bee forage i.d.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by d.magnitude, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    Hi guys,
    I'm starting to realize that I'm a little deficient in my plant I.D. skills. I'd like to be better in tune with what food sources are around for my bees and when they really become available. Can anyone recommend any good books (or even websites) out there illustrating the different forage sources for honey bees? Or offer any tips beyond just keeping your eyes open?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    ain't we all?

    Frank Pellet (something like) American Honey Plants is the old authority.

    I suspect from spot to spot, soil fertility, rainfall, temperature, etc, etc. may very so much that any resource is likely only a general reference.

    I rely here more on general observation and sometimes a splash test to see first what and then how much stuff comes in the front door.

    I also use some web reference like this http://www.wildflower.org/.
     

  3. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    You could check out a book at your library that will help you learn how to identify wildflowers in your area.
    Then just observe. Which does mean keep your eyes open, but you could walk around your area and look for flowers and honey bees. Then identify the flower. That's what I do
    I've noticed that there can be many things blooming that the bees will work, but they chose to work just one or two things anyway.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    to somewhat confirm what Wally's Baby Beek sezs...

    I sometime put on large number of pollen traps in the spring and what shows up in the collection tray can be very revealing. first the color somewhat reveal what they are working and secondly it is not uncommon to find one hive (tray) with almost pure yellow pollen and the one right next to it being all red... this does kind of suggest that an individual hive will specialize in the flowers it visit on that particular day.
     
  5. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    You can also look at the post "Did you see a bloom? on this forum. Beekeepers tend to post the "important" blooms - the ones that the bees are waiting for. There's about 2 gazillion entries, but it will give you an overview of the names of plants bees use.

    I'll see if I can post a link to it.
    Try this:
    viewtopic.php?f=11&t=197
     
  6. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    honey plants in the US was written in 1926 by lowell is another good book for identifying what plants produce nectar and what plants produce pollen and when they bloom. Another good source is right in front of you. the good ole internet a lot of state extension agencies and universities have sites with colored photography identifiying plants in there states