Good Forage

 

Honeybees have a short proboscis, so they prefer flowers that don’t have deep throats or large flower heads that require reaching too deeply in to get to the nectar.  Each bee only makes 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, so for any type of flower to be a major source of honey production, there needs to be a lot of them blooming at once.  A typical managed flower garden will be visited by the bees, but will not provide a major source of honey.

Large areas of native flowering plants, or fields of hay, clover, alfalfa, dandelions, wild mustard, goldenrod and asters provide good honey flows.

Surprisingly, many trees provide good nectar and pollen sources for bees.  Maple and willow pollen are the first ready in the spring.  Basswood or Linden trees make an excellent light honey.

Even invasive species plants like the star thistle provide good honey flows where they are abundant.

Honeybees have the habit of only visiting one type of flower on each trip out of the hive.  That is why large areas of the same plant yield the best honey flows.

 

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