In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Flowers for Bees...


http://www.verdefarm.com/
I'm hooking up with Verde Farm today for Farm Friend Friday.

I've been asked what is the best flower(s) to plant for honey bees. First of all, it depends on the zone you live in. I live in Zone 5. So the best thing you can do is research 'nectar' plants or 'honey bee' plants in your own area.

I would like to take the opportunity to talk about weeds. Yes weeds. Remember when you were a child, running through the grass, and you'd get stung by a bee on the bottom of your foot? You'd run in the slammy screen door, crying, because you got stung by a bee! That is, if you are around 45 years of age or older. Well, you weren't actually running through the grass, what you were running through was clover. Remember all the white clover you used to see on lawns? Somewhere along the way, people started having totally manicured lawns. Nothing but grass. And to make their lawn full of grass, they would kill any "weeds" with chemicals. And clover is considered a weed.

Since I've become a beekeeper, I've asked my Shug to stop using chemicals of any kind on our lawn. We replaced the grass in the front yard with Ivy. We have large trees in our front yard and grass wouldn't grow there anyway because there was too much shade. Now we see little bunny families in the ivy, we see honey bees all over the clover, and out at our land in the country we see this.....


Look closely and you'll see honeybees all over these plants.


I don't know what they are but they bloom the same time that goldenrod blooms.

And honey bees love goldenrod, but they'll pick this plant over goldenrod.
This grows like a weed. It's everywhere in the fall.

And one year our entire acerage was covered in Queen Anne's Lace. I told my Shug do NOT bush hog this down. He's a good Shug :) Besides the fact that it's beautiful...


and looks lovely in a blue ball jar on the table,


the honey bees love it.

Sorry about the blurry photo, the camera actually focused on the plants surrounding the one with the honey bee on it.
I want you to think about something this week. What bird, animal, or insect do you see benefitting from grass? And how healthy is it for us, to have perfectly manicured lawns? Do you ever notice after someone has their lawn done professionally, there will be little signs in the yard telling you not to walk in the yard. And keep your pets & children out of the yard too. (you have no idea how hard it is for me not to do an entire post about this...so I'll stop here!)
I would like to mention, however, that if you spray your yard or lawn with chemicals to get rid of pests, you kill good bugs and bad bugs. Chemicals don't distinguish between the the good, the bad, or the ugly! They kill them all, including honey bees :-(

Cindy Bee

15 comments:

  1. Cindy, what a great post. I see so many people spending ridiculous amounts of money on their lawns. It is not good for anyone to have such chemicals about. Children playing around in grass sprayed with chemicals is terrible (asthma and all kinds of other problems), the bugs that are killed by this stuff get eaten by birds who will also die, etc. Really, if your grass is cut regularly everything looks fine. There are plenty of ways to patch up spots naturally. Google it! When my lawn starts up in the spring I'll take a photo of a little experiment I have started in one part of my lawn that not only looks great, but is pretty and keeps out the pesky weeds, has little flowers and is really pretty all season long and best of all, you do not have to mow, well, maybe once. I'm not being secretive, just have to find out the name of the plant.

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  2. Clara - What a GREAT comment! You have no idea how near and dear this is to my heart. You are right about the birds...just think of spring without robins! GASP! If you go to this exclusive neighborhood in Cincinnati by Ault/Hyde park, you will see groundcover instead of grass and it is BEAUTIFUL!

    Cindy Bee

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  3. Hello Lovely photos. I so agree about the grass and signs. We do not use any chemicals and we do just fine. I rather see bees and birds than signs that say do not walk on the grass. With a big skull and cross bones on it.Interesting post. Thank you. B

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  4. Go ahead and get on your soapbox. Went to a screening of Vanishing of the Bees last night. Highly recommend. Should be a must watch for everyone.

    http://www.vanishingbees.com/

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  5. Bee Lady... you are a lover of creatures great and small... and rooted plants as well. Makes me sad that I can only enjoy all God's handiwork from the inside where the air is conditioned... yuk! I love your pretty posts... informative too! Queen Anns Lace is one of my faves!

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  6. You're singing to the choir here. Q.A. Lace is one of my favorites. But, I do have to admit. I get a wee little edgy when my neighbors dog is running right through my beds. I forgot I was going to give you the link to my old posting.....

    http://thegardenbell.blogspot.com/2009/08/tale-of-liquie-gold.html

    We still have a jar left somewhere. You think it's stll good. I'm asking the Bee Queen expert here.

    Spring and the Green can't get here soon enought for me.

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  7. I'm surrounded by trees so I don't have a 'lawn', to speak of. But I never really thought of it like that. Thanks! Have a great weekend too! xoxo

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  8. You are right. I stepped on a bee in clover at my brothers house. I was an adult and still walking around the yard barefoot. Our family just let whatever grow in our lawn and we always had a lot of bees. Have been stung enough times to remember that. But we moved into a house with underground sprinkling and my hubs is determined to keep a portion of it green and mole free. I laughs because he knows I do not care. Only thing I would rather stay out of my flower beds is the snakes. Not to keen on the snakes.

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  9. Yeah! I have a honey bee friendly yard! If only I could find a way to get rid of creeping charlie and nothing else.

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  10. Amazing post--Wow--that field of Queen Ann’s Lace is amazing. You are so right about the old days and the clover. I can honestly say I never thought about the clover being so important to the bees. I need to see this movie Sara mentions above. This is a much needed post. I think you should do a full one--many folks just aren’t aware of the dangers as they just don’t think about it. Thank you so much for sharing with FFF ;)

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  11. Love your post! I have been kicking around keeping bees and look forward to learning lots from you! I am your newest follow! xo
    Caroline
    Ps. found you thru Verde Farm. :)

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  12. Love this post, good job! The weeds are pettier to look at a big batch of grass.... Very nice pictures.

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  13. Love this post. Confession Hubs was a 'can't have a lawn full of clover' kind of guy. Since we now have Violet...the back yard doesn't get any chemicals now. So that's a step in the right direction.

    I love the meadow of the white flowers just lovely. And thanks for the memory of running thru clover and worrying about getting stung. You're right! that doesn't happen anymore.

    I'll have to become more aware.
    Julie

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  14. Of course, Cindy Bee, this is right up my alley!

    My grass is FULL of clover.
    And chickweed, and dandelions, and plantain, and there are nettles growing in the bottom corner of my yard - yes, deliberately - and many others. Oh, there is also wild violet, that I want to make a tincture out of soon.

    You are SO right - get rid of the chemicals, eat the weeds, and feed the bees.
    Your health could only improve (disclaimer: first identify the weeds you intend to eat.)

    Long live the bees.

    Cheers
    Fi

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  15. Sorry I'm taking so long to get back with all of you. I have been gone all weekend as you know, and I just can't seem to get caught up.

    Buttons - good for you! I'd rather see birds and bees than grass too. People don't realize that all creatures go barefoot all the time, then they lick their paws, so the chemicals they use gets into the systems of our beloved pets and wildlife too.

    Crazy Sheep Lady - I'm gonna check that movie out just as soon as I have time to sit and pay attention. Sounds VERY interesting.

    GB - I'll be checking out your post out as soon as I'm done here.

    Teresa - Don't know what to tell you about creeping charlie. He's a creep!

    Boho Farm - Welcome and thanks for visiting my blog. I'll get to yours soon. I'd say if you have a little bit of time, then go for it. Bees are a fun hobby.

    Yes Wanda, you're right. I really don't think grass is pretty at all...unless it's Prairie grass.

    Fi, Of course it's right up your alley. I'm tellin ya.... I have most of those weeds in my yard too. And boy oh boy have I been stung by the nettles. I've heard they make a very healthy tea though. What do you know about that?

    Cindy Bee

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Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment on my blog. I enjoy reading them. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Cindy Bee