January Plants for Honey Bees: Honey bees in the chicken feed

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January Plants for Honey Bees

By Mindy03
January 31, 2012

It's January, which usually means winter in most places. Winter evokes visions of gloomy days of cold and snow, but in some areas the sun shines and the temperature is warm enough for honey bees to be out and about. What's blooming in January to tempt honey bees to leave their hives and forage for food?

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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Jan 22, 2013 8:41 AM CST
Two days ago, I went out to check the chicken feeders at about 11am and was surprised to find honey bees hovering over the feeders. They were crawling all over the chicken feed and it looked like they were collecting pollen because I could see their little pollen sacks hanging on their legs. I figure it was because the temps had warmed up to the 60's and they went out searching for food. Is it the protien they were after? Yesterday was just as warm, but I didn't see them come back.

I hope it was beneficial for them, I don't really know how the chicken scratch grains were grown or anything. It's hard to tell these days. It was a mix of milo grain, cracked corn and whole oats.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

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
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Mindy03
Jan 22, 2013 9:37 AM CST
Yes it was the protein they were after to feed the brood. I've not had that happen here but have read of it happening.

We have had some warm days when they were out gathering something but they were also collecting the candy my husband had made and set out for them. By mid-February they should be able to start gathering from the early blooming plants around here.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Jan 22, 2013 10:18 AM CST
Thanks, Mindy. It's the same here, there are a few things that will start to bloom later next month, so there's nothing really for them to feed on in January.

We don't raise honey bees (yet) so these are either from someone raising bees nearby, or they are living in the wild?
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

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 22, 2013 1:13 PM CST
Could be wild bees since I would think you would know if anyone that close had bees.

I was wondering if you had bees yet. We lost one hive but it wasn't a very productive hive so I don't consider it that much of a loss. From the first they just collected enough to feed themselves, no extra honey for us and they ate like little pigs when it was warm so starved even though they had plenty of honey going into winter.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
Image
wildflowers
Jan 22, 2013 2:36 PM CST
That hive of bees didn't plan very well! It must be interesting to watch their habits like that.

Pretty sure these are wild bees. I was out awhile ago and they are back today.

I know I keep saying "Yet" but we still want to raise some bees, and it's getting closer on our list! Big Grin
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

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