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Crimson clover provides an abundant source of nectar during the early spring just as the hive is set to do some serious foraging.

If you want this to happen, however, you need to do some planting in September (as we said in an earlier post).

The blooms of crimson clover are red and showy and make a wonderful addition to the landscape. They last for two to three weeks, occasionally longer. They will give the bees a lot to do while they are waiting for the white clover to spring forth.

Here’s a video of some early spring foraging by some of our bees. It won’t be hard to spot the crimson clover.


Bees in Action from Jim Stovall on Vimeo.


Key words: clover, crimson clover for bees, crimson clover planting in September, honeybees nutrition, light honey, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education


We put in our first planting of crimson clover this weekend.

We do this, of course, for the bees.

Crimson clover produces a long, beautiful bloom that is full of nectar for the bees.

Crimson clover produces a long, beautiful bloom that is full of nectar for the bees. In our garden, we plant several patches (see those in the upper background).

If all goes well, here’s what will happen: The clover seed will germinate and sprout fairly quickly (especially if we get rain). The clover will grow at a reasonable speed this fall so that where we have planted it, the ground will be covered in a deep, dark green. The plants will maintain this color after the fall frosts and through the winter. When warmer temperatures begin to creep in  next February and March, the clover will start to grow in height.

By early April, we will begin to see some blooms sprouting. Usually, in the second or third week of April (sometimes earlier), the long, deep-red blooms will appear.

The next thing you see will be the honeybees, and they will be everywhere.

Bees love this stuff. They make a very light, very sweet honey out of it. One year, the crimson clover was so abundant that we used up all our equipment and had to do an early extraction (late May) in order to free up the equipment to store more honey.

The blooms last two to three weeks.

Once they are gone, we cut the clover and use it for straw elsewhere in our garden. Or, we gather it up, store it in the barn and spread it on our planting the next September.

Crimson clover has become part of the routine we have to maintain a good environment and nutritious diet for the bees.

We’ll be posting more about crimson clover later this month.

Here’s what the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education site has to say about crimson clover.


Key words: honeybees nutrition, crimson clover for bees, light honey, clover, crimson clover planting in September, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

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Blount County Beekeepers Association

Join us

If you’re interested in joining the Blount County Beekeepers Association, call

Dale Hinkle
423-261- 5234


Kathy Flaherty
203-314- 0270


Welcome to the web site of the Blount County Beekeepers Association in Maryville, Tennessee.

This site will tell you a little about the association and how to become a member. It will also tell you a little about beekeeping.

Bees are an important part of our environment and particularly our agricultural system. They are also fascinating creatures.

We hope you will be interested enough to join us at some point, even if you're not interested in keeping bees. There are lots of ways you can join in with what we do.

Follow us on Twitter at @blountbees.

Schedule of BCBA meetings for 2019

The Blount County Beekeepers Association meets on the second Monday of every month, except for September and December, at 6:30 p.m. at the Maryville Church of Christ, 611 Sherwood Drive in Maryville.

All of the meetings are open to the public, and anyone interested in learning more about beekeeping is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The following is the schedule of meetings and activities for 2018:

January 14 – regular meeting

February 11 – regular meeting

February 16 – BCBA short course for new beekeepers

TBA– New Beekeepers class

March 11 – regular meeting

March 17 -Wooden Ware class

April 8 – regular meeting

April  27-Field Day for new beekeepers

May 13 – regular meeting

June 10 – regular meeting

July 8 – regular meeting

August 12 – regular meeting

October 14 – regular meeting

November 11 – regular meeting

December 9 – Christmas dinner

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