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Drone Bee
Oct 19, 2009
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Newport, South Wales
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I know it's been said hereabouts that bees don't use daffodils, but they're out here today and the bees are bringing in tons of bright yellow pollen. Some of them look like they have been dropped in a bag of it and shaken.
Mine are bringing in yellow pollen also, but some white as well. Hope the yellow stuff is not daffs- I dont like them and I wont plant them. I've got a planting list for this year of Honey bee useful plants, but I dont want to add daffs to it!
What's on your planting list? I'm always on the look out for new bee friendly plants?
Ah! There is a Massive pussy willow near by and tis in flower, so seems likely in my case!
Think I will add Pussy Willow to my list. Ted Hooper's book says it should be grown by all beekeepers who have the room
nice pictures.
Hi Taff

Can you tel me how you take cuttings from the pussy willow I have a site that if I get a cutting or two will work well
Hi Tom
Just cut off what you want, then stick it in the ground, keep it moist and it will grow.

John D
Thanks John

I should have worked that out for myself given that it is a willow thanks anyway appreciated
Don't confuse pussy willow (salix caprea) with weeping willow, keep cuttings moist but don't drown them in water. Anyone in East Sussex - near Lewes who wants to plant willow, we have 3 or 4 young self seeded saplings that are surplus to our requirements and as the trees take a couple of years before they flower, will be quicker than taking cuttings. But like anything the sooner you start surprising how quick the time passes.
Hi Tom,

The time for taking and planting willow cuttings, rods at 12 inches and whips that are longer, is end of November when the leaves have fallen until the end of March.

I bought a number of willow rods - salix viminalis (common Osier) - at the beginning of December. Some I planted within a week of receiving them and some I put in a bucket of water in the green house and subsequently saw them frozen in a block of ice on a number of occasions through the winter. Just two weeks ago the rods in the water appeared to be doing nothing significant although the buds did seem to be developing ever so slightly. There was no apparent root growth.

I took the rods out of the bucket and tipped away the water. Filled up the bucket with compost that had recently been taken from the bottom of a compost bin, pushed the rods into it and gave it a bit of a water before putting it back in the green house - unheated (how did you ever guess?).

Just an hour ago I looked in on them and 25 percent have broken buds with first leaves about half to three quarters of an inch long. 50 percent have well developed buds and the remaining 25 percent have slowly developing buds.

By comparison, yesterday evening I looked at the rods planted out and they haven't shown any significant bud growth yet, but expect them to catch up sometime within the next month. The prediction is that they could have produced whips 6 foot long by the end of July.

I have to say that I bought this for fencing material for the bees and not for pollen or nectar which I don't think they produce, but expect them to be fairly representative of willow species generally with regard to the rate of growth, time for taking cuttings, planting etc.

Perhaps someone can confirm that the common osier doesn't produce any form of flower?

A bit of guerilla gardening is in order I think. That and a bit of coppicing at the end of the year to ensure that I'm not over grown with willow.:)
Hi Hombre

Perhaps someone can confirm that the common osier doesn't produce any form of flower?

This is from The Wild Flowers of Europe etc by Fitter, Fitter Belamy

OSier Salix viminalis
Shrub or small tree to 5m twigs long straight and flexible, used in basket making, Catkins longer than 3 scales brown with white hairs.

The picture shows a couple of catkins just turning yellow.

Thanks for the information Mo. It's a bit of a bonus for me that will be most welcome in future years.
A good reason for a bit of Guerrilla gardening in the local area. The rods in my bucket are making leaf, so I had better carefully take them out as plugs with a bit of pipe and pot them up in the bottom of PET pop bottles (pots need to be tall).

For the rods that are planted out and are not coming on very fast, I will use clear PET bottles as micro greenhouses for a few weeks to bring them on.
= = =
I haven't forgotten about your request for spare queens for your microscopy. :)
To the best of my knowledge bees get no benefit from daffs.

Irish ones of course may well be another matter...lol

Willow will root perfectly well if just left alone in a bucket of water and will root pretty much any time.

I heard a lovely story about a guy who cut down a big willow, recycled it into a fence and rapidly found he had a hedge. ;)

I salvaged branches from pollarded willows last year and used them on the allotment as supports and a few grew better than the peas they supported.

As for Daffodils they never let you down
They are toxic to honey bees.


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