Black locust

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PeeVee, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. PeeVee

    PeeVee New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Last year on Memorial weekend I noticed a tremendous blossoming of Black Locust about 15 miles away. Maybe it was because of the weather we had earlier I don't know. I also don't remember seeing such a bloom there before. So fragrant it was noticeable from the 4 lane as I drove past. That went on for a few days.

    Unfortunately I was not prepared to move a hive to that location. This coming year I hope to get a couple hives moved in the second week of May just in case that happens again.

    Question is, what are the chances of having such a productive bloom two years in a row? I have heard locust is fickle that way.

    And, would the time frame of two weeks in advance of a possible bloom around the same time work?

    Just wondering as I've never done such a move before. (Oh, yeah, also depends on bees surviving till then.)
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    First off you would want to really check and make certain that any specific species of plant produces nectar that the bee can get too. a flower does not automatically = some honey crop. sometimes plants just don't produce significant nectar and sometimes the bees tongue is just too short to get the job done. I seem to recall someone suggesting that one of the locust varieties produces no nectar????

    everywhere I have lived black locust is fairly rare since it is highly prized as fence building material but blooms almost every year.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had 15 Black locust trees in my back yard (storm took all but two out :shock: ) The black locust blooms make a very light, good flavored honey, when the bees work them. They are in bloom on the 10th of May at my farm and there are times it sounds like your inside a bee hive and some years honey bees don't touch them, but the wasp and bumble bees do. :confused: Two years ago a storm came though and blew the blooms off (the two that were left) and the honey bees were working the blooms on the ground? The black locust trees and Catalpa trees both produce honey (nectar) when the bees work them, but they are not a reliable source. That's been my observation anyway. Jack
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    tec the locust that doesnt produce nectar is ironically called the Honey locust. Not for its honey but from the color of the wood.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Not so much from the color of the wood as from the taste of the bean. The bean of the honey locust is edible and has a sweet taste to it, try some next fall.
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've not had a problem with the Black Locust tree, ( mine are fenced off from the cattle) but they say the leaves are poisoness to live stock. :confused: Jack
     
  7. PeeVee

    PeeVee New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    tec: Around here the locust was used for fence posts but not so much any more as the dairy farm has been on a decline for some years. Now, any fence seems to be built with treated posts thare machine driven instead of being hand set as we used to do it.

    Jack: sorry to hear of the loss of your trees! The locust I have in mind here are mature trees and cover s few acres. We never had any locust on the farm here. Also didn't know that about the leaves being toxic. I have heard that about cherry leaves though.

    G3: didn't know that about Honey Locust. Although now I will need to find out if these trees are indeed Black Locust.
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    most black locust will have small thorns like a rose bush, only more blunt.

    Honey locust will have very long thin thorns like needles up to 5" log and can be in small clusters, the seed are in a big brownish/red looking bean up to 14" long, flat and waxy looking.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    river rat writes:
    the locust that doesnt produce nectar is ironically called the Honey locust. Not for its honey but from the color of the wood.

    G3 writes
    The bean of the honey locust is edible and has a sweet taste to it

    tecumseh:
    thanks for the info folks.
     
  10. LetMBee

    LetMBee New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If it is black locust you "may" get a great flow off of it. You won't know unless your bees are there. It is very hit or miss in eastern Indiana. If you get storms in May while the bloom is on those flowers will all fall off and that's it (happened here last summer).
     
  11. Greenb3tree

    Greenb3tree New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The best way to tell if they are black or honey locust this time of year is to look for old seed pods under the trees. Honey locust planted by people often have no spines as it is a spineless cultivar (Regular Honey locust is Glenditsia tricanthos, and the spineless one is Glenditsia tricanthos "inermis". "Inermis" means "un-armed" in Latin). But the pods mentioned by G3farms are distinctive. Large, long, and dark brown or reddish brown. They often spiral slightly. Black locust are usually smaller overall and only 2 to 3 inches long. They are flat, not spiral.

    JC :drinks:
     
  12. PeeVee

    PeeVee New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks all for the replies and advice and great information. As I mentioned before, we don't have black locust on the farm. so I'm not that familiar with it. I'm glad I posted here.
     
  13. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I still have 8 Black Locust trees on the farm and could have many more, they are bad about putting out sprouts. G3, are the Honey Locust your talking about the one with the long purple thorns, back here we call them Thorny Locust. Jack
     
  14. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bean pods of a small honey locust, this tree has only been producing seed for two or three years.
    [attachment=2:38uvth70]100_2269.JPG[/attachment:38uvth70]

    Same honey locust tree showing the thorns, they are approx. 3 1/2" long and they are needle like in shape.
    [attachment=1:38uvth70]100_2270.JPG[/attachment:38uvth70]

    Thorns of the black locust tree, they are more of a triangular shape. These trees are about four years old and bloomed for the first time in 2011.
    [attachment=0:38uvth70]100_2271.JPG[/attachment:38uvth70]
     

    Attached Files:

  15. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    good photos G3 :coolphotos:
     
  16. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What you posted for the honey locust tree is what we call thorny locust. There have been times i've heard bees working them hard? You sure they don't produce anything for the bees. :confused: Jack
     
  17. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Not sure about the honey locust, but the black locust has big clusters of white blooms that bees will work hard.

    bean pods of the black locust are toxic!
     
  18. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Several years ago i had 4 hives under the locust trees i lost to the storm and got over 300 lbs of the clearest honey i ever had and with a good mild tast. Never had that good of flow from them again. I have been told (handed down from family) that the leaves of the wild cherry (in the wilt stage),black locust (and seed pods) were poison to cattle.Buckeyes would kill hogs, and everything on a jimsonweed was poison, and if you smelled there flowers it would make your eyes to dilate and cause hallucinations. I have seen the bees working all of them, but never had a problem with the honey. :confused: Jack
     
  19. Marbees

    Marbees Member

    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    From all varieties of locust, black locust is the only one to be nectar producing .
    Originated from Appalachians , it's native only to N. America. In 17th century black locust seeds were sent to France to king's landscaper Jean Robin, that's where the latin name Robinia Pseudoacacia derived from.
    From France it was spread to England, and Eastern Europe.
    As Jack said it gives you the clearest honey you will see, and I never saw it crystalized .
    Three years ago I planted some 6" seedlings of black locust and some of them are already over six feet tall. Hope to have some nice comb honey in years to come.
     
  20. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Maarbees, thanks for providing the scientific name--as soon as I saw it, I suddenly knew what you all were talking about.
    We have a few Robinia pseudaoaccacia around here, but not enough for me to say that I got honey from it. Here it flowers when "everything else" is flowering, so at best, I get its honey mixed in with the rest.