the ecological value of willows

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116
50
New Zealand
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Commercial
Perhaps you have a low amount in the honey Stephen - I believe others struggle to extract it at all, without excessive heating.
I wonder whether blackened and withered willows (from sooty mould from aphid feeding) are being thought of as dead and being sprayed?
Some councils are trying to return wet areas to there natural state. The first step is to remove the weeds ie willows
 

mischief

Gold
41
16
Putaruru
Experience
Hobbyist
yeah and those wet areas will erode dumping more sediment into the rivers and harbors.
incidentally there is a program up north here to get farmers to plant willows/poplars to help stop land erosion.
Have a look at Italian Alder....Nitrogen fixing, upright growth, roots that go down not outwards, branch structure after the first lot of bottom ones go up at a 45degree, deciduous....just not interesting to bees.
 
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yesbut

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Nelson
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Nitrogen fixing is not always a good thing. Eg some Rotorua lakes are surrounded by gorse & Manuka mix.The gorse is being selectively sprayed out as it is nutrifying the lakes .
 
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5,526
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canterbury
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The willows are an important part of our calender ...... willow flow about September 20 ..... free nectar and pollen that boosts bee build up.
They were planted as a means to slow down river bank erosion when we got more intensive in agriculture.

In this era of climate change when we are getting sudden rain events that dump 50ml of rain in the hill country in 40 minutes , the willows will play an importnat part in slowing that Tsunami of runoff.
And in an era of wanting to Save the Bees, the willows play an important part in colony buildup so that they can go out and save the planet.
As I have said many times before,the guys who make the rules in their concrete offices need to get out more.

It's a great idea to return NZ to it's pre colonial past ..... but the reality is that we have progressed and need to live our lifestyles with that in mind.
 
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maungaturoto
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willows are great here. however our turbulent spring weather makes it difficult.
i've only had one season where we actually took willow honey off the hives. the big problem is when the willows stop its swarm central.
if your not on your game a lot of your bees are going to exist stage left. it can be very difficult to hold them until the main flow starts.
 
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kaihoka

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whanganui inlet
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willows are great here. however our turbulent spring weather makes it difficult.
i've only had one season where we actually took willow honey off the hives. the big problem is when the willows stop its swarm central.
if your not on your game a lot of your bees are going to exist stage left. it can be very difficult to hold them until the main flow starts.
Why do they swarm when the willow flow stops .?
 
29
43
Canterbury
Experience
Hobbyist
It is only the invasive varieties of willow (for instance, crack willow) that are a pest. There is a multitude of willow varieties that only reproduce by cuttings and these are the ones recommended for land stabilization and shelter. These varieties don't produce viable seeds.
 
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