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keithgrimes 

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My hive will sit next to about an acre of deciduous woodland. In May the floor of the wood is a solid carpet of Spanish Bluebells and Wild Garlic. Does anyone have any views on (a) the attrativeness of these flowers to honey bees? (b) the quality of the honey?
 

Erichalfbee 

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I can only speak from observing the woodland flowers here in Cumbria. I often see bumble bees on the bluebells but not so many honeybees unless it is quite warm. The problem up here is that bluebells are sometimes over before the good weather kicks in. (It rains a lot here:() However, if the weather is hot and the bluebells are out honeybees do go for them and whole fields buzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I have never seen anything but the odd fly on wild garlic.
 

Somerford 

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neither is of much interest to honey bees, however woodland can be very handy as trees like chesnuts flower profusely (now) and this can give a nice dark honey, albeit with a hint of propolis in my experience as the bees also use the same trees for propolis collection.

regards

S
 

AMAE 

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What are the trees?...Oaks are great for honey dew the bees collect from aphids on them. Makes good honey!
 

AMAE 

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Horse Chesnut good, Hawthorn good, sycamore...not sure. Lime can be great...have you got a Hooper book?...have a look towards the back..don't want to regurge it all! But if you haven't I'll have a go


AMAE
 

keithgrimes 

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I haven't got a hooper book. I've been told by an experienced Beek that Lime can in some circumstances be mildly toxic to some bees. Has a narcotic effect?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Lime trees can be narcotic and the worst one is the Weeping Silver Lime Tilia Petiolaris. The Small Leaved Lime, Tilia Cordata, the one usually planted in our city streets and parks,is fairly innocuous to bees but bumblebees taking a larger share of nectar can sometimes be found buzzing in a daze on the ground underneath. They do wake none the worse for wear providing they haven't made a tasty snack for a passing bird.
 
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