Lupine is widespread in many countries. Each variety grows in specific regions - it depends on climatic conditions. The flower is valued for its attractive appearance, unpretentiousness in care. Some varieties are used for agricultural purposes. However, beekeepers have their own interest - first of all, they are interested in the question: is lupine a honey plant or not? In order to answer correctly, it is worth delving into the botanical description of some plant varieties.
Is lupine a honey plant
Only an experienced beekeeper can accurately answer the question - lupine honey plant or not. All plant varieties are so similar that any kind of flower can be mistaken for a honey plant. In fact, only 3 varieties are.
Lupine like a honey plant
Lupine, as a honey plant, is not particularly valuable, since the nectar of this culture in the total product is a tiny fraction in comparison with other flowers and plants. But this is enough to make honey unique in its healing properties.
Only one herb variety of this culture boasts a high degree of honey bearing - narrow-leafed lupine. The remaining species produce a lot of pollen and a minimum of honey.
Is the plant a honey plant
Description of varieties of honey lupine
Lupine's honey production is determined by the variety of plant. In general, only 3 varieties are valuable for beekeeping: white, yellow and narrow-leafed lupine. In this case, white and yellow species are used as a source of pollen for bees, but narrow-leaved is a source of nectar. It turns out that not every honey lupine with good indicators of nectar performance.
As for the flower productivity of a flower, you need to know some facts:
- In terms of the amount of nectar, lupine as a honey plant gives 50-90 kg per ha, if narrow-leaved lupine mainly grows in the territory.
- The collection of nectar and pollen by insects is carried out after 100 - 130 days of active vegetation.
- Compared with other varieties of flowers, the percentage of nectar from this plant is small - only 10-12%.
Description of the melliferous flower
The presence of pollen or nectar from lupins can be determined by the characteristic plaque on the frames or paws of insects. The aroma of such a touch is pleasant, and the taste is slightly bitter.
To provide bees with pollen, it is necessary to sow the yellow plant variety. This species grows in Polesie (forest-steppe), in other regions you need to specially plant a flower.
To know such a variety is simple:
- Palm-shaped leaves of emerald color.
- Stems erect up to 1 m in height. Sometimes there are specimens more than 2 m high.
- The peduncle is tall, dotted with large yellow flowers, collected in dense inflorescences.
note! Look for yellow lupine in places with sandy soil, which has high acidity.
Flowering begins in early June. If the flower grows in the shade, then the buds will bloom in early July and will not bloom for long.
White (lat.Lupinus albus)
This variety is especially common in the southern regions. Honey plant with an average rate, as it is more suitable for pollen.
Externally, the flower can be described as follows:
- The stem reaches 1 m in height. The root is 2 times longer.
- The pedicel can reach 1.5 - 2 m in height.
- The flowering period is more than 1 month. The buds open in mid-July.
- The buds are large, white in color with a complex shape of the flower.
Additional Information! The culture grows only in those places where the soil is very fertile. Therefore, whenever possible, fertilizer should be applied to the ground.
The white flower variety is not afraid of frost and tolerates drought, but still it is considered to be +25 degrees ideal temperature.
Narrow-leaved (blue) lupine is not a perennial herbaceous variety. An interesting feature is the color of inflorescences. On one peduncle, the buds can have purple, blue, pink-blue with white petals.
Narrow-leaved species belong to high-quality honey plants with good indicators. The peduncle reaches a two-meter height. It prefers a temperate climate; therefore, it grows in the central and eastern regions. The composition of the soil should be mostly sandy.
Narrow honey plant
It withstands frosts of -8 degrees, but loves warm summers. It blooms for about 20 days, beginning in late June. The blue variety is an excellent honey plant, but in addition it provides bees with pollen as well.
Features of lupine as a honey plant: useful properties of such honey
Lupine for bees is a very attractive plant - a delicate aroma of flowers, a huge amount of pollen and sweet nectar. An additional advantage is the unique property of honey, which includes nectar from this plant:
- is a weak painkiller;
- helps wound healing;
- Ideal for relieving inflammation.
Attention! Honey containing lupine nectar can cause allergies in people with legumes intolerance.
Attention! Due to the presence of all of the above properties, a beekeeping product with such a component is actively used for the manufacture of medicinal tinctures and ointments, an excellent component for cosmetics.
How to grow honey lupine for maximum honey productivity
Lupine, whose honey content is already not great, requires appropriate care if planted for bees. Proper cultivation agrotechnics will increase the plant's honey production. It is necessary to consider the following nuances:
- You can sow a plant only after crops, beets or corn. If before this, legumes grew on the site, then the flower will develop poorly.
- Before sowing, it is advisable to fertilize the soil with organic fertilizers. It is advisable to increase the acidity of the soil and make it loamy.
- The plot must be open. The maximum proximity of shrubs or trees is 1.5 m.
- Planting material (seeds) is better to lay since the fall, approximately in November. Then flowering will happen sooner.
- According to the standards for sowing 1 hectare of land leaves 3 kg of seeds. You can take 2 kg of planting material, then the specimens will be larger and the flowering period will last longer.
- You can put the seeds in the wells. About 4 seeds are placed in each recess. The distance between them should be at least 20 cm.
- You can sow in the grooves. The row spacing should be 40 - 45 cm.
- So that the seedlings appear on time, and the seeds do not freeze in winter, you need to sprinkle the holes with earth, the layer of which will be at least 4 cm.
- Too thick shoots need to be thinned out so that the bushes grow strong and bloom accurately.
- After each watering, it is necessary to loosen the soil so that the soil does not bloom and passes moisture well.
Bees make honey from lupine nectar.
If you fulfill all the conditions for quality sowing and care, the plantation will delight you with its appearance, and the bees will receive enough pollen and nectar from the flowers. Additionally, a well-organized planting will help to grow excellent bushes with good flowering.
Not many beekeepers realize that lupine can be a honey plant. The flower does not bring much nectar, but enough pollen for the bees. But only a few varieties are considered as such - namely 3. In addition, the plant also attracts with its interesting appearance, pleasant aroma. Honey containing lupine nectar is considered healing and very beneficial.