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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
    Posts
    150

    Question

    Hi everybody

    My 4 hives are located in a field of red clover, and I almost never see them foraging it. The field is surrounded by a wild field (I mean not used for agriculture) and by woods. I know that bees find it difficult to forage red clover because of their tongue length. I waslooking around this week trying to see where the bees were going, because they seem to come and go a lot in front of the hives. But they fly so fast that it is hard to see where to. I finally found a lot of them not far from the small road in a bunch of Blue weed or viper's bugloss. Ther is a lot of fireweed around it too, but no bees on it.

    Is it a common situation ? And does anyone knows how good a honeyplant Blueweed is ?

    Thanks

    Hugo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Yes that seems ordinary. Honey Bees don't normally forage red clover, that's usually the domain of bumble bees who can reach the nectar.

    I can't say whether your blue weed is a harvestable crop or not though. There are relatively few poisonous honeys if that's your concern, but they have bee fairly documented I think. Things like Rododenron, and other azalaes are poisonous and a relative few other things. Can you identify the plant by its taxonomy? I can find out for you.


    ------------------
    --
    Scot Mc Pherson
    "Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
    Posts
    150

    Smile

    Blueweed or viper's bugloss is Echium vulgare. Here is a link with a picture of it: www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/echiumvulg.html

    And I didn't know that some honey can be poisonous because of the plant it come from. I will do a search on this forum to read more about it.

    My question about blueweed was more of the harvesting possibilities of this plant. And if red clover is no good for bees, how come we can hear about red clover honey?

    Just curious

    Hugo

    [This message has been edited by abeille (edited August 03, 2003).]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Well there is the possibility of poisonous honey, there are studies. Rododendron honey is poisonous for certain.

    I never heard of Red Clover Honey before.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
    Posts
    150

    Exclamation

    Here is where I read about red clover honey:
    www.honeylocator.com

    Select "Red Clover" and click "Learn more"

    Hugo

    [This message has been edited by abeille (edited August 03, 2003).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >>Red clover has large heads of rose-purple flowers.

    The long tubular florets tend to exclude a honey bee because of her medium tongue length.

    The honey is light amber. True clovers belong to the genus Trifolium, which includes a total of about 250 diverse species. The Dutch word for clubs is "klafer", which the three leaflets of clover plants resemble, may be the origin of the word "clover" (Evans, 1957). The term "clover" is also used as the common name of a few legumes with clover-like leaves, e.g. white sweet clover, Melilotus alba Desr., which is not a true clover.

    Hugo;
    The second sentence tells the tale.
    "The long tubular florets tend to exclude a honey bee because of her medium tongue length."
    The rest of the discription is a generality of clover honey, not just red clover.

    Well,that's the way I read it...

    Bill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    No he is right. That site does seem to describe Red Clover Honey ( though the description does seem rather generic), it even provides suppliers of Red Clover Honey, though I was under the real impression that Red Clover was not the domain of the honey bee.

    ------------------
    --
    Scot Mc Pherson
    "Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
    Posts
    150

    Smile

    I also saw the red clover honey "producers" and that is why I was wondering.

    What do you guys do when you can't really tell what plant the bees are foraging when you discribe your honey to consumers ? And do people buy less when they don't know what honey type they eat ?

    Hugo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Seems like I read somewhere that what we call red clover (often) is really something else. Pink clover? Just thought I'd add to the confusion.

    Dickm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    I call it 'wildflower'

    Bill

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