March

(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

Joyweed

Alternanthera sp.

 

minor

major

   

Bees build to swarming strength. This plant together with other weeds flower profusely after the wet season.

Honey has strong unpleasant flavour. In irrigated areas it flowers over a longer period.

Streaked rattlepod

Crotalaria mucronata

 

minor

major

   

Bees build to swarming strength.

 

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

 

Red stringybark

Eucalyptus pellita

medium amber

minor

major

strong

light

On lower coastal slopes a good support species

 

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.

Phasey bean

Macroptilium lathyroides

 

minor

major

   

Bees build to swarming strength.

 

Broad-leafed tea tree

Melaleuca viridiflora

light amber

medium

major

poor

light

A good source of pollen.

Honey flavour is choice. A good pollen source but needs water to pond over roots on summer days to yield nectar.

 

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.

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.

Gum-topped  bloodwood

Eucalyptus dichromophloia

 

minor to medium

major

     

Narrow-leaf (grey) ironbark

Eucalyptus drepanophylla

extra light amber

medium

medium

good

moderate

Erratic producer in the Townsville district.

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.

Gum-topped box

Eucalyptus moluccana

white to medium amber

major

medium

pleasant, unusual flavour

moderate

Honey ferments and froths unless well ripened. Candies rapidly. Produces heavily about one in three years.

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.

Paper-bark tea-tree

Melaleuca quinquenervia

extra light amber to dark amber

major

major

poor

light

High yielding tree in southern Queensland but production is unreliable north of Rockhampton. Candies readily.

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.