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Garden beekeepers: What are your bees foraging on?

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louiseww 

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Any of you out there with bee hives in your garden can you please tell me what your little beavers (oops sorry bees!) are using in and around your garden.
I am attempting to make a list to help gardeners to plant honey bee friendly plants:nature-smiley-005: Most of the plants that are flagged as bee and butterfly friendly are for bumble bees.
I will need to know your soil type and the region where you live please!
Thanks
Louise
 

Silly Bee 

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I have 3 alottments, rarely do I see my bees on any of my plants, they do however enjoy my neighbours Blackberry, and beans at the present time.
 

Rosti 

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Post removed - unhelpful drivel sorry! R
 
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madasafish 

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Blackberry (gray pollen), something with yellow pollen, lime trees, willowherb,poppies, borage and local gardens and the flowers in our local National Trust gardens at Biddulph Grange.

Heavy nectar and pollen flows...
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Blackberry (gray pollen), something with yellow pollen, lime trees, willowherb,poppies, borage and local gardens and the flowers in our local National Trust gardens at Biddulph Grange.

Heavy nectar and pollen flows...

Same here....when they can get out.

And the lovely dairy farmers around here keep silaging which in turn brings the white clover back, so I'm hoping for a few warmer days so that it flows!!
 

Summerslease 

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Hypericum (St John's wort) popular at the moment- lots of bright yellow pollen. On clay in Cleveland. Good crop of brambles this year, like the previous posts, but now going over.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
'When the uppermost Rosebay Willowherb flowers start to go over.......'
 

Heather 

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ON clay (sigh)
in my garden- borage, beans, poppy, allium, bacopa- sedum about to come into flower which is great. They are having a much better year this time. Just need some rain to sparkle the plants and boost the nectar...never thought I would say that after wading through a 30'pond for 6 weeks in Feb!
 

victor meldrew 

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Been to RAF Linton on Ouse to day :),
Whilst lining up for a group photograph by a 'tucano' trainer ,I couldn't help noticing the honey bees working the white clover, they were worrying it !!
I asked the p.r.o. why there was so much around . He informed me that the grass around the station is deliberately left to grow in order to encourage the wild flowers . It is cut occasionally to discourage field weeds such as dock :coolgleamA:.
It's surprising how far a little publicity about the plight of bees travels ?

John Wilkinson
 
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Sandy Devon soil.

The seem to be on red clover and the sweet chestnut trees - mind you, you'd need a BIG garden to plant those!!
 

8LGM 

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I have tried to grow bee friendly plants in my garden (all sorts) but the little blighters just fly off elsewhere. never see my bees in my garden unless they are resting. Maybe they believe the old phrase "The other man's grass is greener"

No pleasing some people. :(
 

aberreef 

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My bees are on clover and bramble atm, plus an array of coloured pollen coming from who knows where.

When they visit my garden the Poached egg plant was a real favourite. Not seen so many now this has stopped flowering.
 

Cazza 

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On sandy soil, rudbeckia, phacelia,blackberry,privet and the last of the poppies.
Cazza
 

aberreef 

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On sandy soil, rudbeckia, phacelia,blackberry,privet and the last of the poppies.
Cazza
You just reminded me I planted a load of rudbeckia this year but none has grown:willy_nilly: It usually does so well too
 

Rosti 

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Unable to find the link I was looking for but.

Royal Horticultural Society have a current membership offer on, they are giving away the RHS book on bee friendly gardening. Had a quick look through and it had a good useful feel to it. Was at Harlow Carr last saturday (perfect morning out, Claro Bees is next door, I pick up some gear, wife gets an enjoyable walk round Harlow Carr, coffee damned expensive though!).
Harlow Carr has a very high population of bee friendly plants in it's current displays, it also has a very close association with Harrogate&D BKA (who run a couple of hives there and an excellent observation hive - currently active).

You could do worse than contacting them (RHS Harlow Carr) and asking for the book details.

Other books I would suggest (browsed them in their library/shop):

967.65 HOO 2006
The bee friendly garden / Ted Hooper & Mike Taylor

638.13 CRA 2000
Bee plants / Martin Crawford (2nd revised edition)
 

victor meldrew 

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I have tried to grow bee friendly plants in my garden (all sorts) but the little blighters just fly off elsewhere. never see my bees in my garden unless they are resting. Maybe they believe the old phrase "The other man's grass is greener"

No pleasing some people. :(
Honeybees have flower fidelity :).

Apart from the occasional bush in flower early Spring bees tend to forage away from the apiary, usually taking advantage of a particular flow :).
They will forage right in the apiary as mine do each late Summer/ early Autumn when the Japanese knott-weed is in flower . The bees and seemingly every other flying insect love the stuff .

Yes I know it's classed as an intrusive alien but I'm not responsible for the husbandry of the land , I just bung the owner a few jars of honey :).

John Wilkinson
 

justme 

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Any of you out there with bee hives in your garden can you please tell me what your little beavers (oops sorry bees!) are using in and around your garden.
I am attempting to make a list to help gardeners to plant honey bee friendly plants:nature-smiley-005: Most of the plants that are flagged as bee and butterfly friendly are for bumble bees.
I will need to know your soil type and the region where you live please!
Thanks
Louise
Hi, Our 'plot including house isabout 1/4 acre. The house sits at 1 side about 15' back from the front on right, house and extensions cover about 40x40'.

My apiary is at the back left hand corner of land with a hazel hurdle around 2 sides, a 3' block wall to the rear, with field behind and same wall with 3 1/2 of solidish wood fence on top to the left. Neighbours on the left moved in just before I got my bees, They had lived just up the road, I kind of knew him, they seemed fine when I told them I was getting bees and apart from lighting afire just over the fence on one occasion, no issues yet.
Neighbours on the right, the other side of birch, ash and willow trees, all quite big. These neighbours knew we were getting bees and were pleased.

Anyway, I haven't mentioned garden cos it was really a jungle until we cleared the apiary. There I planted borage, catmint, thyme, poppies, lemon balm and many others yet to flower or too small to mention at mo.
Other peoples bees like my flowers!
My bees, prefer the brambles halfway down the property and the eriginum at the very front. Since read somewhere that bees rarely forage with 15m of hive to prevent predation.
So new job, move flower plants to front, future veg to go near the apiary along with crocus.

Maybe need to ask neighbours of beekeepers which plants honey bees like:.)
 

Beezy 

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I've planted loads of different types of lavender and that's what my honeybees are always feasting on. I have also planted many other 'bee-friendly' plants, but like you say, they mainly attract the bumblebees.
 

susbees 

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I'd like to find studies that have found how large a patch of something is deemed worthy of serious visits! Certainly for say a patch of bramble by default they are quite big, same with our comfrey patch (where the honey bees followed on from the bumbles once the holes are made in the flower "tube"). Lavender is another one where a patch should be well-visited.

Recent visit to Cambridge Botanical Gardens. Hot day (28 degrees): ONE plant of borage was enough to be covered with honey bees. Their favourite by a long chalk was the clump of giant bellflower (these were white ones)...have some amazing photos of bees with their baskets overladen and the undersides of their abdomens totally caked in pollen. Will be adding a swathe beside the buddleia alternifolia and the yellow one with the short flowers which bees can feed from. Sedum ice plants are also popular in the autumn and have seen them covered in honey bees.
 

match 

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Mine are on Rosebay, lime, and Himalayan Balsam up here (that I know of) - the latter being their apparent favourite, though I don't think it'd be a good idea to grow it in your garden! ;)
 

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