Honey Bee Friendly Flower: Maple Blossoms

June 2019 Introduction: I have read several accounts of honey bees making an early spring honey from Red Maple blossoms, usually on the west coast of North America. I don’t see many of those trees where I live on the east coast of Newfoundland, but regular maple trees, whatever you want to call them, are abundant in urban areas of the island. This post was written on the assumption if honey bees collect Red Maple nectar, they must be able to collection nectar from regular maples trees too.

The city of St. John’s may be one of the best places to keep honey bees on the island of Newfoundland because it’s full of maple trees and a large variety of flowering plants that offer honey bees a bonanza of nectar and pollen from June well into October. Walk around the city today and you will see flowering maple trees everywhere with little flowers that look like this.

A maple tree flower in St. John's, NL (June 09, 2015.)

A maple tree flower in St. John’s, NL (June 09, 2015.)

I took that photo on my cell phone and I know it’s not the greatest, but if St. John’s had more beekeepers, honey bees would be all over those flowers — and honey made from maple nectar is spectacular.

The quantity, diversity and consistency of honey bee forage makes the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, an excellent place to keep bees. (Just make sure your neighbours don’t mind.)

March 6th, 2016: I found this photo from 2011 that shows flowers on a maple tree, the kind of flowers that hang down in long bunch. The bees supposedly go for these too.

Maple blossoms in St. John's, Newfoundland. (June 19, 2011.)

Maple blossoms in St. John’s, Newfoundland. (June 19, 2011.)

Not the greatest photo but good enough.

May 27th, 2016: The maple tree flowers show up as early as May. Nice.

Maple blossoms in St. John's, Newfoundland (May 26, 2016.)

Maple blossoms in St. John’s, Newfoundland (May 26, 2016.)

4 thoughts on “Honey Bee Friendly Flower: Maple Blossoms

  1. I am a new beekeeper, first hives this year. I own a house on Lemarchant rd., pretty much in a business area but there are neighbors behind, I am putting my hives at a country place out of town, I never really considered in the city, I thought the noise would be troublesome to the bees. Maple trees galore…

    • I don’t think the bees are bothered by noise. They get used it. The last location I kept my bees was in Logy Bay where the hives were directly beneath the flight path of giant noisy planes coming in for a landing at the airport. The planes were close to the ground and the sound was deafening at times. I hated it, but the bees didn’t seem to notice.

      I used to keep my bees on Golf Ave, just up the road from Lemarchant. I’d probably still be there if it wasn’t for a particularly unpleasant neighbour. If I kept bees in the city again, I would probably only do it on a rooftop where no one could see me, because I just don’t want to deal with ignorant people any more. But I do think it’s possible to keep bees in the city.

      • Thanks, I think we will give it a try in town for our first couple of years and see how it goes. That way I can see them every day.Thanks

        • You will learn the most by being around the bees all the time.

          My urban beekeeping category might have useful info for you:


          In my experience, the two bigs things to be aware of our urban neighbourhood besides cranky neighbours: 1) The bees are friendly most of the time, but can get a little more defensive in the fall. Feed them, but don’t mess around with them as much in the fall. 2) You won’t have to worry about swarming until the second summer, but pay close attention to the bees through May and June. That’s usually when they get the urge, if they get the urge.

          I should write a post about dealing with swarms. I know it well.

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