May

 (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.

Rose sheoak

Allocasuarina torulosa

   

medium

   

As for black sheoak.

 

Streaked rattlepod

Crotalaria mucronata

 

minor

major

   

Bees build to swarming strength.

 

Narrow-leaf (grey) ironbark

Eucalyptus drepanophylla

extra light amber

medium

medium

good

moderate

Erratic producer in Townsville district

 

White stringybark

Eucalyptus phaeotricha

medium amber

moderate

 

strong

moderate

Honey froths when heated. Due to insufficient pollen, colonies sometimes dwindle alarmingly.

 

Long-fruited bloodwood

Eucalyptus polycarpa

medium amber

minor

minor

strong

light

 

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

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.

Phasey bean

Macroptilium lathyroides

 

minor

major

   

Bees build to swarming strength.

 

Weeping tea tree

Melaleuca leucadendra

light amber

medium

medium

strong

light

Flowers regularly.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.