The type of nectar and pollen that bees collect will determine the color, flavor and grade of the honey they produce. The amount of nectar and pollen available for honey bee collection is directly affected by environmental conditions such as weather patterns and overall climate. It is because of these factors that each region of the world has a specific set of plants best suited for honey bee pollination to create an optimal quality honey.

The best plants in the Pacific Northwest during the summer months for honey bees to collect pollen from for the best honey flow are…

  • Snowberry (Buckbrush) - May-June, surplus
  • Cascara - May-June, nectar
  • Hairy Vetch - May-June, surplus nectar
  • Raspberry - June, surplus
  • Thistle - June, nectar and pollen
  • Blackberry - June-July, nectar and pollen
  • White Clover - June-July, pollen and nectar
  • Dill (oil) - July, pollen and nectar
  • Fire Weed - July-August, no pollen and variable nectar

For more information about regional nectar types throughout the year, check out this lesson from our Beekeeping 101 series.