Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many cherry trees would it take to get cherry blossom honey? 4, 5, a 1/4 an acre? several acres? Just trying to determine if it is worth pursuing.
 

·
Registered
82 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
Joined
·
555 Posts
To be varietal it is supposed to be at least 51%, that would take at least a couple acres and good timing.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,882 Posts
My personal experience with cherries, I have three trees, is that they bloom very early in the season and then for only for about two weeks. Could be the variety though. I have the Richmond sour cherries which are rather small and tart but make an excellent jam.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
It depends on what else is growing and blooming around you. You would probably need at least several acres of them to even taste a difference in the honey and many acres to get mostly cherry blossom honey. I have an orchard with just about everything growing. I have both sweet and sour cherries. Some years, the honey bees will work the sweet cherries like crazy. Other years, they will not touch them because something better is blooming at the same time and other insects fertilize them for me. They usually work the sour cherries pretty well.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
3,267 Posts
Hi Frank
I quess I am wondering "WHY" do you want cherry blossom honey? I know with the food I eat I like variety. You curious what it tastes like or is there a medicinal reasons. The Varietals with several flavors has a wider range of flavors present. I concur in early spring one would need to add supers the day prior to the blossoms and remove the day after. Cherry bloom is short as well.
good luck, let us know if you find a way. In Michigan there are a large number of cherry trees in the Traverse City area, one could either inquire about or offer your hives there.
GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
My experience pollinating cherries is they dont really make honey off of them. But a lot of this probably has to do with management/timing. For us its an April bloom, the bees are mostly focused on growth and we are mostly focused on swarm control. Also the weather that time of year can be pretty poor. On top of all that, we are packed in there at pretty high densities for pollination.

But I have a jar of cherry honey from France, so maybe places where the bloom timing cooperates with the weather, I suppose it could be possible.

I DID taste a little honey last summer that I am 95% sure was robbed from rotting cherries (20-30 acres). That was an intense flavor, and intense color.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I currently have about 8 trees near the hives. My son is wanting to plant more of them so was curious just how many it would take to have something that I don’t see other local providers offering. Looking for an edge in my future sales.

Hi Frank
I quess I am wondering "WHY" do you want cherry blossom honey? I know with the food I eat I like variety. You curious what it tastes like or is there a medicinal reasons. The Varietals with several flavors has a wider range of flavors present. I concur in early spring one would need to add supers the day prior to the blossoms and remove the day after. Cherry bloom is short as well.
good luck, let us know if you find a way. In Michigan there are a large number of cherry trees in the Traverse City area, one could either inquire about or offer your hives there.
GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
You would need acres of trees... I don't know if they even produce much nectar either to make it worth while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,659 Posts
In S.E. Wisconsin there are numerous, scattered, but not dense, Wild Cherry trees in the woods. About ten years ago we had good overwintering with strong hives. It was the only time in about 50 years that a surplus was made. So rare that it took a long time to figure out what the flavor was.

Crazy Roland
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,788 Posts
Frank - on the eve of cherry bloom, cover all the nearby sources you can cover, pull the honey from a few hives for a day or two (noting which frames go in which boxes), replace them with empty combs, and weigh the hives. That's your tare weight. Watch the returning bees for pollen. If nearly all are pollen laden, it likely is not a honey crop. Weigh the hives a day or two later, subtract the tare weight from the 2nd day weight. Peek at the honey frames - if there is nothing, return the hives to normal status. If, however, you see some nectar stored, keep at least one hive locked on to cherry blossom honey for a week. Let it cure for 2 to 3 more weeks after capping. Pull it and taste test the cured, capped honey.

I'd like to hear the results :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,659 Posts
We did nothing out of the ordinary, extracted when the super was capped, and got about a barrel. It did have a slightly red tint.

Crazy Roland
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
The only other thing about cherries, I do not think they're very attractive to bees, if anything else is blooming they will work that instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,659 Posts
JRG13 - are your Cherries wild or cultivated? All of our experience is with wild Cherry trees, Prunus serotina????

Crazy Roland
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
Cultivated. I used to have about 32 at the house, even with a hive or 2 there, couldn't get a **** bee to visit a flower during bloom....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,788 Posts
I've really only seen 35% sugar water + perfume used. They sprayed it onto the blossoms with a sprayer mounted on a pole. The farmer said that his pears were less than 15% sugar and that bees were just not interested in them without it.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top