Field bean

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thurrock bees 

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Hi all
I was talking to 'my' farmer the other day and he mantioned that they had :angelsad2: field bean in one of their fields. Ive never had bees on beans before ( they fart well? ) Is it worth moving them on to it?? when do they come into flower compared to OSR??


TB
 

Rosti 

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The farm I am on has both OSR and a main season crop of field beans. The following timings are of course geographically dependant, but this is how my season panned out for OSR & FBean

OSR came in slowly this year from about 3rd week April with full flower 1st week May, by 3rd week May it was effectively over.

Field bean overlapped it this year, first flower was 1st week May but it was really 3rd week may before it came in fully, it was still going well until 3rd week June. There was a very strong flow from the bean, stronger than the rape in my opinion. Not sure on varieties grown.

The bean and rape most definately overlaped because this years early honey has not set rock hard and white (aka high rape content) but instead has a yellowy/milky colour and remains soft set (consistent with flower and pollen observation). There was also a very strong Willow pressence this year (early April) based on pollen brought in but I dont think you get a particularly strong nectar flow from Willow so I am discounting that as an explanation for the early honey character.

As for moving, I had no need, all within 750m of the hives.

Addition:I know that my girls were working the bean, all of it was in one direction from the hives 'hard right' as they exited, and they did. Pollen colour also confirmed that a lot of that was coming back; no reason not to believe that nectar was also being collected. R
 
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buzz lightyear 

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Hi TB,

Ive had mine on beans, and well it produces a bit. Like most things its a bit hit and miss. If they are there anyway I would leave them there, worth a try. It flowers a bit after the OSR. Farmers seem to think bees go mad on it, I'm not so sure.
Regards, Dave
 

bobandbec 

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I had mine on OSR this year and the field beans in the next field followed on from it.

I don't know if the bees were exhausted from working the rape but they never went near the beans at all.

Peter
 

Monsieur Abeille 

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A commercial keeper moves his hives onto bean fields around our way so there must be something in it.
 

oliver90owner 

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OSR is not a strictly insect pollinated crop. Estimates are 90% wind pollinated.

Beans, on the other hand, are insect pollinated. Hives on beans will increase the crop - the farmers have noted that the headland crops are heavier than mid-field.

I have never done an experiment to put a hive in the middle of a huge bean-field, but likely the hypothesis has been tested. Certainly I have read that coffee crops are heavier within about 1/2 km of the forest edge for that very reason.

I have had good returns at times from beans - well the hives were there.

Regards, RAB
 

PaleoPerson 

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Last year I watched a crop of field bean being pollinated 'naturally' i.e. no bees on the site. The outside of the field dropped its flowers first as the plants were pollinated and then worked into the centre.

The time difference between the plants at the margins dropping it flowers and the ones in the centre dropping was almost three weeks.

This crop would have definatley benefitted from hives being on site at this time.

I do have hives there now, but it is 100% OSR next year.
 

Hombre 

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From my understanding, bees don't produce great amounts of honey from field beans, compared to OSR, but that the honey has a strong pleasant taste that is well worth the effort.
 

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