December

 (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

River mangrove

Aegiceras corniculatum

light amber

minor

minor

strong

light

Useful supporting species.

Useful support species, but good yields have not been reported.

White mahogany (white stringybark)

Eucalyptus acmenoides

medium amber

minor

major

strong

light

A supporting species on the Atherton Tableland.

 

Pink bloodwood

Eucalyptus intermedia

medium amber

minor

minor

strong

light

Flowering affected adversely by wet season. Restricted value.

Bees build well and will store honey after storms in November. Flowering affected by wet season.

Mountain coolibah

Eucalyptus orgadophila

extra light amber

major

medium

good

moderate

Produces heavily about one year in four in the drier basaltic areas of the Cairns hinterland

 

Rusty jacket

Eucalyptus peltata

 

minor

     

Found scattered in the Herbert-Irvinebank area. The bee forage value of this tree is not well known.

Flower cups show plenty of nectar.

Red stringybark

Eucalyptus resinifera

medium amber

minor

major

strong

light

On Atherton Tableland in major flowering year a good support species.

 

Morton Bay ash (Carben, Stocking gum)

Corymbia tessellaris

 

minor

major

   

In Townsville district during the dry period this pollen tree is valuable.

Honey is the most stringy of northern types.

Northern swamp box

Lophostemon grandiflorus

white

minor

minor

good

moderate

Produces heavily about one in ten years, particularly in a dry summer on the Atherton Tableland. Important in coastal districts and on the Atherton Tableland.

Produces heavily about one year in ten, particularly during dry summer. Needs creek to run before it quickly buds and flowers.

Maize (corn)

Zea mays

   

major

   

Excellent source of pollen.

Excellent source of pollen which beekeepers are making better use of.

Chinee apple

Ziziphus mauritiana

extra white

minor

minor

fair

light

Flowers annually and lightly stimulates colonies during dry period in Townsville district.

Flavour unpleasant. Nil value for pollen. Flowers annually and can lightly stimulate bees during dry summers in the Townsville district. Honey can froth.

 

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.

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.

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.

White stringybark

Eucalyptus acmenoides

medium amber

minor

major

strong

light

A strong support species north of Hervey’s Range.

River red gum (River gum)

Eucalyptus camaldulensis

White to light amber

major

major

mild

dense

Most widely distributed tree in inland Australia. Honey candies readily, and needs to be carefully heated to render it.

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.

Silver-leaf (broad-leaf) ironbark

Eucalyptus melanophloia

white to light amber

major

minor

good

heavy

 

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.

Ghost gum

Eucalyptus platyphylla

dark amber

minor

major

pleasant

moderate

In a good flowering year it is a good support species. It will not bud with insufficient ground moisture.

Hairy bloodwood

Eucalyptus setosa

dark to black

       

Common west of Charters Towers (occurs with E. papuana). Value to bees unknown.

Silver-leaf ironbark

Eucalyptus shirleyi

extra light amber

medium

minor

good

heavy

In major flowering year this is a good support species.

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.

Brush box

Lophostemon confertus

extra white to light amber

minor

minor

choice

moderate

Other scrub trees flower at the same time, often spoiling this choice honey.

Swamp mahogany

Lophostemon suaveolens

extra white

medium

nil to minor

good

moderate

Produces heavily about one year in five, particularly in dry summer. Thin nectar is washed out by rain.

Soapy tea-tree

Melaleuca dealbata

medium amber

minor

minor

poor

light

Support species only.

Red bottle brush

Melaleuca viminglis

medium amber

minor to major in town

medium to major

fair

light

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

Peltophorum

Peltophorum pterocarpum

amber to yellow

medium

major

fair

light

Useful source of pollen in town, bees build strongly and wax produced is orange.

Cockie apple

Planchonia careya

amber

minor

nil

very unpleasant

light

Honey is of strong and unpleasant character downgrading the flavour of any honey blended with it.

Pigweed

Portulaca bicolor

 

major

     

Occurs mainly in headland areas cultivated for irrigated crops.

Pigweed

Portulaca oleracea; P. pilosa

 

major

 

 

 

Occurs mainly in headland areas cultivated for irrigated crops.

Mintweed

Salvia reflexa

 

 

 

 

 

Mintweed grows quickly after early rainfall and produces sufficient pollen and nectar for building bees.

Rain tree

Samanea saman

light amber

medium

major

fair

light

Regular honey producer in town.

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.

Yellow bells

Tecoma stans

amber to yellow

minor

minor to medium

 

 

Bees are attracted to nectar of this support species.

Caltrop

Tribulus terrestris

 

minor

medium

 

 

Bees are often seen beside roads collecting lemon yellow pollen. The pollen is of high quality and accelerates brood rearing, soon after drought breaking rains.

Grasstree

Xanthorrhoea sp.

 

minor

minor

 

 

 

Yellow penda

Xanthostemon chrysanthus

 extra light amber

 major

medium 

good 

light 

Flowers regularly around Cardwell. Major flowering in Townsville suburbs after big rain.