March Plants for Honey Bees

By (@Mindy03) on
It's March, the month spring officially arrives according to the calendar. Mother Nature might have different plans, but plants are bursting forth with renewed growth and the cool weather plants are blooming, bringing joy to everyone. Honey bees have built up their numbers and are busy taking advantage of the bountiful supply of food.

March is the start of the busy honey season for beekeepers in the warmer climates.  The race is on to keep empty supers added to the hives so the bees will have plenty of room to store their bounty.  

March brings us blossoms to Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5bDate: 2011-10-26Third year plant - no blooms yet.enjoy and brings to honey bees plenty of food to plunder.  These plants are on the honey bees' list:

Domestic Apple - Nectar

Alfalfa - Nectar, Pollen and Honeydew

Berlandier Acacia - Nectar 

Bloodroot - Pollen

Border Forsythia - Nectar and Pollen

Bur Clover - Nectar

Bush Chinquapin - Nectar

California Barberry - NeLocation: Indiana  Zone 5Date: Junectar

Cherry Plum - Nectar and Pollen

Clove Currant - Nectar, Pollen and Honeydew

Common Hyacinth - Nectar 

Flowering Cherry - Nectar and Pollen

Flowering Quince - Nectar and Pollen

Gallberry - Nectar

Grape Hyacinth - Nectar and Pollen

Japanese Skimmia - Nectar and Pollen

Kabschia Saxifraga - Nectar and Pollen

Mountain Rockcress - Nectar and Pollen

Peach - Nectar and Pollen

Pipsqueak - Pollen

Poppy Anemone - Pollen Location: At a nurseryDate: 2009-03-06

Rock Cress - Nectar and Pollen

Sargent’s Cherry - Nectar and Pollen

Tulip Poplar - Pollen and Honeydew

Waterlily Tulip - Pollen

Wild Cherry - Nectar and Pollen

Yoshino Cherry - Nectar and Pollen

 

March is also swarming season.  If hives run out of room to hold all the bees plus the honey and pollen stores, the bees are going to split in half to start a new colony somewhere.  

That's good if your goal is to add more hives to the beeyard; not so good if your goal is a great honey season.  For the first goal you need to have empty hives ready to put the swarms in.  For the second goal you better keep those extra supers added or do a split.   Bees that set up new colonies are too busy setting up house to collect much extra food.  They need all they can collect to feed the babies they are raising to build up to a strong colony.  

More March plants can be found listed here.

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Comments and discussion:
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Thanks by wren Mar 18, 2012 5:12 PM 7

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Origanum 'Amethyst Falls'"