Oilseed Rape

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New Bee
Sep 17, 2009
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Hi All,

You are not going to believe this, last week I went for a drive and I saw a field of rape in full flower, pity my bees were not there to take advantage while the wheather is mild, as they are still flying by afternoon.

Anyone else seen any in flower yet, and it's nearly November!

Regards Gillybee.
You'll may find it is a type of mustard, grown possibly as a green manure, or in the case of a local farmer to me, as cover for pheasants. It is the same family as rape and looks almost identical but tends to be a bit "looser". I am sure the bees would have a go at it if it was within range but whether this would be of benefit to them I am not sure. It would be very interesting to hear of anyone's experience.
Occasionally farmers get their seed stocks mixed up and plant spring oilseed rape in Aug/Sep instead of winter rape. The latter, very sensibly, keeps its head down until the cold weather has passed, using the cold spell to trigger its preparation for growing up and flowering. Spring rape just goes for it, and flowers inappropriately in late autumn.

Saw some last week in Lincolnshire, but I think it was self seeded on set-aside as there was no discernible sowing pattern and some quite large barren (of OSR) areas.
Occasionally farmers


Doubt that, and any autumn sown rape is unlikely to progress to the flowering stage by now. Most around here has not emerged long since because of the lack of precipitation.

Regards, RAB
thanks guys for all the replys, going out again today will try and get a photo of the plant in question, then will know for definite what it is.

Regards Gillybee!
If it is mustard it will look very like OSR. I am not sure I could tell the difference, but the clue is the time of year. The autumn sown OSR around here is just a few inches high. There are always a few old OSR plants which have self sown around but a field of solid yellow is a deliberately planted crop and looks very different.

There is a picture of winter mustard on page 8 on this link and a description of why it is planted on the previous page. http://www.ruralni.gov.uk/organic_bulletin0906_bsdb.pdf This crop was planted in winter but it can be planted earlier.
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