plants/flowers for bees

Discussion in 'General Gardening' started by sharon, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. sharon

    sharon New Member

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    Would like to know thebest plants,flowers and grasses to plant to encourage bees in Texas near Gun Barrel City.
     
  2. LtlWilli

    LtlWilli New Member

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    Hi, Sharon, and welcome to the site...I am SW of Canton and know your area pretty well, since we are so close...The first thing I'd like to point out is that you can relax. God gave bees the ability to smell and seek out pollen and nectar 2-3 miles in every direction. This is great because you could not plant enough on a couple of acres alone for them to survive....What's left for you to do is all gravy, and can have twofold benefits---you'll be helping feed the bees, plus you'll be making your yard something of beauty.
    Trees that are always a good choice are Bradford Pear, crabapples, wild plums, mulberries, and redbuds.
    Shrubs could be forsythia, quince, bridal veil spirea, eleagnus (Russian olive), and my favorite, Texas lavender ( vitex ). It will grow up to 14 feet if you'd like, or down to 6 feet. At the start of summer, when there is not much else coming in, it will begin putting up multitudes of bluish spikes that the bees love. Dead-head the old blooms, and it will continue putting them out again and again until frost stops it.
    Bedding plants have more than I can recall. You'll have fun there...English lavender, bee balm, nearly all mints, borage , zinnia, lemon balm, hysop.
    Now, the good thing about these plants is that you place them to please your eye. The bees will find them even if they cannot see them.
    Enjoy yourself, ma'm. You are now off into an enjoyable hobby that need not be as involved as some would have you think.
    Regards,
    Rick ~ LtlWilli
     

  3. Charles

    Charles New Member

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    Hi Sharon, Welcome! Not sure about right in your area but here's a good list of early and late bloomers for honeybee gardens: Plantings for Bees
     
  4. BeeHunter

    BeeHunter New Member

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    nice list. THanks Charles!
    I'll give that list to my greenhouse buddy. I just gave her a hive I got from a swarm!!! Now she's hooked and now I'll get the plants we want for the bee's. :lol:
     
  5. roseseeds

    roseseeds New Member

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    I really love the sentence; "God gave bees the ability to smell and seek out pollen and nectar 2-3 miles in every direction." That is great because you could not plant enough on a couple of acres alone for them to survive.

    _________________
     
  6. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    Anyone else notice the link in his sig. is for SILK FLOWERS? Any pollen or nectar in those?? :lol:

    Seriously, though, I've been told that early tree pollen is best for brood rearing in the spring. Around here maple is said to be a great source of that.

    Of course a couple of acres isn't going to make or break your 5 or 10 backyard colonies, but getting into the mindset of planting native trees and flowers in your yard for the bees goes hand-in-hand with beekeeping and sustainability of the natural environment. I have only 6 acres here, but I see bees on a lot of the wild flora. Why not plant more trees, shrubs and grasses that are known to produce nectar and pollen the bees can use?

    I certainly wouldn't cut down an acre of goldenrod or a stand of catalpa.