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jezd 

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Anyone know the best way of telling when the heather nectar flows start in the different areas of the UK?

Jez
 
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Poly Hive 

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Yes.

Get your bees on it EARLY and observe. The traditional date is the 12th by which time in many areas the flow has been and gone. I have had long experienced people telling me that there had been no flow at all.

As I pondered on my ton...LOL

PH
 

marcros 

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is there a danger of too early and they will find something else to work instead of the precious ling?
 

Poly Hive 

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I did very well by going up early as they worked the flowers amongst the ling until the flow switched on and then believe me there were no issues.


Ling ling ling........................

PH
 

POPZ 

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Jezd - good question. We have a tremendous bloom of what I suppose is bell heather just come on. This being a month earlier than Aug 12th. Do bees collect from bell heather? and what colour is pollen? Loads of shitty/khaki pollen coming in at the moment.
 

admin 

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Hi Popz,
I live on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire and our bees seem to get more from the Bell than from the Ling.

Because of this some say "Its not real heather honey",it tastes good though.
 

gavin 

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One year in four or five will give you a decent flow from bell heather. It is dark, almost ruby coloured when fresh, and a little bitter and runny unlike ling heather but liked by many that try it. Maybe this is the year!

G.
 

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is there a danger of too early and they will find something else to work instead of the precious ling?
I am not sure if this is true:

Pure heather (ling) honey does not granulate unless 10 per cent of pollen grains of other plants are present.
 

Poly Hive 

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Bell Heather Honey is not repeat NOT Heather Honey.

Bell has to be marketed and labelled as "Honey from the Heather Moors".

Ling honey IS Heather Honey and may be labelled as such.

The difference? Totally different honey and of course the premium price that rightly Ling sells for.

PH
 

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What about "New Forest Heather honey" that should go for a premium,the yanks will love it..

New forest heather honey is a mixture of Bell and Ling,what would the % of Ling have to be to market it as Ling honey ,15 percent ?
 

POPZ 

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This is all very interesting, and hope more discussion goes on but
'How do you know whether it is bell pollen/nectar that is coming in - what colour is the pollen?'

And likewise for ling?
 

Poly Hive 

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Ling is a "dirty grey"

Bell honey is port wine in colour.

Labelling:

4. Floral, etc., source

The label may describe the honey from a floral source if wholly or mainly from that source and from a regional, territorial or topographical origin if entirely from that source. This makes it illegal to describe a honey in its product name as 'clover and bramble honey' but reference could be made to the floral sources on another part of the label, e.g. 'from bees visiting clover and brambles'. It is not correct to attribute a specific percentage to the meaning of ‘mainly’ although it will generally be over 50%. This may not be reflected in the pollen count as pollens can be over- and under-represented.

PH
 

gavin 

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... whereas your 'shitty/khaki' pollen may well be white clover. Is there some nearby?
 

POPZ 

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There has been a great clover crop but most of it dying off now. So bell is port coloured? Ah well, I just hoped it was that the heather they were bringing in.

Thanks for all the input
Richard/POPZ
 

gavin 

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Hi Richard

Of couse they will often work species for pollen that does not (or is not at the time) yielding nectar. Clover is an example of this - it needs high temperatures to secrete nectar but the bees will work it anytime for pollen.

all the best

Gavin
 

Poly Hive 

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Still too early for Ling but your books will tell you that.

Last week in July is the one to have your bees ready for and also a burnt moor is the location. Or more neatly in amongst ferns on a burnt moor is the place to be.

PH
 

POPZ 

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Still too early for Ling but your books will tell you that.

Last week in July is the one to have your bees ready for and also a burnt moor is the location. Or more neatly in amongst ferns on a burnt moor is the place to be.

PH
I realise Ling is much later, but right now, we have a massive bloom of what I suppose is Bell heather. My hives are placed amongst masses of ferns and about 500 yrds from miles of heather hills - all heathers.

So what am I to be ready for the last week of July?

Gavin - If it is clover they are working, of which most has finished flowering, around here and the temperature has dropped considerably over the last 4 days I am a confused bunny. (mind you that is not very difficult!!)
 

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Out of interest does anyone know what the best Heather mores of Scotland are ?

Is heather found in:
Scotland
Derbyshire
Yorkshire
Exmoor
New Forest
Dartmoor

Any others ?
 

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