Excellent forage for honey bees. Ball Clover produces an average of 840 mature flower heads per square yard compared with 315 for white clover and 300 for crimson clover.
From an article by George S. Ayers, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, published in the November 2008 issue of American Bee Journal: ""Several times during May he checked a 30-acre field of white clover in full bloom growing on good bottom land and found only a few bees working it. At the same time, a 15-acre field of ball clover on adjoining hill-land was "alive with honey bees". Both clover plantings were within 1/4 mile of a 30-hive apiary.""
""As a honey plant, Ball Clover appears to have great possibilities. I have been told by a Plant Materials Specialist of the Soil Conservation Service that bees will store about three times more honey from Ball Clover than from White Clover."" G. Perkins, Louisiana Soil Conservation Department
From my own experience, utilizing Ball Clover as a combination forage for cattle, bees, and wildlife as well as a cover crop has proven to be an exceptional asset to our operations. The small sowing rate and high yield combined with the high protien and nitrogen production of this clover make it the most cost effective seed that I have ever worked with. The first stand is impressive, but each season gets better and better as it reseeds itself so well. For Bee Keepers, Ball Clover is something that you should seriously consider, as the uses can benefit your own cattle, sheep, goats, horses, deer, turkey, crop fields, orchards, etc... For those that keep their bees on property that is not their own, Ball Clover may be mutually benefial to both you and the land owner thus costs and benefits may be shared, or at the very least, the benefits can build lasting relationships between bee keepers and property owners.
Sold in 1/2#, 1#, or 25#.
Broadcast at a rate of 1-3 lbs per acre. The seeds are very tiny, averaging about 1 million seeds per lb, so it is recommended that it be spread with some other seeds such as annual rye grass. Sow dates change according to location, but the seeds are very cold tolerant and can usually be sown in early fall and again in late winter when the snow is just starting to melt.