Bees play an important role, helping to pollinate plants. Planting the right combination of plants is a great way of attracting these insects to your yard. But which type of clover will bees like best?
Bees will like a wide range of clover. Some of the most popular varieties include; Alsike, Crimson, Sweet, and White. The bees will be attracted to the high nectar and pollen count of these flowers.
Using the right type of clover is a great way to support the pollinating insects in your area. Keep reading to learn more about the best types of clover in your area.
Best Types of Clover for Bees
There are many types of clover available. Though some are better suited to your local conditions. The best types of clover for bees include:
- Alsike clover. This is the best type of clover in the United States for attracting bees. Plus, it will be easy to cultivate. It’s a hardy plant that will do well in wet soils and be able to survive harsh winter conditions.
- Crimson clover. This is common in southern parts of the country, often preferring drier soils. These are known for the distinctive red flowers produced when in bloom.
- Sweet clover. This is also known for being very hardy. It will be able to live in places where water doesn’t fall very frequently. It’s also a good choice for areas that experience high temperatures.
- White clover. This is fairly easy to cultivate. It will be able to survive in a wide range of climates. However, it tends to do best in cooler locations.
Choosing the Right Type of Clover for Your Bees
As we can see, there are plenty of clover options for you to choose from. This raises an important question. Often, each type of clover will come with its own set of pros and cons. How can you make sure that you are choosing the right variety?
First, you’ll need to consider the environment in your local area. Think about the type of soil and the weather. You want to pick a type of clover that will be suited to the local conditions. Ideally, it should be easy for you to cultivate a crop.
The next thing that you should think about is the amount of pollen that the clover will be producing. The good news is that bees will be attracted to all types of clover. All species will be rich in pollen and nectar.
Finally, you don’t need to stick to one type of clover. Try mixing a few varieties. This ensures that you are prepared for a wide range of growing conditions. While some types of clover will grow better in your local area, the bees won’t differentiate between clover varieties.
Do Bees Get Pollen or Nectar From Clover?
Bees are attracted to flowers to gather the resources needed to make honey. To do this, they will need to gather two types of materials. First, they will suck nectar from the flower. This will be stored in a gland on their back. Secondly, they will need to get the small pollen particles.
The good news is that clover has high concentrations of both. This is the reason why bees are so attracted to clover flowers.
How Bees Decide What Flower to Visit
Bees have a range of deciding what type of flower they are going to visit. This includes:
- Color. Some plants will use bright patterns and vibrant colors. This can help attract the attention of bees.
- Scent. Many flowers will make a nice aroma when they are in bloom. This isn’t just pleasant for humans. Bees will also be able to detect this smell. It might be enough to pique their interest and get them to land on the flower.
- Electrical field. Interestingly, bees might be able to sense the electrical field around a flower. They might be able to use this to decide whether they want to visit and pollinate. This article goes into more detail about this theory.
Taste of Clover Honey
The way that the honey will taste is often influenced by the type of flowers that the bees gathered the pollen and nectar from. As a result, beekeepers will often cultivate fields of clover. This is because of the delicious flavor that clover honey will produce. There are a few things that help set this type of honey apart. These are:
- Color. Traditionally, honey will be yellow. However, clover honey will be a lot lighter. It can almost appear to be white.
- Smell. Clover honey will also have a pleasant aroma. It will smell like a grassy field.
- Taste. One of the biggest benefits of clover honey is its unique flavor. It will be sweet and will be fairly subtle. You will often be able to pick up some flowery overtones. There won’t be any bitterness, which can sometimes be associate with regular honey.
Even though the taste may be a little different, you’ll still be able to get the same health benefits associated with regular honey. This includes antiviral protection and a low amount of sugar when compared to some other types of sweeteners. You can read more about the benefits that come from clover sugar here.
Plus, the high nectar and pollen content will yield a lot of honey. It’s estimated that an acre of clover will be able to produce around 500 pounds of honey. Because of this, bees that have a lot of clover in the area will make an excess of honey.
Other Types of Plants That Bees Will Like
While clover might be a great choice for attracting bees, it isn’t the only type of plant that you can use. Some other options that you might want to explore include:
- Goldenrod. This will flower during the winter months. As a result, it can be a great source of pollen. Some species will rely on this type of flower to help them get through the winter months.
- Lupine. Not only are these types of plants beautiful, but they also produce some high-quality pollen.
- Milkweeds. These are one of the most common species, with the weed found across the United States. Because of this, it shouldn’t be too difficult to propagate. But the nectar will have high sugar content. This will produce the same sweet, white sugar that clover has become famous for.
Tips for Attracting More Bees
The flowers that you have aren’t the only things that will determine how many bees visit your garden. There are a few simple actions you can do to make your yard more attractive to pollinators. First, you should consider the type of pesticides that you are using. You don’t want to accidentally be killing them.
It’s also a good idea to group flowers. You’ll want to make sure that they have different colored flower blooms. If possible, the blooms should be different sizes. This will ensure that you are attracting a wide range of bees to your yard.
It’s a good idea to use local flowers. Bees have evolved with these flowers. They will know them and the type of pollen or nectar they produce. Plus, these flowers are well adjusted to the local conditions. This will make it easier to keep them alive.
Finally, consider when the flowers will be blooming. If possible, you want to choose something that will bloom in every season of the year. This will help you appeal to several types of bee species.
Clover is one of the most popular plants in the United States. There are multiple types of clover, each better suited to a slightly different set of climate conditions. This makes them fairly easy for you to propagate. The bees will love this type of flower because it has a high pollen and nectar content. Plus, the honey produced by this flower has a delicious taste, known for its fruity flavors and sweetness. So, plant some clover in your yard to attract the bees.