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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Randleman, NC, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    I am a new beekeeper and my hives were unable to make any honey this year. I am now having to feed them and I am concerned about them being able to survive the winter. A local farmer has a couple of large fields of soybean planted a few miles down the road. I was wondering if it would be worth it to move my hives over there when they start blooming?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,051

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    Yea - I have been wondering the same thing. I am surrounded by soy beans. I have been told 'Maybe" - depends on the variety of soybean as well as the weather when they are in flower - so guess I really do not know, but from the looks of the soybeans I should know in a coupla weeks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Randleman, NC, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    Yeah, I have heard conflicting stories too, asked the farmer what type of soybean he planted and he laughed and said they are plain old soybeans!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Burke, SD, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    We make soybean honey from time to time. It requires high heat and humidity to produce. It should have a light green tint. It is never a significant source of honey but it may keep your hives going.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,051

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    Well - we certainly have the high heat and humidity - not too sure about the light green color though..... looks like a fine stand of beans and probably gonna start to flower soon..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    You might have seen this:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...light=soybeans

    The speaker at our bee meeting - when he referred to long season beans - said if the plants were already growing good...knee high or so (mid-June in Alabama)...they were likely long season type. Short season type just planting or will be soon. Might ask the farmer where he bought the seed...check with supplier on type. Could save you a useless move.

    Ram - do you have the ability to plant even a small area of buckwheat? Garden spot? 1/2 acre weed patch or so? Maybe that farmer happens to have a "corner" or fallow area that he would plant for you if you provide the seed and a little fuel money. If he likes honey - you might even strike a future deal there.

    The stuff will emerge in 4-5 days and be in full bloom in about that many weeks...with ample moisture, of course. The bees love it! (I just sowed my third patch for the year)

    BTW-how many hives are you trying to feed?

    Tony

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    chicken Chaser is correct it depends on the Beans..... Our honey flow is so bad here I staggerd teh been seeding to give longer flower open time... ( I have beens on 3 sides of me)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Randleman, NC, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    I have 2 hives and my Father has 2 more but his were well established and were able to collect more Poplar honey than mine. Here in central NC, that seems to be the only bloom that has produced so far this year.

    I had heard that buckwheat made a good dark honey but will have to search for a field to plant it in.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Burke, SD, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    Well - we certainly have the high heat and humidity - not too sure about the light green color though..... looks like a fine stand of beans and probably gonna start to flower soon..
    I should have been more clear, the honey will have a light green tint to it. Sorry.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,051

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    Here in SE NC I have 3 hives and 1 nuc, with 20 acres of beautiful Soybeans in the backyard - Pretty sure they are the long season variety with harvest most likely in early Nov. So from what I read here it sounds like there is hope.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DeKalb Co. Alabama U.S.A.
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    HPM - let us know how it turns out for you. Hard to beat first hand experience!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    I pulled soybean honey yesterday and the girls are still on the flow.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    I have bees about 1/2 mile from soybeans. The beans have a purple bloom and bees are on them. Seems to be a good honey flow.
    .
    Don't think you are on the right road simply because it is a well worn pathway.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Pittsburg, [Willamson County] Illinois, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    I use to get 2 or 3 supers of soy bean honey in south east Mo.a season. The indeterminant beans are better than the determant beans they keep on blooming and the determant ones only bloom a short while. The honey was very light & good quality. However in southern illinois i have yet to get any.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Randleman, NC, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    Thanks for all the info, will move them when they start blooming.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    985

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    I believe it also depends on soil type. In most years bees make soybean honey in western ky and Missouri. However in areas east of I 65 soybeans typically dont yield nectar....in my area never made a crop. BEWARE SOYBEAN SEED ARE INCAPULATED WITH INSECTICIDE YES THE SYSREMIC INSECTICIDE NEONICTINOIDS! Just a note for possiable problems!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,304

    Default Re: Can bees make honey from soybeans?

    I'm right next to a 100+ acre field of soybeans. My first year of harvesting honey ('07) they produced a crop for me that was equal to my clover harvest! The soybeans were planted in early May after harvesting winter wheat. The next year I expected more of the same but rain kept the farmer out of the fields until the beginning of July when he planted soybeans ('08). The flowers were the same color (purple) but the bees sat on their respective porches from late July on and completely ignored the late planted soybeans that appeared (to me) to be the same as the '07 beans.

    The farmer this year was able to the beans in early this year. They look good so far but haven't started blooming yet. I'm harvesting this weekend as my supers are full from vetch and clover that's now coming to an end. The empty supers will tell the story if the long season beans produce honey or not. We just got a little rain this morning (.50) so they should start blooming shortly. Fingers crossed.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

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