January

 (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

Grey mangrove

Avicennia marina

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.

 

Narrow-leafed ironbark

Eucalyptus crebra

extra light amber

major

medium

choice

heavy

Some years 82kg per colony produced in the drier western section of the Atherton Tableland.

Flowers April to Sep. See comments in "Other species of note"

Cullen's ironbark

Eucalyptus cullenii

extra light amber

major

medium

choice

heavy

This ironbark is not well known by beekeepers but is reported to have the same value as the narrow-leafed ironbark. Further investigation is required.

 

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.

Malloy red box

Eucalyptus leptophleba

 

minor

minor

good

 

Honey is reported to have reddish tint. Requires investigation and is probably more important than at present estimated. Plentiful Mount Garnet district.

 

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.

Silver-leafed ironbark

Eucalyptus shirleyi

extra light amber

medium

minor

good

heavy

About 28kg per district.

In major flowering year this is a good support species. Can also flower in December - see comments in "Extra species of note"

Brown bloodwood

Eucalyptus trachyphloia

medium amber

medium

minor

strong

light

Of some value on the Atherton Tableland.

Early flowering bloodwood, usually on well drained hilly country

Maize (corn)

Zea mays

   

major

   

Excellent source of pollen.

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

 

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.

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

Eucalyptus citriodora

 

minor

medium

   

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

Coolibah

Eucalyptus microtheca

white to light amber

major

medium

good

Very heavy

Regular producer around waterways away from the coast, but a poor producer in coastal areas.

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.

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.

Peltophorum

Peltophorum pterocarpum

amber to yellow

medium

major

fair

light

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

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.

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.

Yellow penda

Xanthostemon chrysanthus

 extra light amber  major  medium  good  light

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