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The taste and variety of honey is influenced not only by the location of the apiary, but primarily by the plants from which the nectar is collected. They are the main food source for insects and especially for bees.
- The benefits of nectar
- Conditions affecting nectar production
- Classification of honey plants
- The best honey plants are trees
The benefits of nectar
Most plants have special glands in the flower area that secrete a sugary liquid - nectar. Some trees have nectaries outside the flower, for example: sweet cherry, apricot. They are located on the leaf petiole. But flower nectaries are of particular interest.
The aroma and sweetness of this discharge attracts insects. They transfer pollen from one flower to another, thus pollinating them, and promoting the emergence of fruits and seeds. And insects such as ants, falling on a tree, destroy small pests and thereby protect the tree.
Trees - honey plants also play an important role in the development of beekeeping. Such a unique product as honey has been known since ancient times.
The composition of the nectar is not constant. Its main components are sucrose, glucose and fructose. Different types of plants have an unequal ratio of these substances. It has been noticed that bees collect nectar well when it contains about 50% of sugar, and at a concentration of less than 5%, they do not take it.
Plants - honey plants are famous for their healing nectar. It is rich not only in all essential trace elements, but also in vitamins and antibiotics. The healing properties of nectar and pollen collected by bees are transferred to honey.
Conditions affecting nectar production
The excretion of nectar is influenced by such environmental factors as temperature, humidity, the presence of sunlight, and the chemical composition of the soil. Unfavorable factors significantly reduce the secretion of excretion during the flowering period.
Warm weather should be established for honey production. Usually, nectar production begins at 10 degrees Celsius. Some trees, for example, willow or cherry, give nectar even at a temperature of 6-8 degrees.
As the temperature rises, nectar production increases. For most trees, the optimum temperature during the flowering period, at which the largest amount of nectar is released, is considered to be 16-25 degrees. Night cold snaps have a bad effect in such a period. When the nights are cold, there is hardly any bribe.
During flowering, moisture also plays an important role in the honey content of trees. The optimum air humidity is from 60 to 80%. When the humidity rises, the secretion of nectar increases, but at the same time, it becomes more liquid and loses its sugar content.
Sunlight is also considered an important factor in nectar production. In a shaded forest, a tree will produce less nectar than in an open area. But, for a good selection, along with the illumination, there must be the necessary humidity.
Lingering rains have a negative effect on bribe from flowering trees. High humidity affects the liquid of the nectar. In addition, rains promote the growth of green mass and inhibit the development of flowers. And in trees with open flowers, rain washes away the nectar from them.
Strong winds also have a bad effect. It promotes the shrinkage of the flower. And in dry winds, some plants, such as linden, stop the sweet syrup from escaping. Thus, warm, sunny and calm weather with intermittent rains is considered favorable for good honey flow.
Classification of honey plants
Honey trees can be classified by the nature of the flow, by the climatic zone and by their location.
By the nature of the bribe
Trees are conventionally divided into 3 groups: 1. Trees that emit only pollen and have no nectar:
- Birch tree
This group of trees is characterized by nondescript flowering. Bees visit them only to collect pollen. Trees that give both pollen and nectar, they are called nectar pollen. These include: willow, acacia, linden. These are the best honey plants. Nectar-bearing trees, emitting only nectar. Such representatives are the female varieties of willow.
By the place of growth
Honey trees are also divided according to their habitat:
- The following trees can be attributed to honey plants of woodlands: willow, bird cherry, alder, viburnum, linden, maple, elm, oak, birch, aspen, conifers;
- Garden honey plants are fruit trees, among them: sweet cherry, cherry, apple, pear, quince, dogwood, fruit trees of the subtropics;
- The following trees are the honey plants of the parks: linden, white acacia, chestnut, poplar, hawthorn.
By climatic zones
Each climatic zone has its own honey plants, which are the basis for the development of beekeeping.
- Taiga zone: willow
- Northern Zone: Willow
- Middle lane (Forest-steppe): Willow, maple, linden
- Southeast European regions: Willow, acacia, chestnut, maple
- Asian steppes: Willow, yellow acacia
- Mountainous regions of Asia and Altai: Verba, acacia
- Far East: Willow, maple, linden
The best honey plants
Trees of this family are widely known among beekeepers. Willows are one of the first to give nectar in spring. They grow well along river banks, near water bodies and in swamps. This is one of the earliest forest melliferous plants. It begins to bloom in April, before the leaves open. The flowering period lasts 20 - 25 days. This plant is rich in nectar and pollen.
Video about an excellent representative of honey trees:
And in some areas it is the main source of food for bees in early spring. In good and warm weather, bees bring up to 6 kg of nectar. During the bribe period, one plant produces an average of 25 g of sugar, and the average collection of honey from one hectare is up to 150 kg.
Acacia is considered an excellent honey plant. White blooms first, and then yellow. Its fluffy bunches are full of nectar. In good weather, in 10-12 days, bees completely fill the nests with this delicate and fragrant raw material for honey. White acacia is a powerful tree that grows up to 20 m.
Habitat Ukraine and the Southern Federal District. Often found in forest shelter belts. It begins to bloom in mid-May. Snow-white flowers collected in drooping brushes attract with aroma from afar. For bees, it is a rich source of bee bread and nectar. Acacia honey is considered to be of high quality.
With a good bribe, up to 300 kg of honey is collected from one hectare of such a forest. But the bribe depends on the weather conditions, and beekeepers do not always manage to get a good honey harvest. Yellow acacia is a shrub up to 5 meters high. It is bred for planting alleys, for the formation of hedges and as forest protection belts.
Acacia grows well on any soil and often forms whole thickets. She took root well in the North Caucasus, Central Asia and Altai. The tree blooms in the last decade of May. The weather favors an abundant secretion of nectar. The average bribe is up to 50 kg of honey per hectare. Acacia honey is of high quality and due to its low diastasis, it does not thicken.
Behind the white acacia, its variety of gleditsia immediately blooms. It is used for hedges and field plantings. Due to the long thorns, it is completely inaccessible. A wonderful honey plant.
This tree is considered the best honey plant. From 1 hectare of such a plantation, you can collect a ton of honey. Beekeepers have a good saying in this regard: "Linden in color - and there is no grief." Linden blooms from June and this period depends on the climatic zone. The flowers are very fragrant and have a greenish yellow color. The honey collection period is no more than 2 weeks. The tree is weather sensitive.
Nectar production drops at low or high temperatures. Linden has open flowers and when it rains, the nectar is washed out of them. Wind and cold weather have a bad effect on the honey content of linden. A temperature of 18-24 degrees is considered favorable for the secretion of nectar, and there is no bright sun. In this weather, a lot of the sweet liquid collects at night. And attracts bees early in the morning.
Distinguish between wild and garden pear. It is considered a good honey plant; wild pear forests can be found in the North Caucasus and the Central zone. Pear flowers attract insects with their nectar in an open receptacle. The flower consists of a calyx and corolla up to 3.5 cm in diameter with white or slightly pink petals.
Flowers on a pear are arranged in 6-10 inflorescences. The pear blooms profusely, starting in mid-April. At the peak of flowering, bees bring a lot of sweet liquid. The honey content of such plantations is up to 20 kg / ha. Over 1000 species of various melliferous plants grow on the territory of the country, but only a few species are considered the main melliferous plants, and they are different in each region.