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grizzly 

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Hi All

Anyone else have a hive or two working predominantly Sunflowers, one site that has mainly fruits early summer gave up a couple of acres solely to sunflowers this year, they were around for what seemed like an eternity, very spectacular to look at and absolutely fantastic for the wildlife.

I opened a bucket of honey i extracted from the hive in question tother day, and had a taste, WOW. the content could be entirely sunflower or it could be a mixture, (more likely a mixture) but i might ask them to do the same again next year if it tastes like this.
 

Finman 

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Hi All

I opened a bucket of honey i extracted from the hive in question tother day, and had a taste, WOW. the content could be entirely sunflower or it could be a mixture, (more likely a mixture) but i might ask them to do the same again next year if it tastes like this.
In central Europe sunflower honey is kept as low value honey.
It is as cheap ad sugar and it is often left for winter..
 

grizzly 

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But what about the flavour ? is there anything distinctive in sunflower honey ?, like horse chestnut or rhododendron (think thats how you spell it).
 

Widdershins 

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Sounds delicious Grizzly - and you're lucky that the farmers did that...:)
 

grizzly 

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I was quite surprised when he said he did it just for the wildlife, it really lifts the spirits when you see a field of sunflowers.
 

Hombre 

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I love to see swathes of sunflowers, but those in my garden were totally ignored by the birds this year. I finally chopped the remaining stalks up less than a fortnight ago. In the past when I wanted to save the seed I had to act quickly if they weren't to be picked clean before I got to them.

They must have been round at HP's place gobbling his. :)

I can only say Finman, that it's a good job we aren't in Central Europe then. I believe Manuka was not highly regarded in NZ until the marketing guys did a PR makeover on it. :)
 
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Finman 

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Norwegian breeded Jonsok-strawberry and it was named in Finland over 10 years as "industrial strawberry". It was disease free, big berries and not tasty. Then in Finland it was named "delicacy".

In Finland sunflower does not produce nectar even if we have fields. Reason is perhaps cold night or days.
 

MJBee 

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A Beek I know in the neighbouring "county" has lots of sunflower round him and the soft set honey he produces is the colour of custard and tastes fantastic. Sadly not a lot round me and other flows seem to be more attractive.
:cheers2: Mike
 

grizzly 

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it always makes me chuckle when they ignore forage right in front of them and go elsewhere. but then i guess thats how we get such contrasting honey flavours. bless em.
 

VEG 

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Sunflowers on a recent trip to France this summer the other showing some hives nearby. There were bees all over the sunflowers plastered in pollen
 
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rwestoll 

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I grew quite a lot of sunflowers growing close to my hive this summer. On the whole they were largely ignored by my bees- lots of bumbles and hovers, but no honeys. I get the impression that my bees seek out the major nectar source and stick to it- In spite of lots of bee friendly plants in the garden, they are only rarely visited with the exception of Cornflowers, Borage and Cosmos - even the lavender hardly got a visit from Honey Bees.
 

MJBee 

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Veg,
Where in France was the pic taken? It always amuses me to see the way the French beekeepers position their hives - shoulder to shoulder and anything but level:svengo: The bees don't seem to mind though.
:cheers2: Mike
 

VEG 

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They were taken in Echebrune :cheers2: There were fields full of grapes and sunflowers.
 

Black Comb 

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Not the recommended hive layout as per all the books.

Overhanging branches, not enough space between hives and potential for drifting.

Does it matter?
 

VEG 

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These hives needed the shade as it was very very hot when we were there.:cheers2:
 

MJBee 

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Thanks Veg - I am about 70km East of there but my Beek friend is only 50km away in the Charante. You're dead right about hives in woods - shade and therefore cooler outweighs any upset caused by rain drips.
:cheers2: Mike
 

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