Gardening for Honey Bees: Bees and Biodiversity???

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Gardening for Honey Bees

By Mindy03
August 15, 2012

Most gardeners I know garden for birds or butterflies, but not me. I garden for honey bees and have learned a lot about honey bees and flowers in the process.

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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Jan 3, 2013 4:36 PM CST
Somewhere I read (and I don't know where) that bees seek out biodiverse plantings,
and that they will bypass monocultures to get to the more biodiverse areas????
Anyone know about this? I would like to learn more.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jan 3, 2013 4:55 PM CST
HI Caroline. Welcome to the beekeeping section of ATP.

It's true the bees will seek areas that have lots of different plants over areas with just one crop. The reason they do is because like us humans they need a variety of nutrients that aren't availabe in all plants.

Monoculture crops don't provide everything a bee needs to be healthy. It would be like us eating just one food all the time.

Native plants are preferred but if they can't get enough from those they will visit other types of plants.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
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LindaTX8
Jan 3, 2013 5:11 PM CST
Well, I've had bees coming to hummingbird feeders this winter. Sometimes they cover a feeder so much that the hummingbird can't feed! Very little blooming now. There's been lots of freezes, even almost down to 25° a couple of nights. I just wish spring would hurry up and get here!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jan 3, 2013 5:17 PM CST
Sounds like those bees are running low on food ir not out completely already.

Our winter has been too warm so our bees are running low but we are putting candy out on warm days we know they will be flying so they can stock up a bit.

Another month here before some stuff they like will start blooming again just hope it's warm when the blooms are open.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Jan 4, 2013 10:54 AM CST
Any kind of candy? or do you mean some type of syrup?
I am not going to become a beekeeper,but would like to encourage the bee population?
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Jan 4, 2013 1:10 PM CST
While just about any kind of hard candy would work there are recipes to make your own. Check this link out. The recipe is for a fairly large batch but you can cut it down to size.

http://marks-bees.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-to-make-candy-for...

It is basically sugar syrup cooked to hard candy stage.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Jan 5, 2013 5:49 AM CST
That is an interesting site, Thanks.
I'll keep that in mind for when the bees appear.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
Image
LindaTX8
Jan 5, 2013 11:56 AM CST
Hopefully, they will show up again. It's been too cold lately. Interesting about the candy. I still remember the story about the M & M-colored honey in Europe.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
Mindy03
Jan 5, 2013 12:39 PM CST
I do too which is why I suggest making your own candy for them. That way you know what's in it.

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