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Planting for Flavor


#1

Hi Everyone. I’m looking for plant recommendations to improve the honey flavor produced by my (future) hive. My favorite honey came from a hive surrounded by jasmine vines. So I’m definitely planning to put in some jasmine - a midsummer-fall blooming varietal. I’ve also got some Wild Bergamot and Coral Honeysuckle in the yard. What I need to fill are several large (1.5-2.5" across) planters, possibly with spring blooming plants. Washington, DC, zone 7, here - but I figure recommendations for any zone would be useful to other folks in the community. TIA. :yum:


#2

Ermm, how many thousand acres do you have to plant? :smiling_imp:

Sorry, I know your question is serious, but our bees just will NOT take instructions. If you put the hive in a huge concentration of a defined nectar flow, they will gather it.

It you plant a few shrubs and containers around your hive, they will sip a little, but they need MUCH MORE than that. Some sources say that it takes 2 million flowers worth of nectar to produce one pound of honey. As each deep frame has around 6 lbs of honey, do you have space for 12 million flowers per frame? :smile:

I am sure others will have more defined answers, but unless you intend to “go commercial” and move your hives into specialist crop areas, you will generally get “wildflower” honey, which will be a blend of whatever is in season, and very slightly modified by what you plant around the hive.

If you are looking for great tasting honeys, my all time favorite is Lavender, so I would plant a ton of that (I have in fact). Even if it doesn’t dominate the honey flavor, I can dream that I am tasting it! :smile:


#3

This last early summer I bought several 5 new fruit trees to replace the very aging trees about my yard. I’ve added a apple, plum, sweet cherry, sour pie cherry, Asian pear n a persimmon. That should help flavor my early nectar flow as they grow n develop
more each year. I do have some lavender n other herbs that keep my bees like sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano plus basil. Hope this might give you some ideas. I enjoy using the fresh herbs in my cooking and if I help the Bees it’s another PLUS !

Out here in Washington State,
Gerald


#4

Ha. You have a very good point. I’m in an urban area, so the bees have PLENTY of variety and I do understand that they will take whatever they can get w/in the flight radius of the hive. I’m just hopeful that some of the closest plantings will have some influence.

ETA: Lavender is a good suggestion, and there is tons of it in the neighborhood because it makes a nice ornamental. I’ve never had luck growing it, but maybe if I start early w/ seedlings in the house, I’ll succeed this year. :smiley:


#5

Zepto, my small property will help my bees but not support them, I also live in outer suburbs (on the edge of both). So guessing mine will forage there n wide. The nearby patches of natural forest will help me as well as the variety of plants that friends n neighbors plant n have as well. I have a small but productive veggie garden so know the addition of bees will add to my success there as well. I have a small waterfall n pond to give my bees the beverage they need too. And as you see a few clucks for eggs.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend !


#6

3-day weekend. I can’t complain! Hopefully yours is going well too.

I have blueberries, lots of mint, and a little veggie/herb garden as well. Also, one of those little lima bean ponds which has, in the past, been the water source for a nearby wild have. Sadly, that hive may be no more – apparently it was in the walls of a house 1/2 a block away – due to improper removal treatments by the homeowner. Still, here’s a pic of the neighboring girls, visiting my pond.


#7

Hi again… The girls do like mint ! I like your pond. Just small n simple like life should be, phải không ? That’s “Right?” In Vietnamese … My adopted grandaughter is Vn.

A friend of mine where I buy my bee supplies has been letting me reacquaint myself by working with one of his hives. So I
drive out n check them weekly …, sometime they’re hookered down n see nothing except a dead worker n other times they are busy on winter purging flights. It been a great winter n excited to get me bees mid April or close to that here. Guessing it’s dark on that side already.

Enjoy your evening,
Gerald


#8

They were very busy the week before !