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Honey bees favourite flowers.


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Kim
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the link Greengage, I haven't seen it before, looks good.

I can't say I've noticed any less bumblebees here, but It's hard to quantify, some of the plants they were on earlier have finished and some good plants haven't started yet (Sedums, Asters...) but the borage, echium, nasturtiums and poppies are all busy.

The honeybees are on the blackberry and the Rosebay Willowherb.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/mooney/
listen to this on bees interesting.
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Kim
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been too cold for flying bees for the last couple of weeks so it was really good to see them out yesterday. In between showers of rain the honey bees were on snowdrops, gorse and rosemary, On dry days the crocus would be more popular than snowdrops but yesterday was wet. Snowdrops are like little umbrellas keeping their pollen dry. I love how different flowers have adapted to different conditions.

Rosemary is one of my favourite winter flowering plants and loved by bees and bumble bees. The hellebores are in full flower and look fabulous, but last year it was March before I saw any bees on them.

What are good winter/early spring bee flowers in your garden?
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Mews
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yko-NAZRTs

The Tower is short film based on one of LUBS city centre beehives at St. Munchin’s Church (Church of Ireland) built in 1827. Great views of the city and of the honeybees busy pollinating the city flowers... If this interests you, LUBS will Soon be inviting new members to Join us getting hands on with bees, helping to grow beehive numbers and share the knowledge and art of Beekeeping...



http://www.facebook.com/LimerickUrbanBeekeeping­Society

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Mews
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a few lists available that list flowers for honeybees, however not many that attempt to distinguish between flowers that attract honey bees and those that attract the bumble bee. People commonly mistake the carder bee (Bombus pascuorum) or other solitary bees for the honey bee. The honey bee tends to be much less numerous compared to the bumble bee and is not really active in Ireland until the furze bush starts blooming. You will begin to see large queen bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) out over the course of the next few weeks foraging for pollen, they'll set up a nest somewhere and you'll see the offspring in April.

Here is my own list.

Cotoneaster - bumblebees
Aster ‘Little Carlow’ - bumblebees and honeybees (flowers in September)
Campanula poscharskyana - honeybees
Greek Oregano - bumblebees and honeybees
Catmint - bumble bees (especially carder bees)
Raspberry - bumblebees
Echinacea - bumblebees
Clover - bumblebees ( temperature needs to be between 20 to 25C)
Mahonia - Bumblebees (queens) (mine flowers in March)
Sedum - Bumblebees and butterflies.
Crocus (later flowering) - bumblebees (queens)
Cornflower - bumblebees
Poppies - bumblebees (papaver somniferum especially has them circling like planes at a busy airport in the morning since the flowers only last a few hours)
Foxgloves - bumblebees
St Johns wort - bumblebees and honeybees.
Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ - Hoverflies

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Kim
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The honey bee tends to be much less numerous compared to the bumble bee and is not really active in Ireland until the furze bush starts blooming


Gorse never seems to be out of bloom here! but then the bees will fly in the winter when the weather is mild enough, and one can get mild days anytime.

A great flying day today, the crocus was busy with bees.

So many plants good for so many bees! Winter/ spring plants are important pollen sources to raise new bees for the coming season, each season's flowers are important in their own way.
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Mews
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect day for them but the bees don't seem to have found their way to my crocus yet. Sad


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Kim
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely crocus! We have an early yellow crocus that the bees are on and a later purple one that is just opening. I don't know what kind of crocus they are, perhaps I will ask on another thread.

I am just looking at your list again,
I find all of the following are good for honeybees too.


Quote:
Catmint - bumble bees (especially carder bees)
Raspberry - bumblebees

Clover - bumblebees ( temperature needs to be between 20 to 25C)
Mahonia - Bumblebees (queens) (mine flowers in March)
Sedum - Bumblebees and butterflies.
Crocus (later flowering) - bumblebees (queens)

Poppies - bumblebees


One of things I have noticed with honeybee flowers is that they like quantity, some of the plants in our garden that I have read are good for honeybees I have yet to see honeybees on and I think it is because they have not bulked up enough yet. The other factor is weather, some plants are better for dry or wet conditions and can vary in their attraction from year to year.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Echium is another plant they love only thing it is biennial, so you need to plant regularly but getting seed is not a problem, one definite no no are double flowered plants. Berberis great for bumblebees early in season.
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Kim
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year I grew Echium vulgare 'Blue Bedder' , Viper's Bugloss It is an annual and flowered prolifically being especially good for bumble bees.

I have grown echium pininana in the past and last year found seeds again and have small plants growing now but it is a big plant! struggling to find places to plant it!
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim wrote:
Quote:
The honey bee tends to be much less numerous compared to the bumble bee and is not really active in Ireland until the furze bush starts blooming


Gorse never seems to be out of bloom here!


In England there is a country saying along the lines of 'kissing's out of fashion when the gorse (furze) is not in bloom', ie - never out of fashion 'cos the gorse is always in bloom!

On the subject of flowers for bees, I have seen winter-flowering heathers alive with all kinds of bees even on a warm, sunny day in January. When I lived in England, I had a little patch of mixed heathers in a sunny spot and you could hear the bees before you saw them. I suppose that is why Yeats' 'Bee loud glade' has always had a special meaning for me.

Exmoor heather honey is THE best honey!
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Kim
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winter heather is very good for bees! I tend to forget as I have so little and whenever I am reminded I think "I must try and find a spot for heather" and I really struggle to find a place for it in the garden. I think it may need a nice sunny bank all to itself!
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If i remember correctly from collage Tilia euchlora is believed to be a narcotic to bees (i.e. induces a state of sleep of drowsiness causing them to fall to earth and making them angry, ill have a check to see what i can find..........
Found this http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/Which-Lime-Trees-Are-Toxic-For-Bees.html

Found this site this is the home page, http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/ loads of info on here from gardening for bees to just about everything else.
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