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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Paw Paw, SW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    125

    Default Spicebush for honey production

    I'm curious if bees will utilize spicebush? I have a riverbottom woods that is absolutely full of the stuff. I was thinking about placing a hive on the property next spring.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,376

    Default Re: Spicebush for honey production

    I don't have any personal experience with spicebush. But this site suggests that :
    The flowers of the spicebush appear early in the spring (March or early April) prior to the emergence of the leaves. Spicebush is "dioecious" which means that there are distinct male and female individuals. Female flowers (image at left) are small and yellow with six colored sepals and no petals. Male flowers have nine, reddish stamens. The flowers are clustered in groups of four to six. Pollination is by an array of small dipteran and hymenopteran species.

    http://www.psu.edu/dept/nkbiology/naturetrail/speciespages/spicebush.htm
    And until now, I had never heard of small "dipteran and hymenopteran" species. But this site
    http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/mg...y/diptera.html
    suggests that they are flies, ants and wasps.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,219

    Default Re: Spicebush for honey production

    Have you seen bees work this plant?

    You could always put a hive there and check to see if they are working them. At the least your bees will have a different area to forage without the competition from your other hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Paw Paw, SW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Spicebush for honey production

    This is my hunting property. I haven't seen bees out there although I've never looked for them either. This was my first year with a hive and I'm adding another one in the spring. I was thinking about putting out there and see how it does. There is some nearby alfalfa fields and also a lot of goldenrod.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Spicebush for honey production

    There's some photos of bees on spicebush flowers on the Bug Guide website: http://bugguide.net/node/view/380385/bgimage (the Hymenoptera pollination group includes bees too).

    Although there is information about small bees pollinating spicebush plants, I haven't found any mention of spicebush honey. However, I read that 'spicebush is a heavy airborne pollen producer in late spring'. http://www.pollenlibrary.com/GENUS/Lindera/
    Jeanette
    HiveTasks Software for beekeepers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,219

    Default Re: Spicebush for honey production

    The photo does not look like a honey bee to me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Spicebush for honey production

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    The photo does not look like a honey bee to me.
    *headslap* don't send me out on any swarm collections in the near future!
    Jeanette
    HiveTasks Software for beekeepers

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