bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Monday, July 17, 2006

Late borage forage

When I first started beekeeping about ten years ago, the end of the summer nectar flow was around 15 July, often a few days sooner. By then the blackberry and lime blossom had slowed and although nectar would still come in, it just about balanced the energy needs of the colony.

Over the past few years, however, the season has been extending, largely I believe because of the presence of some new crops, particularly borage. Very localised American Sweet Clover is still going strong, but just over the hill is some borage which my bees may have started to work. And next year, farmers tell me that the borage hectarage around here will increase further. You may remember last year that at first I was disappointed in a very white, at first seemingly tasteless honey that was coming in -- it turned out to be borage, I grew to appreciate its delicacy -- and so did my customers.

MY bee foraging American Sweet Clover at 8pm last night. Posted by Picasa

I raced it back to the apiary -- I'm not sure who won. The bee claimed victory, but I think it has a double.

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I'm not sure whether they've started on this borage yet.

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