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What are bees foraging on at present


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Plenty of pollen coming in off the buttercup that has started flowering.

If only all town sections looked like this. I found this today on a lunchtime stroll through a new housing area. Its near an inlet so the sections are built up about 1.5 metres.  This is looking

The lavender will look fabulous, are you going for a purple plant palette? Kings seeds have fabulous plants and their seeds have a high germination rate. Let me know if you want some Lacy phaceli

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12 minutes ago, Beefriendly said:

I’m not @yesbut...,

maybe

Is it a platycodon

Platycodon grandiflora var. mariesii 

Yep, I did buy some seeds from Kings and vaguely remember scattering them and others about. Guerilla grdening seems to be the  easiest mode around here at this point.

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18 minutes ago, GoED said:

Platycodon grandiflora var. mariesii 

Yep, I did buy some seeds from Kings and vaguely remember scattering them and others about. Guerilla grdening seems to be the  easiest mode around here at this point.

I think I might have to try that on a challenging bank... We planted 100 lavender on it last April..despite mulching, the weeds are in the process of being dealt with... the lavender are pretty tolerant and so far there’s only a been a couple of losses.

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6 hours ago, GoED said:

Nature and its tiny perfect detail never ceases to be a joy. I’m hoping to put together a pollen colour poster for us kiwi Beeks, Walsh is fabulous but I’d like to see the colours shown not just described. So I’m taking photos where I can. I’ll post it to get feedback about accuracy. I need something to stop me peeking in my 3 hives over the next fortnight, my young VQs need me to leave them well alone until they get properly mated and cranking. 

when you're ready to go you could list plant species that you have pics of here, and we could provide the rest - might be lesser quality though :)

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11 hours ago, tommy dave said:

when you're ready to go you could list plant species that you have pics of here, and we could provide the rest - might be lesser quality though :)

That would be a great help Tommy Dave, I thought I would do the first poster in watercolour so might just have sample colours of the pollen it might take too long to also draw each plant, this time round. If I get the pollen colour info right first I will be happy. That should keep me busy for a few months. I think your idea of adding an image of the plant especially a photo is spot on. 

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2 hours ago, kaihoka said:

@GoED that  banks looks fantastic.

What sort of soil do you have .

Does it self seed each year .

I have tried that in places, but I have terrible clay so it is hit and miss.

 

 

We had clay in Puhoi but here its a volcanic sandy free draining sandy clay soil. Have never had a sandy soil before. It’s our first year here, went hell for leather sticking in cuttings and throwing seeds around so not sure what will self seed yet. Clay can be a real advantage and improves fast with a bit of succession planting, preparation 500 and lime or dolomite

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3 minutes ago, GoED said:

We had clay in Puhoi but here its a volcanic sandy free draining sandy clay soil. Have never had a sandy soil before. It’s our first year here, went hell for leather sticking in cuttings and throwing seeds around so not sure what will self seed yet. Clay can be a real advantage and improves fast with a bit of succession planting, preparation 500 and lime or dolomite

and gypsum in clay.

i have gardened in clay and sand.

a free root run is great for establishing plants and seeds and sand gardens are good in spring but will dry out.

volcanic sandy soil sounds pretty good to me. such easy digging. and the soil drops off the roots of the weeds when you pull them up.

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9 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

@jamesc did you sew mustard, it is the fastest and easiest to grow

Yes I tend to start with mustards too Kaihoka if the ground needs cleansing and broadbeans if its autumn winter or peas and beans if its spring summer conditions. It’s a bonus to get a crop of edibles off the plants as well or at least know you have plenty of emergency food in the background. If they’re mixed in with flowers you hardly notice the ‘vegetables’. Carouby peas are really pretty with crimson flowers. makes for a bit wilder a garden but that’s ok.  

Tell you what artichoke seeds biffed up there on Beefriendly’s clay bank might be good. They stabilise banks and drop lots of organic matter when they die down in Autumn. That organic matter dropping will start to remediate the tough clay. The bees go nuts on artichoke blossoms, the plant is architectural and magnicent and the immature flower heads are darn delicious boiled for 25mins and served with a hollandaise/lemon butter or bagna cauda sauce ( Annabelle Langbein’s Essentials book pg 67) with an afternoon glass of red wine before dinner.? The other bonus is the purple artichoke flowers and silver leaves would work perfectly with Beefriendlys lavender...stick in some weeping rosemary and lambs ears and hey presto....it could all be a bee friendly bank and also edible given a few foot holds or small terraces were dug first to get in to harvest....

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25 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

and gypsum in clay.

i have gardened in clay and sand.

a free root run is great for establishing plants and seeds and sand gardens are good in spring but will dry out.

volcanic sandy soil sounds pretty good to me. such easy digging. and the soil drops off the roots of the weeds when you pull them up.

Had clay until now Kaihoka. Gypsum, What a great addition to clay. 

It’s always a bit hit and miss. You go with what thrives in the end but there will always be losses no matter what soil you have. Every soil profile and microclimate has its distinct advantages. Our soil here holds no moisture so I’m out watering cuttings daily until they take hold. Mustn’t grumble. It’s the Bay of Plenty. 

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

This is a flowe gatden we planted at cell builders.... couple of packets pollinator mix from kings.....it,s coming slowly,but so are the weeds!

30AFE30E-19CC-4158-B6FB-82EAC292AF3C.jpeg

Wow you will have very happy bees JamesC, that looks just marvellous. Those Kings beneficial pollinator blends are very effective alright. The weeds are not weeds to the bees....what a healthy wildflower pasture...would love to see it again as it continues to develop. 

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5 hours ago, GoED said:

The lavender will look fabulous, are you going for a purple plant palette? Kings seeds have fabulous plants and their seeds have a high germination rate.

Let me know if you want some Lacy phacelia seeds via post to hiff up on the bank, they seem to only take to direct sowing so they also might be ideal.

Cuttings of daisies, crawling rosemary and roots of Lambs ears in between?...admittedly out of date campanula, calendula, pansy, Crimson Clover, Blue Eyed Mary, red cabbage and freckles lettuce seeds were also thrown in the mix.

F18A26F7-E0B0-4430-9A19-0C2314B674BB.jpeg

 

5 hours ago, GoED said:

 

That’s amazing @GoED We initially planted berries on the site and covered with weed mat, when we moved to the Waikato. Pre bees and it was not one of our best decisions. On the plus side it has terraced the bank and made easier management. We pulled the berries out earlier in the year and mulched well, after planting lavender. 

It’s a case of out of site...out of mind ?. I’ve got stuck in the last couple of days ago, being totally delighted to find live Munsted lavender and with less losses, than I thought might be the case. A few pesky berry roots needed to be dealt with. I have a small area to weed and then will try to be more diligent....Nasturtium also ramble, if left. 

As to the purple palette.. maybe...just need to work and keeping on top of the buttercup, puha and grasses... It is bordered by a paddock.

There is the adjacent ‘hive to go’ or not and really early evening is the optimum time to work it. I was being checked out by guard bees during the day and it faces due east.

 

We planted artichoke from seed, in what was the vegetable garden along side. They come up again each season and make lovely bumblebee beds, when left to go to flower. 

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Your bank planting sounds wonderful Beefriendly. I was just out on ours weeding today too, holding on to a tree stump and clambering over a rambling rose. It’s pretty random, you have to like chaos. The bees appreciate all the flowers, and seem to have different ones to forage on each month. Haven’t fo.und a hungry gap yet but that’s sure to happen in January, by then the squash should give them something...it’s a learning curve this first Beek season. Yes we are also mulching our banks and the plants are enjoying the blanket to hold moisture in. 

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