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HiveFive

HiveFive Apiary & Bee Supply
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Hi everyone! I've snooped around some of the posts and the pictures are just fantastic!
We are attempting to create pollination gardens for our apiary and have no clue as to how to get started or who to ask for help. Hopefully we can get some good ideas and advice!
Thanks!!!!
 
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My suspicion is that natural compost and water are the 2 components that will underlie any efforts you make to bee successful.
 

alp

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You can look at JBtheExplorer's thread.

https://www.gardening-forums.com/showcase/jbs-native-garden.3/ and feast your eyes on his stunning photography.

You can plant
echinacea purpurea
Cerinthe
Knautis
Scabious
eryngiums
foxgloves,
honeysuckle,
penstemons
snapdragons
salvia

Plant as many single, purple flowers as you can to attract bees.
 

HiveFive

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Alp, great list of plants! Thanks, this is the kind of info I need.
Dirtmechanic, water isn't really an issue, I have a spare well and a pond to use for an irrigation system. I just need to decide how to best utilize it, I'm thinking drip lines. I do have a question about natural compost. Two years ago we were hit by a tornado and lost many trees. Lots got shoved into the edge of the woods and many were cut up for firewood. I have a couple cords of wood that began to rot because it wasn't under cover. Is there any way to use it for organic material to help with the poor soul here?
 

alp

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Ah, you might like this

HugelKultur.. Think someone else here practices it as well. But don't bury any invasive trees such as privet or you will have new plants coming up everywhere and you can't get rid of them.
 
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For your first Hugelkulture bed use rotten wood. The kind that is almost ready to fall apart. This bed will only be good for a few years, but the rotten wood will decompose faster and retain more moisture for you. After you have a bed going, then you can use less decomposed wood.
 
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HiveFive

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Hey thanks! I can kill two birds with one stone! Like I said, my wood is breaking down already so it should become viable fairly quickly. I really appreciate these tips. It's so discouraging to walk around the place. We had so many trees and perennials, most are gone now. This is a great opportunity to change things up a bit but two years in and still working on the clean-up. It's seven acres and you can only do so much at a time. We're trying to replace with fruit trees and sustainable gardens. My wife and I have our vision but we have never undertaken such a project.
 

MaryMary

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We are attempting to create pollination gardens for our apiary and have no clue as to how to get started or who to ask for help.


I agree with @alp's suggestion of looking at @JBtheExplorer's threads, but he will tell you to plant what is native to your area. (y) :) To that end, I have found this website, there is a form you can fill in with your region, soil, height, and light requirements, and at the bottom, add "Plants for Pollinators."

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/native-plants-finder :unsure: Do your research, some of these may be invasive!!



From the website BuzzAboutBees, https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/ here is a list of links. :)

Garden Plants for Bees

Herbs for Bees

Wildflowers for Bees

Flower Bulbs For Bees

Lawns

Trees, Shrubs and Hedgerows for Bees

Fruit and Vegetables

Plants for Problem Places


Also, here is a link to the Arbor Day Foundation website. You can join for $10, and they will send you 10 free trees for your membership. You might want to check out the fruit trees!! :D

https://shop.arborday.org/content.aspx?page=tree-nursery


Hope that helps! :)
 

alp

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MaryMary, as usual, is most thorough and correct! Yes, there are all sorts of bees and some need different levels to site their "home"!
 

JBtheExplorer

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We are attempting to create pollination gardens for our apiary and have no clue as to how to get started or who to ask for help. Hopefully we can get some good ideas and advice!
Thanks!!!!

If the goal is to help pollinators, native plants are the only way to go @HiveFive. You will help honey bees as well as countless species of native bees, which are far more efficient pollinators than honey bees.

I recommend:

Lance-leaf Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata)
Tall Coreopsis (Coreopsis tripteris) [Coreopsis species are popular with bee keepers]
Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) [also known as "bee balm"]
Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Purple Giant Hyssop (Agastache scrophulariaefolia)
Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum)
Marsh Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

Many garden centers and nurseries will have a small native plant sections, but you may also want to check this link out:
http://vnps.org/conservation/plant-nurseries/
 
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@HiveFive I think I read here on GF or maybe elsewhere that bee populations are heavily influenced by lawns when they flower. Like 30% higher type influence. Pretty amazing but the HOH will get mad.

As to your wood, I looked up your location on the arcgis map and it shows a dominate quantity of the clay called ultisol. Real fine stuff, no oxygen, no organic matter save what falls on top from leaves and such. If this seems familiar, if organic matter you do put down seems to dissappear with the year, you may want to consider turning your wood and no doubt twigs and othe offering into charcoal and putting that out in fine as possible layers or better digging it into the top 2 inches. It will help the problem ultisol has of leaching and digesting nutrients. Its a longer term play. It holds oxygen like crazy. You may also be really alkaline. Mine is, but here in Shelby county we are blessed with chalk in our clay, so its the yellow brick sulphur road for us.
 
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HiveFive

HiveFive Apiary & Bee Supply
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Definitely clay! and sand! The farmers around here are constantly dumping chemicals on the fields to grow their corn a soy. I grew up in the ohio river valley. Drop a seed anywhere and it grows. Here, well, no....
I do have resources to make char, it is extremely time consuming. Attached is a picture of my charcoal kiln. Chunks go in the grill and forge, powder can go in the ground.
IMG_20140727_131355741_HDR.jpg
Maybe mixing it with the rotten wood could help keep the nutrients in place.
 
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Wow I think that is awesome! I have never seen such a nice kiln! I would have taken it for a smoke shack.

I would not worry about nutrients. Thats not what happens. Think about the carbon matrix as a beehive for soil bugs. Like a coral reef made of carbon. The dying bugs that have come to hide out there will-over time- build up. It is their enzymatic actions and basic makeup that provide fertility. Carbon captures oxygen too. Fungi will draw water with deep hyphae. It is not a quick thing. I see some people inoculate and fertilize the stuff but they could have done that to soil anyway. The soil bio does need protiens because the amino acids that make up protien is what they make there bodies from. Soybean meal and other types all help. Sugar, Dead animals returned to the soil. Its a heck of a natural system. It makes me appreciate how forest fires can be so important to natural areas. Really it is like feeding a compost pile, just the carbon is a really cool and more permanent mesh to support the upper horizons of soil life and not be degradable like compost and other amendments.

In your case its a good thing to do with wood but it will not be a magic bullet. It would take many meters of biochar to grow soil like the amazonian terra preta grows in volume from the biolife. For us with homes it is just less work and less inputs over the years and a good way to keep the place cleaned up.
 
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