Nectar Producing Plants near Honey-Pine Apiary
Honey bees make honey from the nectar of flowering plants. Nectar is a liquid material produced by most flowering plants which contains simple sugars and minerals in liquid form dissolved in water. There are many flowers which bloom in any given season, but honey bees only visit those flowers which produce nectar. Generally, flowers which have a very sweet smell about them produce nectar or are about to produce nectar.
Spring Flowering Honey Plants
There are more sources for honey in the spring than one might expect. Many wonder what the bees can forage on in March, April, and May. Near Honey-Pine Apiary we find woody plants that produce nectar and pollen during this time of year. The plants are poplar, maple, locus, willow, plumb, black cap raspberry, choke cherry, and apple. The soft tissue nectar and pollen plants are dandelion and crocus. When these nectars fill partial honey combs, the extracting process will mix these nectars with the early summer honeys and produce a light amber color and mild flavor honey. Some seasons produce a lot of black cap raspberry honey which in turn results in a distinctive naturally blackberry flavored honey.
Summer Flowering Honey Plants
The summer flowering plants which produce nectar can be found in a flower garden, along the edge of a road and in the lawn around your house. Even some of the trees and bushes which bloom in the summer produce nectar for the bees. Our summer honey is from flowers that bloom in June, July, and August. The summer flowering plants which produce significant amounts of nectar are:
Clover plants- e.g. yellow and white sweet clover, medium red clover, white dutch clover and alsyke clover.
Alfalfa, Birds foot trefoil, Spotted knapp weed, & thistles are among the most abundantly found nectar producing plants.
The linden or basswood tree which blooms in the summer
Of these, the major producers of nectar are the clover plants and the basswood tree.
I know that I have not listed all the summer flowering plants which produce nectar but in our area, these are the main plants. Some of the nectars from the flowers mentioned above will fill many honey combs and sometimes entire boxes of honey combs. With such quantities it is possible to separate these combs in the extracting process resulting in liquid honey with the distinct flavor of the floral souse. Hence many seasons we can get clover honey and basswood honey. These are the two most likely flavors of honey we produce from the summer flowers.
Fall Flowering Honey Plants
The fall flowering plants near Honey-Pine Apiary are somewhat limited. The most prevalent plants are: ankanasia, golden rod, aster, many varieties of kitchen herbs, sunflowers, and knotweed. The nectars from these plants usually show up in minor amounts mixed with late summer flower nectars on the same honey comb and will yield a light amber colored and mild flavored honey when all mixed together.