Bees and Blossoms
Finding the Right Combination
Not all bees are created equal. Of the 22,000 known species of bees, only 7 species are recognized as true honey bees. According to Wikipedia, "Honey bees are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax." Of these seven species, A. mellifera and A. cerana indica are the most commonly kept bees for pollination and honey production.
Maintaining a healthy apiary (or bee yard) requires several considerations. Weather, available foraging land, the size of the bees, and the number of hives can all affect the quality of the bees' work, whether in pollination or in honey production. Beekeepers must also be alert to vandalism, competition, and CCD. For more information on modern beekeeping, visit this article on Wikipedia.org.
If you're trying to attract bees to your garden or looking to harvest the best honey, the types of flowers available to your bees matter. Different kinds of flowers actually affect the quality and flavor of the honey, and not all flowers attract bees.
Bring All the Bees to the Yard
News flash: Bees can't see the color red! When selecting plants to attract bees, steer toward blooms of white, yellow, blue and purple. Here's a list of top ten favorite flora for bees.
- Ox-eye Daisy
While the aforementioned blooms may make your bees' mouths water, they don't necessarily produce the best honey, nor are they the most practical options for bee pasturage. The following plants have withstood the test (and taste) of time as the best honey sources. For more information, visit Countryfarm-lifestyles.com/honey-plants.html
- White Clover
- Red Clover
- Alsike Clover
- Orange Blossom
- Cover Crops