FoodProduction101

Bees in the Garden

Tuesday 6-19-2012

My next permaculture homework assignment revolves around bee flora. At this point, I am not interested in keeping bees for honey. It stores forever, therefore it is much easier for me to store a surplus of honey, than to focus my energies on learning beekeeping. I can only do so many things. I certainly don’t rule it out, but it is low on my priority list. I do however realize the importance of bees in the garden. Many fruits and vegetables need multiple pollinations to achieve a healthy fruit. So simply having a few bees around is not enough if you want to have a thriving garden and ecosystem. I am fortunate to have a plethora of bees throughout my garden, so I wanted to analyze the plants that bees like that I currently grow, and see if there are any gaps in the flowering periods that the bees might need to keep them healthy. If so, I wanted to add some new plants that might bolster those gaps, and also provide other functions.

 

Bee on my white clover

 

My current bee friendly plants and flowering periods

Apples- April, May

Basil- July, August, September

Beans- June, July, August

Blackberry- May, June

Blueberry- May

Cherries- April

Cilantro- May, June, July, August, September

Clovers- May, June

Corn- July, August, September

Cucumbers- July, August, September

Dandelion- April, May

Gourds- October

Honeysuckle- May, June

Lemon Balm- July, August

Lillies- May, June, July, August

Maples- April

Marjoram- June, July

Milkweed- June, July

Mint- July, August

Nectarines- April, May

Pears- April, May

Peas- May, June, October

Peppers- June, July, August, September

Plums- April, May

Raspberries- May, June, July, August

Sage- May, June

Squash- July, August, September

Strawberries- April, May, June

Thyme- June, July

Tomatoes- May, June, July, August, September

Watermelon- July, August

Yarrow- June, July

 

Yarrow                                                                                                 Lillies

 

Bee friendly plants I would like to add, with additional functions

Black Locust- April/ Excellent long lasting timber, Nutrient accumulator, Nitrogen fixer, Nurse plant, Great for furniture, fence posts, and firewood

 

Borage- June, July, August, September/ Nutrient accumulator, edible leaves and flowers, medicinal uses for PMS, menopause, colds, bronchitis, respiratory infections, anti-inflammatory

 

Chamomile German-May, June/ Nutrient accumulator, Edible flower, Medicinal for stomach problems, sleep aid, bactericidal, mild laxative, and anti-inflammatory. Flowers boiled make a nice gargle for a toothache, and can be used for tea as well.

 

Comfrey- June, July, August/ Toilet paper, Wound healer, Moisturizer, Beneficial Insect attractor, Root extract speeds recovery of bone injuries, Nutrient accumulator, Mulch, Compost, Soil aerator

 

Echinacea-July, August, September/ Immune system stimulator, laxative, reduces cold and flu symptoms, ornamental 

 

Hyssop-July, August, September, October/ Bitter mint flavor can be used sparingly in soups, meats, and salads, medicinal use for lung problems, and can be used in cologne.

 

Marigolds (Heirloom)-May, June, July, August, September, October/ Nutrient accumulator, Insect pest deterrent, good companion plant, pioneer plant

 

Mulberry-April/ Nurse plant, pioneer tree, hugelkultur, sweet edible berries, berries make good pies, wine, and tea.

 

Persimmon- May/ Edible fruits prepared in a variety of ways, wood can be used in some furniture applications, hugelkultur

 

Rosemary- July, August, September, October/ Medicinal to stimulate the mind, great edible herb for meat and fish, ornamental that grows well without much water

 

Sunflowers- July, August, September/ Nutrient accumulator, edible seeds, sunflower oil, toxic soil cleaner

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