Planting for Your Honeybees: High Honey Production

As a backyard or urban beekeeper, you will need to ensure that your honeybees can find the pollen and nectar they need to build and support a healthy hive, and in the process, produce quality honey. Though your bees will go into other backyards and gardens to forage for pollen and nectar, your backyard should provide a plethora of flowers and plants that will provide the necessities for your bee colony.

Bees and Pollen

 

Plants with high nectar and/or pollen content are the best plants to fill your garden with. The following ten plants are particularly attractive to honeybees due to their high nectar and/or pollen content:

  1. Borage (Borago offcinalis)
  2. Lemon Balm/Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
  3. Phacelia (Phacela tanacetifolia)
  4. White Sweet Clover (Melilotus alba)
  5. Echium (Echium vulgare)
  6. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
  7. Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalus)
  8. Goldenrod (Solidago)
  9. Cornflower/Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea cyanus)
  10. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

You will need to check with your local nursery to see which of these plants are the best for your climate and area of the country. You should also consult with other local beekeepers to learn about other plants that are high in nectar and pollen that will contribute to higher rates of honey production.

You can also check out these website for more information:

“Plants for Honeybees,” The Melissa Garden: a Honeybee Sanctuary

“Guide to Bee-Friendly Gardens, Urban Bee Gardens

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Garden “To-Do List” Calendar

January
Begin your summer planting plans
Add an extra layer of compost around the garden
Water your evergreens regularly as long as temps are above freezing

February
Begin regular weeding
Add a bit of fertilizer to your borders, shrubs and rose bushes
Remove dead growth

March
Aerate the lawn and sow grass seed
Repot any of your potted plants to give them some fresh soil
Plant your summer bulbs

backyard-garden

April
Give young trees, shrubs and rose bushes any extra support with stakes
Keep up that weeding and cleaning up the garden beds

May
Do regular checks for slugs and snails
Place supports for any of your tall perennials
Tidy up any of your early flowering plants

June
Check for plant lice, pests, rust and other diseases
Fertilize your borders

water your garden regularly

July
Make sure to start a regular watering schedule to soak plants twice a week
Add a layer of mulch around the bases of your plants
Support and tie up tall plants

August
Keep ponds and water features cleaned up
Harvest vegetables as they become ripe
Deadhead flowering plants regularly

September
Feed your lawn with a fall treatment
Take down your hanging baskets and replace with winter friendly plants
Plant evergreens

prep your lawn for fall

October
Prep your ponds for fall
Clean up greenhouses and garden shed for winter
Divide your perennials
Rake up those leaves and use them as a mulch for perennials

November
Clean out pots / containers and place them upside down
Keep soil moist around your evergreens
Cover all perennials with a layer of leaves and compost

December
Disconnect your outside tap and insulate
Pick Christmas greenery from your garden
If frost free…all trees can be pruned and bulbs planted