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Thread: Buckwheat honey

  1. #1
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    May 2007
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    Hays, Kansas, USA
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    Default Buckwheat honey

    I found a local source to get buckwheat seed, as I'm wanting to condition some poor soil and help the bees out at the same time during a potential dearth next year. What is buckwheat honey like, flavor-wise? Will I regret having this plant or does the nectar produce a pleasantly-flavored honey? We've got a pretty good reputation around here with our wildflower honey being a local favorite, so I don't want to blow the deal! I could isolate the planting so only a few hives will be near the crop, but the dearth we suffered this past summer has me thinking to have my own 'plan b' in case it repeats.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2008
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    Reno, NV USA
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    You should buy some buckwheat honey and try it. Most people either love it or hate it. It is dark and robust. As a varietal you would probably get a following.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2005
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    Central San Joaquin Valley, California
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    I think you have a great plan B. Everything I hear about people who produce buckwheat honey sell it all fast. I'll put my order in for a 60 pounder now, so you'll have your first customer. And, by the way, I never have tasted it.
    His Hive Honey Farm - Do all for His glory!

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    columbus,ohio,USA
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    it can be strong. I dont like it so much myself but know plenty of people that to. Selling it as buckwheat honey is probly the best bet. Good luck!
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  5. #5
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    May 2010
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    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    Make sure the variety of buckwheat you buy is a good nectar producer.

    Tom

  6. #6
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    Jun 2010
    Location
    Barnum, MN
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    I had buckwheat last year. The bees only feed on it in the morning, then the nectar goes down. But the bees did love it. I found that I could see a difference in color on the frames but with the bees foraging on other fields from noon on that I didn't see a lot of difference in flavor, so I had a mix in my honey. I was told that once you plant buckwheat is will come back year after year so when you plant -plan on that area being buckwheat. It does freeze easy, then it's done. And besure you have a good nectar producing variety of buckwheat. There are some that are not very good at all. There are other threads on this forum with good info so search them out. Good Luck.
    Carol

  7. #7
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    Sep 2006
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    Like the others have said, make sure you get a type of buckwheat that produces nectar. I have seen a field of buckwheat in bloom and no bees on it. There were quite a number of hives nearby. The beek I was with told me that for some reason that type of buckwheat never seemed to produce any nectar. Im not sure what type it was.

    Heres something interesting about buckwheat:
    "Buckwheat nectar flow is favored by adequate moisture combined with clear, still days and cool nights. Under these conditions, an acre of buckwheat may support a hive of bees and yield up to 150 pounds of honey in a season. Reports are that it is not uncommon for a strong colony to glean 10 pounds of honey per day while foraging buckwheat. Although buckwheat is one of the most dependable and highest yielding honey plants, it normally yields nectar only during the morning and bees are unable to complete a full day of nectar collection. As a result, bees working buckwheat may not be very amiable to the beekeeper should he visit his hives in the afternoon."
    Taken from: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/buckwheat.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Newnan, GA
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    25

    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    Buckwheat may not be your best bet for conditioning the soil AND providing nectar. It does supposedly stimulate biological activity in the soil, but as a soil improver it is best used as a green manure. And to do that, you should till it under just as it comes into bloom-before the bees get a chance to work it.

    I grew some this summer with the intention of doing that, but I never got around to tilling it under. It re-seeded like crazy, and there were all kinds of bees on it in the mornings when it was in bloom. Didn't seem to do much for the soil, though. And I couldn't really taste it in the honey.

  9. #9
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    French Lick, Indiana, USA
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    Thanks, all. Looks like I need to research what varieties my supplier has or can get. I think for no more than we're planting, the wildflowers, clover, etc. will all blend in for a diluted buckwheat varietal. Then, if we suffer another drought like last year, it won't really matter what I plant... Only one way to tell what the weather will be like and that is to experience it.

  11. #11
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    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    I cant speak for farming buckwheat because I only have room for a acre or two and I choose to plant native wildflowers but I have had buckwheat honey and it is love or hate taste. In my opinion it tastes a lot like molasses. I like it in moderation.

    Buckwheat honey is in very high demand. My local commercial beek has placed ads for farmers with buckwheat fields to contact him. We don't have a good local supply of buckwheat, mostly in New York state.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    West Newton, Pa.
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    915

    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    I've grown buckwheat for my bees for the last five years. From those five seasons I've had 3 good crops of buckwheat honey, 1 so-so crop of buckwheat honey and 1 year I had no buckwheat honey at all. It's not that the bees didn't harvest the nectar during that year, it's just that the buckwheat was the only flowers that the bees were able to get anything out of and therefore they used it all up before I could get any myself.

    I always specify "Mancan" buckwheat when I buy seed as this is the "common" variety and has always produced nectar for my bees. It normally takes about 3 weeks for the plants to grow to their flowering stage which normally lasts for 5 to 6 weeks. I've never tried "Manor" variety and can't comment on whether or not it will produce nectar for your bees.

    Buckwheat honey is very strong and some people just don't like it but I have enough customers that absolutely love it that they anticipate my harvesting it and are normally waiting in line to buy it. I've never had any left over after a month or so.
    Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken!

  13. #13
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    May 2010
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    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    Carbide,

    How much buckwheat do you plant? And, how much honey do you get per hive?

    Tom

  14. #14
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    Feb 2009
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    An acre of buckwheat can yield 10 pounds of honey per day in good conditions.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Thousand Oaks, CA USA
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    We have California Buckwheat (erigonum fasciculatum foliolosum) growing maniacally throughout the chaparral hills where I have my bees, and they absolutely love it. I have to admit I haven't noticed that they stop foraging on it in the afternoon... seems to me I've seen them at all times of day, but maybe not.

    Around here, the buckwheat usually gets mixed with what's left of the sage flow, some sumac, and both wild and domestic lavender, among others, so it's not quite as strong a mix as pure buckwheat. I like it better that way. I sell it as "Buckwheat and Wildflower," and it sells out immediately.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Barnum, MN
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    Default Re: Buckwheat honey

    I did read somewhere about different varieties of buckwheat have different nectar flows. And one had a very good day nectar flow. So you lucky dog, you have the good stuff. You will have to save some seed for the rest of us!! Hee Hee My buckwheat definately quits by noon. My feed store doesn't even know the variety buckwheat they sell, it's just buckwheat!
    Carol

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