We have been having a run on borage honey. It has a delicate flavour and, as you can see from the picture below, it has a light appearance, almost transparent. Here you can see it alongside a jar of our summer flower honey.
Borage is a herb, grown commercially for its oil.
From the bees’ perspective it has good and bad traits, mostly good.
It comes into flower in the break between other flowering crops and so offers a valuable source of mid-summer pollen and nectar, when the colony is at its strongest and in need of food.
Its sugar balance also means that it does not set quickly, and so is easy to extract from the hive. This also makes it easy for the bees to eat, without needing to add lots of water themselves to liquify it.
The only downside is that it only comes ‘on flow’, ie is nectar bearing, for a couple of weeks. If, as is often the case in the summer, we have a couple of damp weeks that coincide with flowering, then the bees don’t fly much and can miss the crop entirely.
Adding in the fact that the crop itself is only grown to specific order, this all gives me, the beekeeper, a fairly rare, interesting and valuable honey.