Beekeeper Kenneth Rhodes sent these pictures of canola pollination that he took about a mile west of Shelley, Idaho. He writes:
These hives are owned by the Browning Honey Company, one of the largest honey producers in the United States. This is the outfit that mentored me in beekeeping for the first year and whom I got my bees from. Nice people. The canola is grown on the David Stallworthy Potato and Grain Farm.
The vast size of canola fields is always amazing. Thank you, Ken, for some interesting shots.
OK, I keep hearing about honey from canola crystallizing rapidly and very hard in the comb. Almost impossible to extract. Then I hear from others that it is fine if extracted right a way. But wouldn’t it crystallize in the jar quickly?
I have even heard some beekeepers say to stay away from canola fields.
I would like to hear what others have experienced.
I have a old post about canola honey here.
Any close up shots of the bees doing their work on the plants ? I’m wondering what a canola plant looks like.
See the photos in this post.
I have been reading about and following the debate on Neonics as systemic pesticide and its implication on the ccd issues. A recent article pointed out that Canada does not appear to be suffering from ccd and they have lots of neonic canola. Rusty, do you have any insights on these types of issues.
The photos are fantastic too.
If you haven’t, read this article by Randy Oliver: A new large-scale trail of clothianidin. It’s well done and informative.
I wonder what Canola honey tastes like?
Beautiful fields, Somehow a few plants came up here my farm in in West Georgia and bloomed shortly after the dandelions started blooming. The bees seemed to work the dandelions and the canola quite readily meaning it could one of the earliest nectar sources around. I considered planting an acre or so for the bees but found that canola can be quite invasive in my hay fields which is not a good thing. It is my understanding that it is self pollinating but still produces a nectar flow.
Where I live we have a lot of this. It is a great crop for honey producing, they harvest the nectar significantly more so than on many other crops.
The downside is that it does crystallise quickly. When the flowers start to wane on the plant is when to take off all the supers and extract, a week later and it will likely be solid in the comb. Also when you take off the supers you need to extract right away, if you leave them on the side waiting a couple of days they will solidify.
Once extracted you can either jar immediately or put it in storage and then warm in a controlled manner later to liquefy again (48C max).
Yes it will set in the jars, and sometimes like rock. If that’s not to your taste in honey you can Google for how to make creamed or soft set honey.
We have no choice but to have canola near us round where I live, so we just have to cope with it. Although it is an extra harvest of honey each year, so it’s worth the effort.
It does, I think, taste less sweet than a lot of honeys I have tried, but then a lot of people like that and chose it over wildflower varieties I sell.
The post by Randy Oliver is 2 years old. He also seems very pesticide industry friendly. I’ve looked at news coming from Canada and reports are they are thinking of adding more regulation especially in Ontario where many of the neonic crops are planted. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/06/25/neonicotinoid_pesticides_responsible_for_bee_deaths_scientists_say.html#
Other than seeing it grow in a few fields and cooking a bit with the oil, don’t have much canola experience. In bloom it is bright! I sure like how its relative kale draws in a mix of pollinators, (other mustards do too); a few years ago I wrote a short ode to kale and bees. http://olypollinators.blogspot.com/2009/06/kale-and-bees.html