• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Stacie Kim
  • Jay Angler

! Resource List of plants for honey bees

 
pioneer
Posts: 205
Location: So Cal - Inland Empire
44
foraging rabbit books fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Since I'm having a hard time finding just the right resource to list all plants for honey bees to produce the honey I will want (someday), I'm going to start here with what I can find. I've had several suggestions made to me or found on other threads that I will include here for easy reference for myself or others. Note that I have never kept bees and am in a research phase for a future in bee keeping. My current goal is a list of plants (annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees) that will keep a hive happy for the months that they are actively making honey. Since I will be in an area where there is a real winter, unlike my current location (Southern California) where there's only a cooler time of year rather than covered in ice and/or snow, I know that bees won't be looking for food in those winter months.

https://xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/pollinator-friendly-plant-lists?field_state_target_id=102  - for Canada and USA by region - alot of good info, but not quite the list I'm looking for

https://honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov/Honeybees/Forage.htm    - also by region for USA but not an all-inclusive sort of list, still, I printed it out to add to the research

https://balkanecologyproject.blogspot.com/2017/02/trees-for-bees.html  - gives general info, but this site is geared to Bulgaria, it did come the closest to what I'm looking for at the end of the lists, with a chart listing trees by flowering succession from February through November.

https://www.wildflower.org/collections/   - lots of ways to "narrow your search" and if you scroll down that first page there are links to different bee pages returning 238 entries for honey bees, this one refers back to the xerces site above

https://protectingbees.njaes.rutgers.edu/find-plants/?utm_source=Searching+for+Pollinator+Attractive+Plants%3F+A+new+resource+is+now+available&utm_campaign=Pollinator+Search&utm_medium=email    - it's getting late, and I've been on this hunt for hours now so I haven't fully looked through this one - different options to choose and use a zip code




Perhaps I just need to create my own list from these sources?
 
pollinator
Posts: 280
170
forest garden fungi trees foraging urban books
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cindy Haskin wrote:
Perhaps I just need to create my own list from these sources?



I'm also in a "research phase" for starting an apiary.  I'm in a research phase for a *bunch* of things, for that matter!  

Appendix 3 of Dave Jacket & Eric Toensmeier's "Edible Forest Gardens" Vol II, has a nice nectary calendar on pages 544- 549.  Looks like it is on sale:

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Edible-Forest-Gardens-Vol-Temperate-Climate/dp/1931498806

I like that the plant calendar is in a table format, so if you want to find a plant genus/species that blooms in say...October, then a quick visual scan makes it easy.  Looking at it right now, I can see that Trifolium (the clover genus) for instance has a nice and long nectary season...which makes sense, as most honey out there is clover-based.

But realistically speaking, we are all limited in that there are *so many* plants, but so little time.  

There is only so much that we can:
1) Discover and learn about, compared to *everything* that is possible.
2) Procure via nursery, seed stores, friends, or wild-crafting.
3) Sow or plant, tend, and propagate.

I could spend all my time digging through farmsteading books, and I totally will because it is fun!  But at the same time:

Ecclesiastes wrote:Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.



So my unsolicited recommendation, if you're anything like me and rather enjoy planning and analyzing and strategizing, being prepared and having a clear course of action completely laid out before starting endeavors: give yourself more permission to satisfice, rather than optimize.  Think 80/20 rule.

In other words, depending on your goals, you may find that the list you *need* to make for your bee friends might only be three to five plants long.  But if you *want* a nice long list, Edible Forest Gardens is certainly a nice book for a number of planning purposes, bees' needs included.
 
master steward
Posts: 5806
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1751
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here are some helpful threads to add to you resource list:

https://permies.com/t/141638/Keeping-Bees-Forest-Garden

https://permies.com/t/161781/Sequentially-Blooming-Plants-Bee-Support

https://permies.com/t/156846/Mediterranean-Bee-Plants

I suggest making a list of the plants that would work best for you.

Some folks like a specific plant to make their favorite honey.

My favorite honey is "Orange Blossom Honey". It might be available in South Texas though not in my part of Texas.
 
Cindy Haskin
pioneer
Posts: 205
Location: So Cal - Inland Empire
44
foraging rabbit books fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
George - thanks for that reply and suggestion for the book. I'd love to get hold of just the calendar pages mostly because I can't afford even the sale price of the book(s). I am working on a list of my own including most of the trees, shrubs and (mostly) perennials that I already have planned for other uses as well. Isn't that a main focus of permaculture, many uses for the same plant/critter/whathaveyou?  And it's a tedious job to hand copy the info I want from the many pages of good information out there on the "net". Which I hope to then copy into an excel document.... you see how this is going...

Anne - more great permies.com threads to explore that I hadn't found after searching through many of the pages in the bee forum. The one that is the sequentially blooming looks most promising. I am responding before I have even peeked at those links. If I remember right, you have helped me before in finding stuff I've been looking for! Big air hugs for all the help! My favorite honey is orange blossom as well. The smell of orange blossoms is truly devine!

https://midwestpermaculture.com/    - This link is to a "school" for permaculture, but they have a couple of "freebies" that I have downloaded/printed out to include in one of my several notebooks of research for the life I dream of living soon. One is "80 Favorite Plants for Permaculture Guilds in the Midwest", discovered when I first heard about guilds. This list gives common names, scientific names, main yields where the "nectary" info is, then height and width numbers and zone numbers. Then there is the plant guild e-booklet that is also printed out in my notebook. Where I have run into unfamiliar plant suggestions, I have also printed out pertinent info for them as well. Like goumi berry, the viburnum aka highbush cranberry, linden or tilia, and lovage.
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 2629
Location: Gulf of Mexico cajun zone 8
1126
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Peach honey! If you like peaches you won't be disappointed. Another excellent honey is sourwood honey but those trees grow in the mountains. Peaches are more common. I also strongly recommend buckwheat.
 
George Yacus
pollinator
Posts: 280
170
forest garden fungi trees foraging urban books
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cindy Haskin wrote:George - thanks for that reply and suggestion for the book. I'd love to get hold of just the calendar pages mostly because I can't afford even the sale price of the book(s). I am working on a list of my own including most of the trees, shrubs and (mostly) perennials that I already have planned for other uses as well. Isn't that a main focus of permaculture, many uses for the same plant/critter/whathaveyou?  And it's a tedious job to hand copy the info I want from the many pages of good information out there on the "net". Which I hope to then copy into an excel document.... you see how this is going...



Here is Eric Toensmeier's website, and here is a link to the many plant databases that he uses regularly.  It doesn't have everything neatly laid out like in the book, but it may help speed you along in making your own list.  I often wonder how many years it took them to compile all the information for Edible Forest Gardens.

I suppose you could try reaching out to the authors, who are here on Permies.com.  Or, here's the books' website, which includes Dave Jacke's contact info.  Maybe Dave or Eric would be willing to show, give or sell to you their plant species matrix, or perhaps they have a discount code with Chelsea Green publishing?  Then again, the book is already on a steep discount at a cost of about 7¢ per page.

Lastly, this is what I recommend: if you're familiar with PayPal, they have a "money pool" feature (which is actually expiring 30 September 2021 in favor of their "Generosity Network") and you could hold a mini-fundraiser and post it here to cover the $45 Amazon book cost.  I 100% guarantee you some generous Permies would be happy to help you grow your library.  It takes maybe 15 minutes to set up, but it may save you hours of hunting online to get the information you need.



 
Cindy Haskin
pioneer
Posts: 205
Location: So Cal - Inland Empire
44
foraging rabbit books fiber arts medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
USDA list of Native plants for summer and fall honey bee forage...  https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_PLANTMATERIALS/publications/mdpmcbr12090.pdf

from University of Minnesota this oddball document  -   chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdext.purdue.edu%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F03%2FPlants-For-Bees.pdf&clen=1293222&chunk=true

this one comes out of Sacramento, California   seeding rates per acre for large plantings -  chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lincolnlandbeekeepers.com%2Fuploads%2F1%2F0%2F6%2F4%2F10649295%2Fnorth_american_nectar_and_honey_sources.pdf&clen=1261557&chunk=true


pounds of honey per acre, bloom start and end by month number, major or minor source of honey, etc.   -  https://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lincolnlandbeekeepers.com%2Fuploads%2F1%2F0%2F6%2F4%2F10649295%2Fnorth_american_nectar_and_honey_sources.pdf&clen=1261557&chunk=true

Nectar and Pollen producing plants for zone 6 thread on another site for bees  -  https://www.beesource.com/threads/nectar-and-pollen-producing-plants-for-zone-6.216495/

I now need to hunt a few more options for early season (Feb) and late season (Oct-Nov). It seems I may put in some goldenrod for late season as there are some varieties that do bloom that late if the weather holds and we don't get snow or hard frosts by then.

Did you know there are different products of a flower that a bee colony needs and at different times of the year?  Pollen is for the young providing the nutrition they need. Then there is the nectar and Water, Propolis, and Honeydew all used for various purposes, as you can read about here... - https://carolinahoneybees.com/things-bees-collect/
 
I need a new interior decorator. This tiny ad just painted every room in my house purple.
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/greenhouse
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic