American Basswood : Honey Production
The American Basswood is often referred to as the bee tree. In fact Basswoods provide the second largest volume of nectar to honeybees behind the Clover. Part of the reason that the Basswood is so important to the honeybee is that it flowers at a time when not many other sources of nectar are available. By the time mid- July comes around, queen honeybees are ready for their female worker bees to collect nectar from over 10 miles around their hive. During this time though, many sources of nectar are dried out; however, Basswood flowers are just beginning to bloom.
Besides the fact that Basswoods bloom at a crucial time for honeybees, they are also great sources for nectar due to the shear quantity that they produce. The flower of the American Basswood is actually designed so that the nectar inside of the sepal, the outer parts of the flower, will not be lost in the rain or by dew. The flowers hang upside down, producing a sort of umbrella effect, so the nectar stays safe. The nectar also hangs upside down, but the hairs throughout the sepal work to create surface tension and the force causes the nectar to stay in place.
Honey from the American Basswood is considered some of the best in the world and is said to have a distinctive taste to it. The honey is light in color and the taste and aroma is very strong. The taste is said to be similar regardless of what specific species of Basswood the honey came from.