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Hi, Just wondering if soybeans produce much nectar.My bees are working like crazy. Most of the clovers are about over or have been mowed.Many hundreds of acres of Soys around my farm.I pulled three full supers off my hive last week. Bees don't seem to be letting up. Will probably get three more. Soybeans are blooming . Any thoughts, Thanks.
 

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Soybeans can be a good source of honey under the right conditions. I have heard that some varieties are better than others when it comes to nectar production, but I have not been able to find any conclusive info on that. If where you live rains a lot or if is irrigated, they will probably get at least some nectar out of it. Soybean flowers are a bit difficult for bees, but if you have a few thousand acres near by, you might get a crop from that. Keep those supers on until the hive starts losing weight!
 

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I am suprsized you are getting honey from Soybeans. In Wisconsin, it is very rare. In N.E. Ohio, where it is warmer, it is quite common.

Crazy Roland
 

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Soybeans are honey, saved how much pound I harvested. The flow slowed to stop till it started to bloom.
 

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Hi, Just wondering if soybeans produce much nectar.My bees are working like crazy. Most of the clovers are about over or have been mowed.Many hundreds of acres of Soys around my farm.I pulled three full supers off my hive last week. Bees don't seem to be letting up. Will probably get three more. Soybeans are blooming . Any thoughts, Thanks.
I used to run a commercial operation quite near to Herman, MN. Never did see a flow off of soybeans. Not saying what you are getting isn’t from beans but I suspect something else.
 

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Thanks for the reply's. I was just wondering if it was possible,not saying that is were my flow is coming from. Must be another source.Just checked the hive and I have 3 more supers full.Crazy! The alfalfa for the commercial dairy farms is cut on a regular basis and doesn't have a chance to bloom for very long. What will I do with all the honey???
 

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What will I do with all the honey???
Ha ha. Problems, problems. I honestly don’t have a clue but I’d suggest a check into a nearby bean been field and anywhere else within a couple miles to check for activity.
 

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Jim - Smokepole is near Ron Householder, so I believe he is getting soybean honey like Ron. Ron says further south they get nothing, only get it in a narrow band by him.


Crazy Roland
 

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Thanks for the reply's. I was just wondering if it was possible,not saying that is were my flow is coming from. Must be another source.Just checked the hive and I have 3 more supers full.Crazy! The alfalfa for the commercial dairy farms is cut on a regular basis and doesn't have a chance to bloom for very long. What will I do with all the honey???
Is the honey of a specific color or taste?
 

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Isn't it just awesome to have guys like Roland and Jim answer questions...this is an awesome age we live in, especially to be a beekeeper!

Way to go, guys!
 

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Yes, a wealth of knowledge here. Had a couple of hives in the late 70's.No internet, no You-tube, no forums, just a book I bought. Oh, no mites either!
 

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When I was farming (growing soybeans) and had bees, I used to walk bean fields regularly pulling problem weeds or scouting for other pests, but I never witnessed a honey bee foraging on soybean blooms. I can't say it never happens, but not to my knowledge.
 

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You do not normally get nectar from modern GMO soybeans as that trait has been bred out of the plant. That having been said, there ARE certain strains of GMO soybeans that DO produce nectar and bees WILL forage them and make honey but you need to coordinate this with the farmer or at least know what strain of soybeans have been planted. The designation of the strain of soybeans changes from year to year. The last time I checked (and this may no longer be the case & and a new bean designation has been developed) the strain of soybean that produces nectar is P46A57BX. You should verify with the seed representative to be sure.
 

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You do not normally get nectar from modern GMO soybeans as that trait has been bred out of the plant. That having been said, there ARE certain strains of GMO soybeans that DO produce nectar and bees WILL forage them and make honey but you need to coordinate this with the farmer or at least know what strain of soybeans have been planted. The designation of the strain of soybeans changes from year to year. The last time I checked (and this may no longer be the case & and a new bean designation has been developed) the strain of soybean that produces nectar is P46A57BX. You should verify with the seed representative to be sure.
Now I need to go walk the soybeans and see if bees are out there. I had a good harvest one year that I attributed to soybeans, but I don't really know if that was the case. I have read some studies that said having honeybee hives next to a soybean field increased soybean yield, which strongly suggests bees do work soybeans. If I recall correctly though, it varied a lot depending on soybean variety, as you mentioned.

Next step is to convince soybean farmers to pay for beehives...sadly, I doubt the return would be high enough to pay.

https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1516-89132005000100005&script=sci_arttext

They found 5-20% more weight of production with honeybees pollinating. A good yield for soybeans might be 80 bushels. If I am doing the math right, that is 16 extra bushels with a 20% increase, or maybe $160 at $10/bushel. That's the max benefit, so I doubt many farmers are going to want to pay much. However, if you are a soybean farmer, it might be worth your while to keep honeybees on your farm.
 

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Why exactly do farmers plant soybeans?

I often see them unharvested in the fall.
Well, last year it was so wet around here that farmers couldn't get their machines into the fields until the ground actually froze solid. Normally they would like to harvest in September or October.
 
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