Flowers which are favourites with bees in some situations, are in others passed over by them with apparent indifference. This shows that climate, soil, and season, have more influence in adapting flowers to bees than many persons would imagine. Honey partakes of the fragrance and taste of the flowers that are most abundant at the time when it is taken. As a proof, I visited my apiary, about twenty miles from London, and took from a cottage-hive a glass of honey, and was bringing it to London in the stage coach, when a lady inside remarked that there was a very powerful smell of mignonette. Upon this I uncovered my glass of comb, and soon satisfied her from whence it arose.
Those who have paid attention, and watched the bees, must have remarked that this simple, but elegant and fragrant flower is an everlasting resource to them. No sooner is it quitted by one bee than another and another immediately succeeds in search of the nectar and farina.
Bees like best those places where their favourite flowers most abound, such as fields of beans, of buckwheat, and of the never to be surpassed Dutch clover. It is here we can listen to their busy and joyful hum of delight, and be in our turn also delighted. They do not fly far in search of food, not often more than a mile, and always return with great precipitation to the hive upon the approach of rain or a storm.
The practical bee-keeper; or, Concise and plain instructions for the ...
By John Milton (grocer.)