Due to the diverse audience this forum has, both in general knowledge and in geographical location, I just have to try and clear up something that's been puzzling me for a few years now. Here it is:
Ever since I've gone to visit in-laws in Russia over the past five years, I've been exposed to beekeeping in Russia; a country with a climate that is fairly cold (at least in the regions I've visited). I keep running into a plant source (actually, a tree) from which the bees typically gather a lot of nectar each year and from which a lot of creamed honey is made (it's kind of a whitish-yellow colour). This tree is called a lime tree. I have also seen this referred to in Russian classical novels that have translated it as "lime trees". This tree lines the walkways at Peterhoff (not all together that far away from the artic circle). I have never seen it in bloom and certainly have never seen any "limes" on it!
Now there is something just inherently wrong with this picture (or perhaps, wrong with my thinking of what the devil a lime tree is). Isn't a lime tree kind of a "tropical" tree (like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc.)?
I have always thought there must be some problem with the translation of this tree's name. I've researched this a little on the net and I've found a 'linen tree' (or some such thing...going from memory here) and have wondered if, perhaps, that's not the tree. But I'm not familiar with that tree either. Can anyone shed any light on this puzzle?
I believe you are refering to the linden tree (also called the lime tree). Here in the US we call this tree basswood. I read at sci.agri.beekeeping from a Russian beekeeper that there bees were especially well adapted to gather from red clover and linden (basswood).
Well you got me caught up in the search also.
"The flowers possess a nectar which attracts bees and produces a strong flavored honey. When this tree is in flower it will be full of bees, hence its common name "Bee Tree". During the three weeks that the Lindens bloom, bees forsake most other flowers. The honey that they make of Linden nectar is white in color, and regarded as high in quality. "
[This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited August 30, 2003).]
Thanks guys for helping to put a five year old mystery to rest!
Yes, now basswood, I recgonize; that's a light coloured, soft wood that drafting boards used to be made out of (kinda giving away my age here - now that everything's done on a computer). So if it's also known as a lime tree (I have no idea why!), then it's not a "translation" problem as I had once thought. It's got to be the "linden tree" that fits the bill - and the creamed honey it produces is very tasty. Thanks again for the solution.