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The Black Locust are in bloom in my part of the country. I just aquired a new bee yard and will be moving some bee out there very shortly. This outyard is surrounded by black locust as far as the eye could see.:eek:

When I toured the black locust stands I could not see a single bee. I looked hard.:scratch: I realize that the bees will visit at different times of the day.

Question is : Do bees really favor black locust? Seems like they pass right by them.
 

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Black locust is a major nectar source and if in bloom, it would be surprising if the bees were completely ignoring it.

A few things to consider:

1. The bees might not have been on it at the time you looked (which you acknowledged)
2. I seem to recall that (confusingly) bees do not favor honey locust. Are you sure you have black locust?
3. Sometimes with tree sources, I have a hard time seeing whether the bees are working the upper parts of the tree. They might just be on the top branches (which typically bloom first, I believe)
4. If you are looking at trees close to your hives, its generally thought that bees don't visit plants really close to the hive. Check a few trees 100+ yards away.
5. There might be something more tempting nearby (e.g. tulip trees, brambles, clover, etc.)
6. If you haven't moved your hives there yet, there just may not be many honey bees nearby. And if there are as many trees as you say, what few pollinators may be there might simply be too diluted for you to notice.

Sounds like a good hive location to me!
 

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I have been trying to figure out for 15 years what the spring honey is hearabouts. It's always very light, and mild, like black locust. But I hardly ever see bees on black locust. And some years it doesn't even bloom but the spring honey is still light and mild. It may be a mixture of wild honeysuckle, autumn olive, raspberries, black locust, garlic mustard. All those come into bloom early and all produce mild honey so far as I know. In the end, we just call it spring honey.
 

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Question is : Do bees really favor black locust?
Yes, at least in our area, bees favor black locust. Black locust nectar has a very high sugar content. In our area, like most other early nectars, you don't get a heavy flow every year.

Last years flow was great. This year not a bloom on them. We did not have a killing frost, but rather cold snap in late winter or early spring, before the trees leafed out, that "killed" the blooms. Another board member explained it much better.

Shane
 
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