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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    499

    Default Locust trees and honey

    Hi all, I live in southwest MO and have a lot of locust trees in the neighborhood. Does anyone know what type of locust ( black, honey, etc ) that we have here and is it something the bees will work.

    The honey my bees put up early was very light with a smooth taste ( for lack of a better way to describe it ) and I never could find what they were working. My early/ midsummer honey is typical wildflower. It has a taste that I sometimes smell when I'm outside but it's not a plant I recognize. Right now the only thing I see them working is chicory in the mornings.
    Just curious about the locust, I try to kill as many as I can but if my bees could work it I might give em a break.

    Thanks for any replies, Woody

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Troy, IL
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    What you have are most likely Black Locust, and yes, in our part of the country the Locust is one of the first things to bloom, and it provides the first major flow of the spring. You will know Honey Locust when you see one, as the trunk will be loaded with clusters of big, nasty thorns. If you have Black Locust on your property, and you want your hives to get started with a bang in the spring, you would do well to encourage all the locust growth you can. We have a lot of them up here (just east of St. Louis), and my bees work them hard.......and make good honey.
    Please visit our Beekeeping Blog
    http://akhoneybees.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    Mine are loaded with big nasty thorns. Also I don't recall ever seeing flowers on them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Troy, IL
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfer View Post
    Mine are loaded with big nasty thorns. Also I don't recall ever seeing flowers on them.
    You have Honey Locust if they have big, nasty thorns. They usually bloom in mid to late June, and the flowers aren't as "showy" as Black Locust. I don't see any bees on Honey Locust blooms around here. Honey Locust wood is HARD, and makes good firewood and fence posts........and IMO, that's about all it's good for. (That being said, there are several "thornless" varieties that make very nice yard trees.)
    Please visit our Beekeeping Blog
    http://akhoneybees.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    This yr here in southwestern Va the one thing we around here have been wondering is what happen to the locust around here it didn't bloom. We had a great spring around here. Had plenty of rain and lots of sun but the locusts never bloomed not just a few trees all of them. This is one of the best flows in the area cause locust trees are everywhere. The honey is very light in color and the hives smells great and it is one of the heaviest flows we have around here. I lost a lot of honey and so did other beekeepers in the area.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverratbees View Post
    This yr here in southwestern Va the one thing we around here have been wondering is what happen to the locust around here it didn't bloom. We had a great spring around here. Had plenty of rain and lots of sun but the locusts never bloomed not just a few trees all of them. This is one of the best flows in the area cause locust trees are everywhere. The honey is very light in color and the hives smells great and it is one of the heaviest flows we have around here. I lost a lot of honey and so did other beekeepers in the area.
    Funny how spotty the Locust flow can be. I drove through Richmond Va with a load of packages on Easter weekend and the locust was in full bloom. Here in the Northeast, our Locust also didn't bloom. Some years, we can make 100 lbs per hive from Locust!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    We have black locust here in Wisconsin, early nectar source and produces excellent, water-clear honey. Missed the bloom this year due to odd spring weather, usually blooms right after the dandelions. Honey production was delayed as a result.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Siloam Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    I read once that the black locust bloom hits about one in 5 years, depending upon weather.

    Figures, .
    Trying techniques that I doubt will work because I like to be right!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverratbees View Post
    This yr here in southwestern Va the one thing we around here have been wondering is what happen to the locust around here it didn't bloom. We had a great spring around here. Had plenty of rain and lots of sun but the locusts never bloomed not just a few trees all of them. This is one of the best flows in the area cause locust trees are everywhere. The honey is very light in color and the hives smells great and it is one of the heaviest flows we have around here. I lost a lot of honey and so did other beekeepers in the area.

    We had a very nice locust bloom here in the state of Upper East Tennessee. -js

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Stockton, New Jersey
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Locust trees and honey

    I think the 5 year rule sounds about right. Locust was great in this part of Jersey but hasn't been in as many years.

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