October

 (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

extra white

medium

major

distinctive, not unpleasant

light

Candies quickly with a fine white grain. Most valuable of the mangrove group. Heavy flowering in alternate years.

The nature of northern rivers allows only small stands which are inadequate for a honey flow. Candies readily with fine white grain.

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.

 

Black sheoak

Casuarina littoralis

   

medium

   

Orange-brown flower particles at hive entrances indicate bees are working Casuarina

 

White mahogany (white stringybark)

Eucalyptus acmenoides

medium amber

minor

major

strong

light

A supporting species on the Atherton Tableland.

 

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.

Red stringybark

Eucalyptus resinifera

medium amber

minor

major

strong

light

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

 

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.

Moreton Bay ash (Carbeen, Stocking gum)

Corymbia tessellaris

 

minor

major

   

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

Honey is the most stringy of northern types.

Southern silky oak

Grevillea robusta

 

 

medium

 

 

On the Atherton Tableland this ornamental is a good source of pollen.

 

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.

Swamp mahogany

Lophostemon suaveolens

extra white

medium

minor

good

moderate

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

 

Parkinsonia

Parkinsonia aculeata

 

 

minor

 

 

Minor supporting species only.

 

Turpentine

Syncarpia glomulifera

extra light amber

minor

minor

strong unpleasant

moderate

Bitter flavour, spoils other honeys when blended.

 

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.

Black bean

Castanospermum sp

amber

minor

nil to minor

   

Flowers regularly with some nectar.

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.

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.

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.

Inland bloodwood

Eucalyptus terminalis

 

minor

     

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

Silver-leaf ironbark

Eucalyptus whitei

         

Needs early storm rains to produce nectar.

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.

Beefwood

Grevillea striata

 

minor

minor

woody

light

Reliable support species in Townsville district. Tree is to sparsely distributed to provide a honey flow.

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.

White cedar

Melia azedarach

light amber

minor

minor

fair

light

Deciduous trees from rainforest margins which help provide a spring build-up.

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 flavor of any honey blended with it.

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.

Yellow bells

Tecoma stans

amber to yellow

minor

minor to medium

 

 

Bees are attracted to nectar of this support species.