Beekeeping is a fulfilling hobby that provides many great benefits not only for us, but for the environment. The best reward might be knowing you are helping worker bees pollinate plants and trees and improve both your ecosystems. Whether you are just getting started or already have one or two successful hives, common knowledge is, happy bees produce the best tasting honey. Here are a few tips on what plants and pollen work best for your bees and produce the best honey.
Planting a Honeybee Garden
Many gardeners have long realized the benefits of knowing which flowers will attract bees to them. After all, the more bees you have, the more plants get pollinated, and the more bountiful your garden harvest will be. Along with having hives, you’ll find a lot of beekeepers like to have bee-friendly gardens.
According to the University of Arkansas, there are several plants all bees love. Apples, peaches, blackberries, sunflowers, mint, sage thyme, echinacea, hawthorn, broccoli, wild mustards, and clover are just a few of the bee-friendly plants on the list.
When creating your honeybee garden, plant clusters of different flowers and plants as bees will only gather from one type of plant per trip. Plant at different times of the year, especially during fall and mid-summer. These times are harder for bees to find food, so honey production will sometimes decrease.
Use Native Flora
Not only could you use the plants described above in your garden, but some of the best honey can come from patches of native flowers and plants. While clover honey is common, many local beekeepers will also sell honey that comes from regionally native flowers or plants. A good resource for bee-friendly flowers and plants is your local agriculture extension office. Another resource is your local beekeepers. They will have a plethora of knowledge on the type of plants you can plant in your garden for your bees.
Find Different Place
A common practice with local beekeepers is placing hives in different fields. Bees are known to travel large distances from their hives to find food. If you have access to another field, consider placing a hive or two in different places. It will give you and your bees more range. You could even get a camper or RV and plant different hives at different stations for a season, giving you a chance to experiment with different areas.
Beekeeping is a time-honored hobby that improves the ecosystem. Learning what flowers and plants are bee-friendly will vastly improve your honey production. Hopefully, these tips will get you started on creating spaces for your bees to gather happily. Happy harvesting!