Kay Bee wrote:great topic... a few other plants to throw in to the mix would be asian pear and peaches for early flowering. They also start flowering within a year or two of planting, if you are using grafted trees. Both peaches and asian pears flowered at least two to three weeks ahead of the black locust in my area this year.
Asters are another popular bee plant that flower for a long period during the warm season. Caragana (pea shrub) is supposed to be a popular bee plant as well, but mine have not flowered yet.
Another option for fall is fruit. In the past, my bees have been aggressive in joining the yellow jackets in devouring over-ripe figs and plums. A decent size fig can really produce a lot of excess fruit with zero work, once it is established. I put in 9 types of figs last year, so I am hoping to have figs ripening from July through October starting in a year or so. If my new bees like the fruit, I will scale up my plantings especially for them.
John Polk wrote:Although this pollinator guide is not just about honey bees, it does cover them well.
It is written specifically for your region. Both pollinators, and flora localized to the Pacific Lowlands of OR/WA
tel jetson wrote:
ume plums are the earliest flower I see. way too early for honeybees, in fact. apples, plums, pears, cherries, Sorbus, and a whole bunch of other fruits flower nice and early, too. the trouble with those for this application is that they're slow and/or expensive. I would definitely add things like that over time, though.
my caraganas haven't flowered, either. six years old now, and maybe three feet tall.
kent smith wrote:Interesting and timely post: the east side of our place and across the road is covered in black locus trees. yesterday I dug up a couple dozen locus starts out of the pasture and transplanted them to another area. Most of the woods around here have trees that bloom early in the spring, and the locus is just starting to bloom now. This is my first year of beekeeping and I am eager to see how things go. I have not seen a large quantiy of bees here last year, but there seems to be so many flowering trees, brambles, elder berries, wild day lilies, clover and golden rod in the fall that I am hoping that our two hives do well. Opps, three hives, one was showing some queen cells and I split it last week. The new split looks weaker than the parent colony, but I am hoping that they will build up over the summer. I know that some folks look at the black locus as a weed, but I am rather fond of it. it grows fast, makes great fencing, and the nector.