Because floral resources affect bee reproduction and mortality of larvae,
and because large numbers of bees are introduced into seed fields, one way
to improve bee yields may be to increase floral resources late in the
season. Planting alternative bloom to increase nectar availability, or to
increase both nectar and pollen late in the season, may improve bee yields.
Some growers already plant buckwheat to provide alternative leaf sources.
This plant also provides additional nectar and pollen. If buckwheat planting
is timed so that it blooms after peak alfalfa bloom, the buckwheat won't
interfere with alfalfa pollination. Clipping or mowing a strip of alfalfa
around the time of bee release to stagger bloom time may also provide flower
resources for the bees, as well as providing a trap crop to attract insect
pests late in the season. (see "clipping options”, slide show 5)