Author Topic: Buckwheat Honey  (Read 1260 times)

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Offline riverbee

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Buckwheat Honey
« on: May 07, 2018, 01:44:02 pm »
i started this thread so others may benefit from information being exchanged in the chatbox.
lazy shooter asked a question:

"I planted 10 acres of buckwheat last week. One and sixty-five hundredths of an inch of rain fell on it last Thursday. The plants should be breaking ground by late Tuesday or Wednesday. I have heard buckwheat makes a strong tasting honey. Is that correct?"

in my experience, buckwheat honey does have a distinct flavor to it, but is very good. it may be one of those honey's, like goldenrod, that some may not care for.  we grew buckwheat one year, and the bees love it.
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Offline Mikey N.C.

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2018, 02:05:19 pm »
I haven't had a chance to try it. Does buckwheat come back every year after planted ?

Offline apisbees

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2018, 03:02:49 pm »
It does have it's own special distinct flavor Some love it and are willing to pay a premium price for it others do not care for the taste and smell. provide samples so the uniformed can form their own opinion. It is not one of my personal favorites, but each to there own,
Mikey's question depends if and when it is harvested. If left to go to seed and then not harvested it will come back but better results will be if you reseed into prepared fields. If harvested as a grain crop or as silage then no.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline tedh

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2018, 06:19:53 pm »
I thought it was delicious!  I can't say that I sniffed it so can't speak to the smell.  Ted
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Offline rober

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 08:22:52 am »
buckwheat honey is the only honey I've tasted that i do not care for. i do plant some as it is a good crop for the bees but i time the planting so it does not bloom until after I've pulled my supers.

Offline lazy shooter

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 09:14:28 am »
Rober, you say it is a good crop for the bees.  Do they put up a lot of honey on buckwheat?  And, if so, I assume you leave it in the hives for winter food.  ??

Offline apisbees

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 11:35:52 am »
as rober brings up it does have a strong taste and the bees readily work it so it can effect and over power the mild honeys. In addition to this it also is dark in color so will also cause your white honeys to be dark in color. the good news is if you know when it was planted you can calculate when it will bloom and pull the white honey prier and super for the buckwheat and sell it as buckwheat honey. Even though it is not every ones cup of tea there is a market for it.
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Offline rober

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 08:48:10 pm »
it blooms all summer & the bees are on it fairly steady. like i said i time it's planting so it does not bloom until I've pulled my supers. it also reseeds itself prolifically. i mow the early self seeded plants until my supers are off. i set my mower high so the blooms get cropped without killing the plant. i planted a lot of sweet yellow clover, big berseem clover, crimson clover. white & purple prairie clover, & dutch white clover. around mid august most of the clovers are struggling from the heat. that's when the Russian sage & hyssop that bloom all summer pick up the slack. i have planted a variety of bee friendly plants & there is always something for them to work on my property & nearby wood lines, railroad right of ways, power line right of ways, & creek beds where a lot of bee friendly plants were mysteriously planted. you've heard of Johny Appleseed? now there's rober clover seed.  i get more honey from my home hives than any of my rural yards.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2018, 08:37:21 am »
I moved a colony where there is a small patch of buckwheat planted.  I don't have any supers on yet.  This will be interesting.  The buckwheat is in bloom now, but the bees were going after the white dutch clover.

Offline riverbee

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2018, 12:08:38 am »
bakers, if it's just a small patch of buckwheat and the white dutch clover is greater, they will work that, just like any other bloom. whatever is more abundant...

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Offline tedh

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2018, 03:43:31 pm »
Hmmm, I was under the impression that the bees would work whatever produced the best nectar or pollen, until that source was no longer an option.  I'm Learning something new everyday!  Thanks, Ted
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2018, 11:32:00 pm »
I plant buckwheat  (an acre  or so) every year , the thing about buckwheat is the bees will work it in the mourning hours up till around 11:00 AM  and after that you won't find a bee on it.It will bloom in about 21 days after it comes up and will go too seed in 3 to 4 weeks (in the hard stage) then you can mow it down and run a disc . over it too cover it (keep the birds from eating it) and it will bloom again . I usually get 3 blooms from one planting. It doesn't replant it's self good in the spring because if it germinates early a freeze will kill it , another reason is because the late fall bloom gets ate into the ground by Deer and Turkey! :sad: :yes: Jack

Offline riverbee

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2018, 12:42:32 am »
"Hmmm, I was under the impression that the bees would work whatever produced the best nectar or pollen, until that source was no longer an option.  I'm Learning something new everyday!  Thanks, Ted"

ted, this is true in part and under certain circumstances or with 'smaller' nectar flows, or smaller nectar flows of a number of different species; bees do prefer some nectar/floral sources over others. when there is an abundant flow of any nectar source, bees will be more active working the plant vs another nectar/pollen producing plant that is not quite as abundant.  not to say the bees won't visit these sources because they do.  jack also brought up a good point, some plants, even though abundant, have specific hours of the day when the plant releases nectar and/or pollen , usually morning hours that bees visit heavily and move on to something else.

in dearths, anything gets worked.

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Offline tedh

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 06:54:35 am »
Thanks for the clarification River!  I've noticed the timing thing, mainly mornings, that the bees work certain plants.  Ted
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2018, 11:11:17 am »
There are a relative few scout bees that make the decision of What, Where, and When, to work a particular flower source. and whether to work it for nectar or pollen. the scouts come back into the hive, give out free samples and through the dance tells the field force bees where it is. the more abundance A particular flower source is, the more scouts will be presenting it, getting more bees to go gather from it. Also the bees given a choice of different nectar's from different scout bees will choose to go after the sweeter nectar's most of the time. But quantity of nectar the plants produce, and the distance (flight time) are also factored into which nectar sources are being worked.
A forager bee comes back, passes his nectar to a house bee, could be offered a sample of new nectar from a scout bee that has just returned to the hive. Noe the forager bee has a choice, keep working what he has been or switch to the new source. That decision is based on whether the sugar content is higher than the source they have been working, The distance needed to travel The volume of nectar will effect the time needed to gather, and how many flower need to be visited during a trip.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline tedh

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2018, 04:54:29 pm »
WOW!  Im glad it's their job and not mine, I'm not sure I could keep it all straight!  Thanks Apis!
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2018, 07:09:47 pm »
To add to the above. The scouts will jump from one flower spices to another looking for the best plant which is producing the best most abundant nectar. and will take that back to the foragers. The foragers will only visit one type of plant during a foraging trip. So when you see a bee working flowers in your yard and jumping to different plants they are scouts not foragers and if they did not find your flowers attractive enough, they may not tell the forager bees in the hive to go and collect from them.
For commercial pollination, we over populate an area with honeybees. this causes the more attractive pollen and nectar producing plants to be depleted of resources and forces the bees to work the less attractive nectar producing plants.
The amount and quality of the nectar plants produce is dependent on the weather. For most plants to produce they need warm days, lots of sunshine, they also need moisture. Now if the weather is cool with cloudy rainy days, plants that are good forage in general can be poor producer. First due to the bees not being able to fly and work the flowers, and second due to the poor weather the plant is not producing an abundance of good quality nectar (low sugar content).
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline tedh

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2018, 07:59:29 pm »
Thank you again Apis! That makes perfect sense.  Ted
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2018, 10:02:53 pm »
tedh, there is also a great book on crop pollination.  Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crop Plants by S.E. MacGregor is available at Bee Culture magazine.  http://store.beeculture.com/insect-pollination-of-cultivated-crop-plants/  MacGregor takes each crop, asparagus to watermelon and goes into great detail to explain every aspect of pollination for that specific crop.  Watermelon blooms only open during the first couple of hours of the day.  It takes at least 10 visits from a honey bee for the melon to be properly pollinated otherwise the melon is not properly shaped.   The book is only $12.00 and I believe that is the only place to buy it. 

Offline tedh

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Re: Buckwheat Honey
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2018, 06:43:25 am »
Thanks Bakers! I'll check it out.  Ted
Share that which you have an abundance of.  In doing so both the giver and receiver are enriched.