Himalayan Balsam

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Do224

Drone Bee
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
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Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
National
One of my hives seems to have found the balsam in the last few days…the vast majority of the foragers are coming back covered in white. So far the other two hives haven’t found it but I don’t suppose it will be long before they do. There’s a decent size river perhaps half a mile away so I’m guessing it’s growing there.

Is there likely to be a decent amount of nectar brought in from this…I.e. can I expect so harvest some honey from it or not?
 
One of my hives seems to have found the balsam in the last few days…the vast majority of the foragers are coming back covered in white. So far the other two hives haven’t found it but I don’t suppose it will be long before they do. There’s a decent size river perhaps half a mile away so I’m guessing it’s growing there.

Is there likely to be a decent amount of nectar brought in from this…I.e. can I expect so harvest some honey from it or not?
It will purely depend on quantity and indeed weather none of which we can advise you on. It certainly can provide a good flow and the last of it will finish with the ivy.
I think the nectar is very light though but if there’s little else they will work it hard.
 
One of my hives seems to have found the balsam in the last few days…the vast majority of the foragers are coming back covered in white. So far the other two hives haven’t found it but I don’t suppose it will be long before they do. There’s a decent size river perhaps half a mile away so I’m guessing it’s growing there.

Is there likely to be a decent amount of nectar brought in from this…I.e. can I expect so harvest some honey from it or not?
Himalayan Balsam will flower until the first frosts. My hives fill up on HB and ivy for winter.
 
It will purely depend on quantity and indeed weather none of which we can advise you on. It certainly can provide a good flow and the last of it will finish with the ivy.
I think the nectar is very light though but if there’s little else they will work it hard.
I think there’s a fair bit of it along the river from memory. I might have a walk down and take a look. Certainly almost all of the returning bees had white dots on their backs
 
I think there’s a fair bit of it along the river from memory. I might have a walk down and take a look. Certainly almost all of the returning bees had white dots on their backs
Have a quick look to see if there is fresh nectar in the hive.
 
Although I have HB near my garden apiary , only once has it produced a Sept crop of 30lbs.
 
Although I have HB near my garden apiary , only once has it produced a Sept crop of 30lbs.
Because the weather is never good enough for the bees to forage it?
 
Do they forage enough to fill supers?
I have had a super filled in Hampshire but I swear it used to be an autumn flower then and it was my staple crop for winter food. Seems to be so much earlier now
 
I used to have supers on in late September but there has been less of it about for a good few years now.
The rivers Lark and Linnet meet in our local town, Bury St Edmunds. HB has increasingly invaded their banks so every year volunteer working parties do their best to remove it. HB is an alien invasive species that crowds out native growth - just like Rhododendron ponticum.
 
The rivers Lark and Linnet meet in our local town, Bury St Edmunds. HB has increasingly invaded their banks so every year volunteer working parties do their best to remove it. HB is an alien invasive species that crowds out native growth - just like Rhododendron ponticum.
Exactly, awful stuff, gets everywhere and causes serious bank erosion. Anyone who celebrates or facilitates its spread is a fool.
Just noticed on my way to the Royal Welsh yesterday there is now HB sprouting on the upper reaches of the River Llwchwr upstream of the falls possibly/hopefully carried by birds/animals as it must have moved upstream (not flood carried down) and the nearest I've seen it on that watercourse is quite a few miles downstream
 
Many years ago there was a fantastic amount around the river Wey it added to the Heather around Hankley common….Unfortunately it got stripped out by those lovely volunteers😉
 
Many years ago there was a fantastic amount around the river Wey it added to the Heather around Hankley common….Unfortunately it got stripped out by those lovely volunteers😉
To be replaced by sewage….oops that’s the Wye
 
To be replaced by sewage….oops that’s the Wye
I doubt the Wey is any better.
I tuned in to some programme on radio 4 on the way back from Llanelwedd the other day, the usual pro government propaganda programme which was some kind of discussion with a collection of water company brass hats and the one justification I heard from one was 'well, yes, we are pumping sewage into the rivers, but it hasn't killed anyone unlike some other countries, so I consider it a positive'
 
Do they forage enough to fill supers?
A departed friend of mine used to get very good harvests, I can remember he was disappointed one year when he only managed half a tonne.
Are they piling in and out of the entrance? Have a look for fresh nectar.
 
Apparently the whole HB plant is edible, you can cook the stems like asparagus. I've not tried it (yet).
A few of my bees look to be foraging it but I've never seen the bulk of them dusted with the pollen, they always seem to have something else as well.
 

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