Sunflowers for Bees

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by brooksbeefarm, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's been so dry here that i got to plow an acre of ground that usually is too wet this time of year. I'm going to plant buckwheat on it,but i thought i would plant four rows of sunflowers on two sides of it. What kind (type) of sunflower produce a good nectar flow? Can you believe we slept with the windows open and fan on last night,(72F) on the 14th of March:???:. By the way Albert Einstein and i had a birthday yesterday.:lol: Jack
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a LARGE happy birthday to ya' jack...

    sunflowers varieties I am not certain of.. there use to be a lot of sunflowers in western North Dakota which I think was a variety for oil production. made a distinctly yellow honey that crystalized at the very first cold snap.
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    My experience with sunflowers has been that they are a good source of pollen, not so generous on the nectar. But I can't speak of differences between varieties.
    One year (long long ago) I was asksed to move my hives to the northern Negev (semi-desert area) to pollinate sunflowers there. Practically all of the colonies were destroyed by wasps. :frustrated: Since then I keep them near home where I can see what's happening to my hives frequently. :club:
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    any commercial oil producing sunflower will fill the bill. They will produce a yellow honey that chrystalizes fast but has a great flavor.:thumbsup:
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks to all of you for the info. My wife loves sunflowers and we like to watch the birds work them also. (Hummingbirds in the summer, and Redbirds in the fall) I called a friend that works at a seed co. (wholesale house) and he said he would send two types to the MFA store in town for me.:thumbsup: One has a head about a foot across and the other has a head the size of a softball. I found that when the buckwheat stops putting out nectar (around 11:00am) it makes the girls upset and you don't want to work their hives at that time. So i thought if i gave them something else to work, it would take some of the heat off. (women):grin: Jack
     
  6. kebee

    kebee Active Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Dang that is a great idea, I could plant some sunflowers when I am getting the allful bushes out until I can have it ready for some fruit trees.

    Kebee
     
  7. Rxmaker

    Rxmaker New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Consider planting some Borage or Sainfoin. Nice flowers and incredible nectar production.

    Peter
    Belgrade, MT
     
  8. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I bought some borage seed when i went to the seed co. last month, when i plant the cucumber patch i also put a row of borage and a row of catnip on the top and bottom of the patch. When i pick the cucumbers it sounds like i'm inside of a bee hive.:thumbsup: Jack
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Peter
    Belgrade, MT

    Glad to welcome you with your first post to the forum---step right up and keep coming along with good advice.
    :thumbsup:
     
  10. thegreypony

    thegreypony New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was about to post this very same type of question b/c I was about to plant some sunflowers and read somewhere that the sunflowers produce a "tar" that causes a decrease in field bees. Anything I really need to worry about or can I go ahead and plant my heirloom sunflower seeds from Seed Savers Exchange?