He Who Would Eat the Honey Must (Properly) Feed the Bees
Beekeeping is quite a difficult job to take on. You should be very well-versed to be up for this challenge. Even the most experienced beekeepers at times stumble when it comes to the most complicated issues related to this fascinating occupation. But don’t let the fear of failure stop you. As a novice gardener, what you should start with is provide your bees with nutrient sources. We have several tips for you to feel more confident.
First and foremost, remember that it is no use planting vivid red flowers with the idea to attract bees. They don’t get impressed so easily. Plus, bees cannot see red – it appears as black to them. So, go for blue-, yellow-, white-, or purple-flowered plants, which can be easily seen by these insects.
Don’t think that you’ll plant an acre or two of purple flowers – and your pantry will be filled with honey jars. It doesn’t work that way. A colony of bees hosts thousands of individual insects that fly over vast territories and bring home only a tiny amount of material suitable to make honey of. So, your plants should grow in huge numbers.
Choose plants that produce large quantities of nectar and pollen. They include dahlias, lilacs, sunflowers, cosmos, marigolds, lavender, rosemary, mint, coneflowers, clover, buckwheat, and others.
Also, as bees mainly perform their activities from March to September, try to ensure that you plant flowers that bloom at different times of the year.
Finally, beware of plants that produce poisonous honey. Rhododendrons, azaleas, monk’s hood, for example, contain an andromedotoxin, which can give symptoms of vomiting and stomach upset. If you are not sure about where your honey’s nectar came from, heat the honey to get rid of toxins, but not overdo with the temperature. 116°F(47°C) should do this job.
Comply with the recommendations described above – and you will successfully start your journey that may lead you to feasting on delicious honey all year round.