August

(from Blake ST and Roff C. 1987. Honey Flora of Queensland 3rd Edition, Department of Primary Industries Queensland, Brisbane)

Common name

Scientific name

Colour of honey

Importance as honey source

Importance as pollen source

Honey flavour

Honey density

Blake & Roff comments

Members comments

Pink ash

Alphitonia petriei

light amber

major

major

fair

moderate

Probably the principal rainforest bee-forage plant. Produces a good supply of nectar and pollen every second or third year.

 

Orange tree

Citrus aurantium

light amber

minor

minor

   

Honey is first grade with a characteristic excellent flavour and aroma. It candies readily with a whitish fine grain.

 

Poplar gum

Eucalyptus platyphylla 

medium amber

minor

medium

pleasant

moderate

Flowers lightly most years. In the Townville district, however, about every four years it produces an abundance of pollen.

Irregular producer of nectar, about one year in four. Regular pollen supplier, but needs winter rain to produce nectar.

Brown's box (Reid River box)

Eucalyptus brownii

extra light amber

medium

medium

good

heavy

Irregular producer between Townsville and Charters Towers

Similar to and often growing with E. normantonensis.

Blue gum

Eucalyptus tereticornis

light amber

moderate

major

pleasant

moderate

In most seasons bees build well on this tree.

Produces only when flowering is delayed by late cool winter weather.

Turnip weed

Rapistrum rugosum

             

White clover

Trifolium repens

light amber

minor

medium

good but mild

light

Sown in pastures and depending on suitable rains, provides a good build for bees.

 

 

Other species of note (by Mike James):

Common name

Scientific name

Colour of honey

Importance as honey source

Importance as pollen source

Honey flavour

Honey density

Members comments

Wattles

Acacia sp.

 

nil

minor

   

Bees can collect pollen, but it is considered to have poor protein content.

Sarsparilla

Alphitonia petriei

light amber

major

major

fair

moderate

Principle rain forest bee forage tree. Bees build well but tend to dwindle quickly when shifted to a site with poor pollen supplies.

Casuarinas

Casuarina sp.; Allocasuarina sp.

 

minor

minor

   

Bees collect copious quantities of pollen in some seasons. Pollen is cream coloured and the rust like material at the hive entrances are husks which are discarded.

Citrus

Citrus sp.

light amber

minor

minor

fair

light

Flowers regularly with good pollen but as a support group only if there are insufficient plantings.

Coconut palm

Cocos nucifera

           

Pumpkins

Cucurbita maxima

medium amber

nil to minor

major

 

light

Bees obtain good supplies of pollen (highest protein levels available to bees) from most pumpkins.

Other cucurbits

Cucurbita sp.

         

With the exception of pumpkins, cucurbits seem of little benefit to bees, but cucumbers can be useful.

Lemon-scented gum

Lophostemon citriodora

 

minor

medium

   

Close cousin to southern Spotted gum. It has a long bud growing period and can flower any month of the year.

Narrow-leaf ironbark

Eucalyptus crebra

extra white to light amber

minor to major

Medium to major

choice

heavy

Heavy but erratic producer, about one year in five.

Normanton box

Eucalyptus normantonensis

light amber

medium

minor

   

Most responsive to ground moisture. Bees can build to swarming strength when pollen is collected from another source.

Inland bloodwood

Eucalyptus terminalis

 

minor

     

Needs checking. Extensive west of Charters Towers. Most pleasant of the bloodwoods. Has an unusually long flowering period.

Grevillea

Grevillea banksii

         

Most grevilleas are nectar producers, but in general there is insufficient nectar density to create a honey flow. There may be a sufficient plant population between Rollingstone and Bluewater for a honey flow in a dry year.

Grevillea

Grevillea sp.; hybrids esp. “Robyn Gordon”

amber

minor

nil

   

Grevilleas are often planted to attract nectar eating birds but of no major benefit to bees.

Soapy tea-tree

Melaleuca dealbata

medium amber

minor

minor

poor

light

Support species only.

Red bottle brush

Melaleuca viminalis

medium amber

minor to major in town

medium to major

fair

light

Small stands along most creeks, but street planting is a help.

Pigweed

Portulaca bicolor

 

major

     

Occurs mainly in headland areas cultivated for irrigated crops.

Umbrella tree

Schefflera (ex Brassaia) actinophylla

dark amber

minor

nil

fair

light

Bees can collect small quantities of this nectar which is nearly black. Bees work these flowers during rain.

African tulip

Spathodea campanulata

 

minor

     

Bees collect and are stimulated by the red stringy pollen.