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On a quest to help out bees...  RSS feed

 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Hi,

this is the second year in a row that black locust, the main honey flow at our location, has been wiped out by a late frost. The average date when trees start growing in the spring has been moving back and the danger of late frosts has increased. The previous year's event was supposed to have a return period of 30 years and... Here we go again.

But the locusts are not even the worst hit. The really hard hit plants are the summer flowering "bee trees" - euodia, koelreutheria, sophora...

So this is the picture:

- it is exactly the summer-flowering trees that are the most sensitive to a late frost - they currently look like cooked spinach (and so do the locusts, of course).

- on the other hand there are bushes/trees which are very attractive to bees and apparently have frost-resistant flowers, at least to a sufficient degree - elaeagnus umbellata/multiflora was/is still being visited after two nights of freezing temps and last year they prouced a regular size crop of berries in the fall.

So, my question... Does anyone know of a shrub/tree that combines the two qualities, ie. it's summer-flowering, supplies honey and pollen AND can handle a spring frost without having to regrow the current year's vegetation from scratch?

Northern hemispfere, climate zone 6 flirting with 5.

Thank you!
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3671
Location: Anjou ,France
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Budlia ? Or maybe linden trees ?

David
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Buddleia is in my experience not very attractive to bees (more so for butterflies and bumblebees).

Linden flowers in late May to late June at our location. What i would like most is to cover July / August.

Heptacodium seems promising as it hardly even notices a freeze and is very late-flowering but I don't know yet to what degree it is interesing to bees.
 
David Livingston
steward
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Buddliea is a funny one as some places I see it's a favourate others the bees hardly notice
I think it depends on what else is available so for me it's a back up
 
Erwin Decoene
Posts: 102
Location: Courtrai Area, Flanders Region, Belgium Europe
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Beekeepers near here (Courtrai Area Belgium) promote Buckthorn for its long flowering period.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frangula_alnus

 
Galen Young
Posts: 56
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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Some organizations promote wild flower mixes, that have successional blooming.
 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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There are some buckthorn trees in the area and it's true that bees work them for a long period.

At the moment I can see small flower buds (1,5 mm or so). We'll see how they pull through (we had two days of round-the-clock severe northern wind, then a night of -4 C followed by -2 C).

But I suspect they will be fine because last year's event was similarly brutal and despite that I can see notes about bees visiting rhamnus at the end of June in my logbook.

So, Erwin, that's a good idea, thank you.

 
Crt Jakhel
Posts: 171
Location: NE Slovenia, zone 6a
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Galen, thanks - we do have meadows around that are only cut down once per year. They are very helpful as the meadow flowers are usually not particularly affected by late frosts.
 
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