White Clover, also known as Trifolium repens, turns your lawn green and feeds our honey bees too! White clover has a good pollen and nectar count and is a contributor to those lovely multi-floral honeys we love. A great way to maximise gardens for bee food diversity. The honey bees love it!
Highlighting the issue of urban spread affecting the diverse foraging needs of pollinators; our manicured lawns, golf courses, roadsides and other managed turf-grass surfaces; add mono culture farmlands to this mix and it is clear that both our urban and rural environments need help developing and maintaining the bee food diversity that is critical to honey bee health.
Michelle Wisdom from the Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Centre conducted research on flowering plants that can add season-long habitat for pollinating insects to warm-season turf-grass lawns. The result? White Clover is great!
Originating from SE Europe and part of SW Asia Minor, it has lovely pink or white flowers and as a perennial plant tolerates poor or dry soils, while thriving when soil gets water logged. It’s a great nitrogen producer, leaving enough behind in the soil; growing from seed & spreads through a shallow root system.
It is attractive and low maintenance, gorgeously soft to walk on, offering a pleasant smell. For doggie lovers, it is immune to ‘dog patches’, the discoloration by female dog urine. Even better it needs no fertilizers, stays green all summer with little or no watering in most parts of SA. Relatively drought-tolerant, it will remain green until the first frost, and in winter rainfall areas, stay green all winter.
White Clover is best planted in spring and summer.
There is no reason not to turn your gorgeous lawn into a lawn both you and your honey bees can enjoy!
WHITE CLOVER BEE PLANT VALUE N0-1 P1-3
Saving our bees is not just about making less toxic environments for them. We also need to focus on what we feed them. Like us they need a balanced diet. A healthy spread of pollen and nectar from a good diverse selection of flowers to choose from. From these flowers they forge for protein from pollen and they get their carbohydrates, sugars, from nectar. Bee-effective and plant Good Bee Food, for you and your honey bees.
Ref Beeplant values: sanbi.org / Beeplants of South Africa, M.F. Johannsmeier