and every beekeeper should plant such early sources of forage.
 

louiseww 

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I have not found one and have been looking for more than a year. Don't buy the hooper/Taylor one it is poor. The best I can suggest is that you get the guide to pollen by William Kirk which gives colour codes and month of availability (a little out of date in view of climate change) but it gives you the idea! I have been compiling lists from my own observations and from those on this site, but it will not be ready to put out until the end of the summer. When looking at this sort of thing the are also variables in terms of soil type and climate up and down the country!
Louise
 

nelletap 

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This seems to be the one area of beekeeping that still has gaps in knowledge. I have mentioned the way the bees loved my winter flowering cherry (prunus autumnalis) in another thread. Last year they also were to be found on a lacecap hydrangea. It was one on which the small flowers were pink and blue. They didn't use it when it first came out - there was probably a week before they discovered it - but first one and then huge numbers were on it for several more weeks. I wondered whether their preferences relate to what else is in the area? ie for the first week there was something better but after that was over the hydrangea was more attractive?
I haven't seen hydrangeas referenced elsewhere and not in teh link given in the last post, either.
Incidentally, borage isn't in the list in the link either.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Strange about the borage, yet when you look up the plant it says how wonderful it is for bees.
I think you just have to trawl through all the plants in their plant list (not the one in the link to the honeybee)
Availability is key so if there is something more interesting and more easily reached some flowers may be ignored.
Also I'm sure nectar is not always released.
 

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