Tongue length ???

Discussion in 'Beekeeping Biology' started by Ray, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Ray

    Ray Member

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    New Bee Question:roll:. I read (somewhere) that: a) the Caucasian honeybee has the longest tongue, b) that all/most honeybees cannot harvest nectar from certain clovers.

    Is this male bovine excreta? Is anyone developing a honeybee with a longer tongue? What type of (hay) clover should a beek plant?
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    The only thing I've heard is that a honey bee's proboscis isn't long enough to get at the nectar of some red clovers.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    not totally certain about a) except to say the European varieties of the honeybee had different lengths of their proboscis.... what I can recall is the Italian honeybee (which is directly related to the carnolian of the old world variety) did have a longer proboscis than the german 'black bee'. as to b) not certain as how to define all or most since some varieties of clover were capable of producing nectar when the longer tongued Italian bee was introduced. some varieties (I seem to remember red clover as applying here) have a long enough flower stem than they can only yield nectar to bumblebees.
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm Active Member

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    If red clover is grown for hay, the first bloom is to big for a honey bees tongue to reach the nectar. After it's cut and blooms the second time, i see honey bees working it.I see the same thing with Dutch clover, the first bloom head is big and i see a few bees on them, but after it's mowed and sets a second bloom the girls are all over it.:thumbsup: Jack
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    that is a quite interesting and useful observation Jack. as they say.... nice catch!

    years ago I was told that crimson clover would not produce a honey crop and then I had the opportunity to work a great number of hives in an area of east Texas that had an expanse of crimson clover and found out directly that what I had been told actually was not exactly true. which is to say the hives in question did work the crimson clover quite vigorously and produced a good bit of honey in the process.
     
  6. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    lol there was a aticle about mammoth red clover only yielding for the longer tongued bumblebees but then was observed the the girls ever the resourceful ones were chewing holes in the side of the floret and THEN getting the nectar.
    Barry
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Just keep in mind that flowers that are too deep to allow bees to collect honey can still provide them with plenty of pollen. I have a Jasmine plant in my yard. The bumble bees love it and collect honey where the bees can't, but that doesn't stop bees from visiting the flowers and collecting pollen.