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  • Matthew Sarver
    Hi Debbie - Ernst Conservation Seed is the major supplier of native seed in the northeast. I ve been happy with their seed quality and customer service. They
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 4, 2009
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      Hi Debbie -

       

      Ernst Conservation Seed is the major supplier of native seed in the northeast.  I've been happy with their seed quality and customer service.  They will do custom mixes for an additional fee (I believe it is 5%).  Their URL is http://www.ernstseed.com/

       

      I'm curious how you've chosen some of the species you mention in your email, since some of them are not native to your region?  You may also want to check out the NAPPC Ecogregional Pollinator planting guides: http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm

       

      If you are interested in further assistance with your project, I am available as a consultant for pollinator habitat design and planning.  Please contact me off-list if you are interested. 

       

      Hope this helps. 

       

      Best,

      Matt

       

      Matthew Sarver
      Sarver Ecological Consulting
      173 Wallace Rd
      Blairsville, PA 15717
      Cell: 724-689-5845
    • Liz Day
      ... A good question..... Actually I wonder if it may be good to deliberately include some exotic plants for pollinators (provided these plants are not invasive
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 4, 2009
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        >I'm curious how you've chosen some of the species you mention in
        >your email, since some of them are not native to your region?


        A good question.....

        Actually I wonder if it may be good to deliberately include some
        exotic plants for pollinators (provided these plants are not invasive
        pests in their region, which must be carefully checked region by
        region!).
        I wonder if, in terms of the amount and timing of bee food value for
        the amount of human effort, some clovers and vetches are not more
        valuable than natives on some sites (such as mowed or low maintenance
        sites), and thus should be included, rather than automatically
        blackballed as "exotic". In the UK I believe that these legumes have
        been found to have nutritious pollen. Here, they could be controlled
        to bloom at times when the native bloom is scarce.

        Liz Day
        Indiana, east-central USA
      • Wilson, Michael E
        I m currently doing bee visitation trials of some mixes from americanmeadows.com They have a native to North America mix too. The native mix is the most
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 5, 2009
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          RE: [beemonitoring] Flower Seed Mixes

          I'm currently doing bee visitation trials of some mixes from americanmeadows.com They have a native to North America mix too. The 'native' mix is the most expensive, least diverse (as far as what came up), but seems to have the best bee food plants in it. It does not have the Cosmos that other mixes of theirs has. I would add some cosmos to it if I was establishing my own pollinator plot, adding this for late season resources for native bees. I'm very pleased with the ease of establishment and visual effect of the three mixes of theirs that I've used. The plots are in their second year. This spring required some weeding out of morning glory that would have likely overtook the plots.

          As far as providing mass resources for bee food, the mixes are not holding up in comparison to buckwheat, yellow clover, and vetch. Bumblebees like the vetch. I would predict any clover would provide more food then the flower mixes. I suspect brassica's would be really good bee food too. I don't think flowering field/cover crops can be matched for bee food, but sustained flowering through the season must be considered.

          The 'native' mix is still good however. Monarda citriodora seems to be very attractive to bumble bees. Partidge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculatais) is good for wild birds and bees too. Coreopsis lanceolata and Salvia coccinea are some other highlights from the 'native' mix. A mix of just those would be a pretty nice native to North America mix, and probably cheaper to mix your own.

          Good luck,
          Michael Wilson
          University of Tennessee


          -----Original Message-----
          From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Liz Day
          Sent: Thu 6/4/2009 10:48 PM
          To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Flower Seed Mixes


          >I'm curious how you've chosen some of the species you mention in
          >your email, since some of them are not native to your region?


          A good question.....

          Actually I wonder if it may be good to deliberately include some
          exotic plants for pollinators (provided these plants are not invasive
          pests in their region, which must be carefully checked region by
          region!).
          I wonder if, in terms of the amount and timing of bee food value for
          the amount of human effort, some clovers and vetches are not more
          valuable than natives on some sites (such as mowed or low maintenance
          sites), and thus should be included, rather than automatically
          blackballed as "exotic".  In the UK I believe that these legumes have
          been found to have nutritious pollen.  Here, they could be controlled
          to bloom at times when the native bloom is scarce.

          Liz Day
          Indiana, east-central USA








        • Crumbling.Deana@epamail.epa.gov
          Although not native, I have found crocuses to be important to honeybees. Crocuses will bloom in late winter, well before spring really hits. If there is a
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 5, 2009
          Although not native, I have found crocuses to be important to honeybees.
          Crocuses will bloom in late winter, well before spring really hits. If
          there is a brief warm-up, honeybees can come out (as was the case this
          year). Nothing else is really available to them. (Since both the bee and
          the plant are from Europe, it is not surprising there is some
          synchronization.) My crocus patch this year was covered with honeybees
          frantically going after the pollen.

          If you can put in bushes or small trees, Amorpha fruticosa(false indigo
          bush) is wildly popular with bumblebees and is deer resistant.

          A good website is http://www.bumblebee.org/FlowerlistUS.htm

          Something to remember is that there are more than just bees out there
          that are having a hard time. There are also butterflies, moths, etc.
          etc., that could use a helping hand with food plants for their
          catepillars. There are some species that utilize only 1 plant, so adding
          more of their plants "out there" can only help.


          Deana Crumbling, M.S.
          Environmental Scientist | Technology Innovation Program
          ü Please consider the environment before printing this email
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          From: "Wilson, Michael E" <mwilso14@...>

          To: <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>

          Date: 06/05/2009 08:45 AM

          Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Flower Seed Mixes













          I'm currently doing bee visitation trials of some mixes from americanmeadows.com
          They have a native to North America mix too. The 'native' mix is the most
          expensive, least diverse (as far as what came up), but seems to have the best bee
          food plants in it. It does not have the Cosmos that other mixes of theirs has. I
          would add some cosmos to it if I was establishing my own pollinator plot, adding
          this for late season resources for native bees. I'm very pleased with the ease of
          establishment and visual effect of the three mixes of theirs that I've used. The
          plots are in their second year. This spring required some weeding out of morning
          glory that would have likely overtook the plots.

          As far as providing mass resources for bee food, the mixes are not holding up in
          comparison to buckwheat, yellow clover, and vetch. Bumblebees like the vetch. I
          would predict any clover would provide more food then the flower mixes. I suspect
          brassica's would be really good bee food too. I don't think flowering field/cover
          crops can be matched for bee food, but sustained flowering through the season must
          be considered.

          The 'native' mix is still good however. Monarda citriodora seems to be very
          attractive to bumble bees. Partidge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculatais) is good for
          wild birds and bees too. Coreopsis lanceolata and Salvia coccinea are some other
          highlights from the 'native' mix. A mix of just those would be a pretty nice
          native to North America mix, and probably cheaper to mix your own.

          Good luck,
          Michael Wilson
          University of Tennessee


          -----Original Message-----
          From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Liz Day
          Sent: Thu 6/4/2009 10:48 PM
          To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Flower Seed Mixes


          >I'm curious how you've chosen some of the species you mention in
          >your email, since some of them are not native to your region?


          A good question.....

          Actually I wonder if it may be good to deliberately include some
          exotic plants for pollinators (provided these plants are not invasive
          pests in their region, which must be carefully checked region by
          region!).
          I wonder if, in terms of the amount and timing of bee food value for
          the amount of human effort, some clovers and vetches are not more
          valuable than natives on some sites (such as mowed or low maintenance
          sites), and thus should be included, rather than automatically
          blackballed as "exotic". In the UK I believe that these legumes have
          been found to have nutritious pollen. Here, they could be controlled
          to bloom at times when the native bloom is scarce.

          Liz Day
          Indiana, east-central USA
        • Harold Ikerd
          Deana- You or others might find this useful: Attached is a listing by State of bee attractive plants with number of bees specimens and number of bee species
          Message 5 of 6 , Jun 5, 2009
          Deana-

          You or others might find this useful:
          Attached is a listing by State of bee attractive plants with number of bees specimens and number of bee species caught off of each floral taxon. Please note that this data is western-centric. Our Eastern US collections of bees are very limited and generally limited to specific areas. I've also attached a Google earth file [USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory.kml] of collection intensity so as not to misrepresent why some states have "only a few bee attractive plants".

          Data was pulled from:

          U. S. National Pollinating Insects Database, United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory, Logan, Utah (Accessed 2009-05-VI)

          All the best,
          H


          On Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 10:43 AM, <Crumbling.Deana@...> wrote:
          >
          > [Attachment(s) from Crumbling.Deana@... included below]
          >
          >
          > Although not native, I have found crocuses to be important to honeybees
          .


          --
          HW Ikerd
          Hikerd@...
          435-764-5936(cell) NEW NUMBER
          435-797-2425(work)

        • frozenbeedoc@cs.com
          Hey Diana, I m glad to hear that crocus is a good plant for honey bees, but Feb/March/April they are also ready to jump on a number of trees for pollen
          Message 6 of 6 , Jun 7, 2009
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            Hey Diana,

            I'm glad to hear that crocus is a good plant for honey bees, but Feb/March/April they are also ready to jump on a number of trees for pollen sources.  maybe not so noticable as they are often tall trees.  Red maple is a good example.  Lots of pollen for early rearing of brood, but not so much in the way of nectar.  Have to check hives in early spring on warm days to be sure that the bees have enough honey left to make it to spring, as once the pollen starts coming in, the queen cranks up to lay eggs.

            Anita Collins
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