Hello everyone, just a quick intro. I’m looking for opportunities for myself and colleagues to move our beehives to where the crops are, hopefully to the benefit of our bees and their honey production, but also I’d hope, to the benefit of the landowner/farmer in increased and better pollination. I know that some crops are less profitable these days but the popular ones for beekeepers are oil seed rape and borage. Some farmers may be involved in “set aside” and, if this has resulted in the seeding of wild meadow, this too can be of interest to beekeepers. I’m primarily interested in Sheffield and surrounding areas but if someone out there is looking for beekeepers I can help you to make contact with your local beekeeper’s association.
Back again: It seems that Vicia (faba – Broad/Field bean) produces a honey with a light, pleasant flavour, but one that granulates rapidly (presumably like rape does) Phaseolus (vulgaris – Common bean) also produces honey – a light, mild taste, that also granulates rapidly.
Most reports show that the crop yield is enhanced by the presence of bees: “In England, caged plots produced 2328 kg/ha, whilst plants caged with bees produced 4332 kg/ha”
Peas, on the other hand, do not seem to result in good honey flows. I think there might be an issue with the flower shape. Perhaps someone else can help as to what is the best pollinator for peas….
It appears that peas are self-pollinators. Nevertheless, pea pollen has been found in hives, suggesting that whilst bees do not benefit in getting nectar that they might collect pollen and, in so doing, cross-pollinate peas. Is that useful?