Good bee plants for health and honey.

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New Bee
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Need some more plants and wondering what people think is the best type of heather for the bees. Plus any plants that are believed to make a really nice tasting honey. Or ones that bees really love.
Plus ideas on plants that could help against varoa mite, like lavender, i have heard the mite doesn't like it. This may or may not be true.
Anything you have found to work well or have heard of could be of use to me.
Your ideas and knowledge are needed once again.
 

richardbees 

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You could try various Clovers and Phacelia from Green Manure seed suppliers?

I've a much smaller area where, over the years, I've managed to choke -off competitors and leave just: Vipers Bugloss, Jacobs Ladder, Dutch clover, 'Poached Egg' plant, Phacelia, Borage......and "forget-me-nots" to start the year!
 

beeatshellards 

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are you talking large areas of crops or more wildflowers or just garden plants,
are trees included?
My thoughts would be borage, orchard fruits , think in terms of the flowering saesons too from spring to autumn, etc
i can think of loads but will recommend more when I know what scheme you are after
 

susbees 

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Borage is a definite must have, we are increasing our area year on year. As for phacelia we tested a plot this year and were surprised to find the honey bees only took pollen (unlike the bumbles). Hmm.
 

BCBEE 

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Before I had my bees we went into the local garden centre and looked at the seed racks. Most seeds that are good for bees will say so on the packaging.

I would pick a few packets of seeds and sew these in a wild part of the property and just leave them to grow wild.

Saying that we planted lots of bee freindly seeds and plants and the buggers dont hardlyy use them and fly off over the house somewhere. Still it may be that they in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They like a wide area of planting rather then one or 2 plants to get them interested. Mine are starting to use the lavender a bit more now.
 
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Luminos 

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It seems that what is good for bumble bees does not necessarily appeal to honeybees, in my experience. For example, Phacelia is covered in bumblebees yet my honeybees ignore it. Similarly Sea Holly.
L
 

Erichalfbee 

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Once you have your plants sorted you could consider a few perennials.
Some of us here are trying some that bloom during periods of dearth.Chinese Bee Tree which blooms about now and Hop Tree in June.
My sister in law lives a quarter of a mile away and she has three Chinese Bee Trees that are humming with my bees :)
 

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That sounds great Richardb, a lot of wild flowers have came back to the land on there own, because it was a hard patch of clay with no wind breaks at all when i bought it. But i have managed to make a third of it quite well protected from the wind and thats the part i can now start adding more planting of flowery things for bees.
I have 3 types of thistles down there and they are just finishing now but one starts real early and then 2 types of other thistles come out late and the bumbles love it.
I haven't seen any honey bees down there since early in the year and they were tiny ones, interested in the small orchard i planted.
 

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Beeatshelards I am aiming for a permaculture garden/woods. Trees are a must and crops not so much i have a veg patch and thats it i want wild flowers shrubs anything really love by bees. Diversity is key.
Chinese bee tree sounds great i have never heard of it before. Thanks everyone for your help.
 

mbc 

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catoneaster's - both fishbone and the bigger shrubs are great to fill in during the june gap
 

beeatshellards 

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okay heres a few more for you , cosmos sunflowers, angelica, sages, salvias, foxgloves, thymes, sedum, ,honeysuckle,tansy,willow, hazel,alder,sycamore,echinacea,columbines,comfrey,sweet box, witch hael,hellebores, strawberry tree,ceanothus, mahonia, also lots of local wild flower mixes , I too plant most of these as you say divesity is key
 

Cazza 

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It seems that what is good for bumble bees does not necessarily appeal to honeybees, in my experience. For example, Phacelia is covered in bumblebees yet my honeybees ignore it. Similarly Sea Holly.
L
I think this is dependant on time of year and what else is available.My Phacelia is having a second flowering at the moment and is covered in honeybees taking nectar not pollen.
When it first flowered there were lots of bumbles but still a good number of honeys concentrating on pollen.
Cazza
P.s. Eupatorium is also good.
 

Luminos 

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Bear in mind that whilst annuals come into flower the same year, you may have to wait awhile for trees; what I mean is, they may not be of much immediate use to the bees.
;)
 

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Whats your honey like with all them different plants beeatshellards? I wonder if anyone knows what thistle honey is like seeing as thats what i have the most of. You see these people on the tv talking about the different tasting honey like it's a wine tasting session but
is there much difference? I will be happy with just healthy sweet honey.
 

Cazza 

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Whats your honey like with all them different plants beeatshellards? I wonder if anyone knows what thistle honey is like seeing as thats what i have the most of. You see these people on the tv talking about the different tasting honey like it's a wine tasting session but
is there much difference? I will be happy with just healthy sweet honey.
Honey can vary massively in flavour. It IS exactly like wine tasting with personal taste playing a huge part. I, for instance can't bear heather honey but find ivy honey quite delicious.

Cazza
 

Luminos 

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I think this is dependant on time of year and what else is available.My Phacelia is having a second flowering at the moment and is covered in honeybees taking nectar not pollen.
When it first flowered there were lots of bumbles but still a good number of honeys concentrating on pollen.
Cazza
P.s. Eupatorium is also good.
Think you're right, Cazza - the bees were preferring the wildflower meadow when the phacelia was blooming.

Ah, just thought, Topbar - blackberry and raspberry are also loved by the bees.
L
 

Finman 

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he best I know is raspberry. Blooms only 2 weeks.

Verbascum nigrum is a good pollen flower.

I have cultivated now Linaria vulgaris plants from different origin. I red that is really bad weed in central Europe. It blooms all summer long.

Echium vulgare is good. They are 2 and 1 year varietes.

Rhamnus frangula a bush blooms all summer months.
 
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