Buckwheat for Bees

I am pretty happy with my buckwheat. After the extra hot spring weather brought early flowering on many trees and shrubs, I wanted to make sure the bees didn’t go hungry later in the summer. I sowed the buckwheat seed in an area of soil which had been dug and flattened for the septic tank runoff, but won’t be completed with the drainage until the plumbing is finished later in the year. We had a couple good rains, and 4 weeks later the first flowers were out and filled with bees every morning. A rainy and hot month later the plants are almost as tall as me and full of flowers.
honey bees on buckwheat flowers
Buckwheat only releases nectar in the morning, so the bees seem to be very business like and efficient in harvesting. They carry a good amount of pale yellow-green pollen as well.

hoverfly on buckwheat flower
Hoverflies like Buckwheat flowers too 
buckwheat and bee
The leaves look a little like a convolvulus crossed with a succulent 
bee with pollen on buckwheat flowers
Look how worn out and ragged this bee’s wings are. Maybe having the buckwheat field near to the hive makes a difference to her.
bee on buckwheat flower
The pale yellow pollen carried on the bee’s back legs comes from down in the centre of the buckwheat flowers. This is like protein and an important food for the brood.
on buckwheat flower macro
This is a younger bee, fluffy, with nice smooth wings.

Buckwheat honey sounds interesting – people either love it or not. I’m keen to try it, but mostly I want the bees to have plenty of food in winter.



7 thoughts on “Buckwheat for Bees

  1. When you said triangular seeds I checked out its Latin name and found out it is what they call “sarrasin” or “black wheat” in French. It is used a lot here in their savoury pancakes and I love them. Also it is used in products for the gluten intolerant over here. I had fancied trying it this year and now that I’ve see your bees on the flowers it has spurred me on to try and find a place for it. Amelia

    1. It certainly has been a success for the bees. I’m not sure how easy it will be to get the seeds before birds or rodents do. We eat it in pancakes as well. Thanks for the info – I have read the word sarrasin but didn’t know that was buckwheat.

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