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Do honey bees utilize canola? I noticed it is one of the few things blooming here now, anyone know?
 

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yes it does.... canola is a selected variety of rape seed. the honey I have seen and tasted via some North Dakota beekeepers was very light in color and taste. I have read that rape seed honey in europe is often used for 'creamed' honey and that a lot of the canola honey in Canada (which is where the variety of rape seed get's it name) is used for the same purpose.
 

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yes it does.... canola is a selected variety of rape seed. the honey I have seen and tasted via some North Dakota beekeepers was very light in color and taste. I have read that rape seed honey in europe is often used for 'creamed' honey and that a lot of the canola honey in Canada (which is where the variety of rape seed get's it name) is used for the same purpose.
Yep my German beekeeper friend only makes creamed honey, his hives are in an area that has thousands of acres of Rape.... Very pretty yellow fields.
 

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Oil Seed Rape Honey

Ronsin has tubs of this honey. A PM to him might give you some more info.

My info on OSR is all second hand. I know of the positive and negative stories about it.

It has been cropped for honey for many years in the UK.
 

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CANadian Oil Low Acid - Canola

It is a form of rapeseed. I have bees on it this year. They build up FAST on Canola, but it does crystallize quickly - even in the comb. Most use it only for creamed honey because of this.
 

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Oil Seed Rape

In the UK, colonies are often taken to the spring flowering crop. The colonies build up rapidly and are prone to swarming. The honey has to be extracted as soon as the colonies/supers are taken off the fields ---- granulation. It is said that colonies taken off the crop can be quite nasty and the sting carries extra wallop.
 

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It may be of interest to know that 93% of canola in the U.S. is listed as genetically modified. The Bayer corporation which produces the controversial pesticide with neonicotinoids that are stated as possible causes of CCD is involved in the gentetic modification of canola. Some here may find that their bees have no problems in these fields, however it still makes one wonder about these things and I personaly would be very wary. I have included links to the sources of this information for you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food
http://www.bayercropscience.us/products/seeds/invigor-canola/
http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/03/bayer-pesticide-bees-studies
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ps.1818/abstract
 
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