Gardening with bees in mind

Discussion in 'General Gardening' started by srvfantexasflood, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    Hello to everyone. I am new to this forum. I plan to getting my first hive this spring. I live in the Kansas City metro area and plan on keeping the hive in my backyard. I do alot of gardening, especially with flowers. Does anyone have any suggestions on pollen rich flowers and plants that I should incorporate into my flower beds? I have focused on perennials and natives in the past. I do have bees, butterflies and hummingbirds visit my flowers, but wonder if I have enough to support a hive. A neighbor has cherry and apple trees. My neighborhood is filled with redbuds and crabapple trees. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions?
     
  2. Charles

    Charles New Member

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    hi srvfantexasflood, welcome to the forums. urban beekeeping is getting more and more popular, heres an excerpt from a page at the University of Missouri:

    Here's a link to the page:
    http://extension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/pests/g07600.htm
     

  3. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Backyard beekeeping, unless you live in a complete concerete jungle, should be able to support 3-4 hives almost anywhere in a metro area. Your bees will go two or more miles and should have ample forage.

    What you need to watch is the fall flow or fall brood buildup. Bees naturally raise a fall brood cycle in many areas based on a nectar flow. In metro areas void of fall plants such as goldenrod, and asters, you may need to feed, especially pollen supplement.
     
  4. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    I have my hive all ready to go. I will be receiving a split soon and am anxious to get started.
    I attended a conference this past weekend sponsored by a local bee keeping group that I joined. It was very informative and I learned a great deal. The web site for my local group is www.nekba.org, for anyone interested. They seem to be a great group with a focus of helping beginners get started.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    There's nothing like a good local club for the beginner and the oldtimer. I am active in two locals and enjoy both immensely.
     
  6. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    Howdy fellow Kansas City Urbanite!
    I live north of KC and wanted to give you and anyone else a heads up about the 2009 Beekeeping Fun Day June 6th. You need to register soon though.
    Also I can get you some bee friendly plants at the Kansas City Market every Sat. my son works @ a greenhouse that comes down and e can bring some stuff down for you. Like Russian Sage, Bee Balm, Aster and on and on.
    Keep in touch and good luck! :)
     
  7. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    You mention "two clubs". So are we to assume you are the "old timer"? :lol:
     
  8. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    Hi BeeHunter!

    I was at the Beekeeping Fun Day. What a great group of speakers! I greatly enjoyed the diversity of the guest speakers. The planning committee did a great job. How about Blake Shook from Texas? He was a great kid.

    I live in Olathe. I frequently attend the nekba meetings. Maybe I'll meet up with you at one of those?

    I received my split about mid-April. The bottom brood box seemed to fill up in a flash. I am monitoring the second brood box and hope to put a super on soon. I have been told that I have a 'hot" hive. The bees seem to be a little awnry. I am told that it is a good sign that they will produce lots of honey.

    Does anyone out there think clothing color makes a difference when going near a hive? I have been stung while wearing red and pink. When I was wearing the red, I was attempting to change the sugar water(which I had done many, many times before) and while wearing pink, I was just standing there talking. I might have been in the flight pattern, but I was about 6ft. from the hive.
     
  9. abbyclark12

    abbyclark12 New Member

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    ya; seriously pesticides including bees are biggest danger to gardening..
    depends on the crop you are harvesting..
    honestly speaking...A million threats are also there..
    if we talk about tools..a ton of variety is there but few are of use lols..I am using ryobi..but lack of forum discussion on the gardening tools subject..increases skepticism inside me.
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I always garden with my bees in mind, even though I'm such small scale (less than 1/2 acre residential).
    Here was the new flower bed I put in alongside the house last Fall- this year it will fill in nicely and the plants will be much bigger:
    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4111/496 ... a021_z.jpg

    I filled it with:

    anise hyssop
    heliopsis (brown-eyed susan)
    catmint (nepeta)
    cone flower
    sneezeweed
    red bee balm
    nicotiana (with tiny green hanging bells)
    creeping thyme
    vervain (verbena)
    Russian sage
    rose campion
    Sedum

    Plenty there to appeal to my honeybees, my solitary native mason bees, and the local bumblebees...not to mention butterflies, hummingbirds, flies, wasps, and moths.
    I can't wait for the cotton-pickin' snow and ice to finally melt off to see the new garden start coming up nice and bushy!
     
  11. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    Omie- that sounds so nice. I like all those natives. The other day I was talking to a cashier, as I was paying for my finch seed, about how I never had too many goldfinches as the feeder until I planted purple coneflowers. I would see the goldfinches in the wooded areas around the house, but the coneflowers made my yard attractive to them. Now the come to the finch feeder year 'round.
    I leave my perennials standing through the winter. That allows the birds an opportunity to feed on the seed during the winter. Looks untidy, but wildlife was one of the reasons for the garden.
    If you have room, you might try some annual Mexican Sunflower. There are two varieties, tall(6ft) and short (3ft). The seed is easy to find, easy to germinate, easy to grow and EVERYTHING is attracted to it. Hummingbirds, butterflies, finches, bumblebees, etc. will all work it. The best part, the squirrels leave it alone! I gave up on traditional sunflowers because the the flowers would mature and the squirrels would decapitate them!
     
  12. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    You should have plenty for your hives, If I remember correctly isn't there a bee equiptment supply place, not far from you some where around 165 and South of 435 ?

    We go up to Mission Hills a couple times a year to visit our richie, richies, I'd love to put a few swarm traps in amongst those huge trees.

    Murrell
     
  13. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    Murrell- if there's a bee supply place around there, I'm not aware of it.
    Richie, richies...Ha! Ha! You got that right. We call that area Swell Town. You couldn't pay me to live in that part of town. I'm a country girl married to a city boy. I'm afraid Olathe is as country as we are going to get.