Alfalfa as honey plant for beekeeping: description and types, productivity

Alfalfa as honey plant for beekeeping: description and types, productivity

Alfalfa fields in Russia are quite widespread. This plant is a valuable agricultural crop that is used to feed animals and solve many other problems. It is also in demand among beekeepers. The use of alfalfa as a honey plant for beekeeping is considered a very promising direction. This crop is highly productive and produces quality nectar.

Description of culture

Alfalfa is a perennial plant from the legume family. It is a fodder crop, which is distinguished by honey-bearing properties. In addition, the plant belongs to green manure.

The ground part reaches a height of 1 meter. In this case, the main root goes 4-10 meters. It extracts moisture and valuable elements from the deep layers. Many additional roots depart from the main rod. They contain nodule bacteria that provide nitrogen fixation.

Alfalfa is a bush that has stems extending from the base. They have petioles with three leaves. Along the edges they are complemented by notches. During the flowering period, beautiful flowers appear on alfalfa, which include 12-13 buds. They can be lilac or yellow.

Inflorescences in appearance resemble a panicle. Each bud is a separate honey plant. One culture is able to attract many bees. The flowers emit a warm and sweet scent.

Types of alfalfa

Out of 100 varieties of culture, only two are used as honey plants - sowing and yellow crescent.


This plant has a bushy structure and a straight stem that reaches a height of 1 meter. Thin stems depart from it, on which there is a group of 3 dense leaves. The upper stems are complemented by flowers that are shaped like moth wings. After flowering is completed, fruits are formed on the bushes, which are beans twisted into a spiral.

Flowers have different shades - from pale lilac to bright purple. Alfalfa mainly grows in the south and in central Russia.

The plant is considered very undemanding to sowing conditions. It can withstand even a slight cold snap and a lack of moisture. The culture grows on poor soils. At the same time, it is characterized by a long root system, which in dry weather gets moisture and saturates the area with nitrogen.

This type of alfalfa continues to bloom throughout the summer from June.

Petals falling within 2 hours after the colony raid means that pollination has happened.

Nectar is deep enough. But for the southern breeds of bees, long proboscises are characteristic. Due to this, they easily extract the substance. During a good season, up to 100 kilograms of honey can be obtained from 1 hectare of plantings.

Yellow sickle

This type of alfalfa has showy yellow flowers. The second name of the variety is associated with the sickle-shaped structure of leaves and flowers.

The plant reaches a height of 60 centimeters. It has a bushy structure and a main stem with processes.The leaves have an elongated shape and form groups of 3 pieces. The flowers have different shades - from light yellow to brighter and more saturated. After flowering is completed, oval beans appear on the bushes.

The nectar is shallow, and the bees can easily get it.

However, it is important to be able to attract them to the yellow alfalfa field. To do this, you need to train the bee colony in advance. Even in the hive, she needs to be fed with sugar syrup infused with alfalfa.

Yellow variety of culture begins to bloom in the first half of summer. It reaches its peak in the second half of summer. It lasts from early July to August. During the season, bees pollinate bushes 2 times. At the same time, wild insects fly up to every second flower and collect pollen.

This shrub is unpretentious to growing conditions. It easily withstands cool weather and short frosts. At the same time, alfalfa gives more nectar at temperatures of + 26-30 degrees and moderate humidity.In good weather, up to 300 kilograms of honey can be obtained from 1 hectare over the summer.


Both varieties of alfalfa are considered unpretentious to the type of soil, but very demanding on the weather. Sandy soil is considered the best option. Moreover, it should have a low level of acidity. A rather fertile land is best for the plant.

It is required to plant alfalfa in an open meadow or field. It is recommended to do this in early spring. It is important to take into account the forecasted summer weather. Flowering should occur in a season with clear and cloudless weather. 10-15 kilograms of seeds are required per hectare.

It is recommended to clean the site from weeds and roots of mowed plants beforehand. It is also worth removing debris and stones. Then you need to dig up the soil and break up large lumps. After that, the field needs to be leveled with a rake or agricultural machinery.

The depth of sowing bushes is 1-1.5 centimeters. In sandy soil, seeds should be sown 3 centimeters. It is recommended to wrap the earth from above so that the precipitation does not wash away and swell the seeds. Alfalfa should be mixed with sand for a more even distribution.

Planting seeds is required manually or by machine. In the second case, the consumption of planting material is much less. On the 5-7th day after planting, sprouts appear. At the beginning of summer, the flowering period begins. Nectar acquires sweetness at 13-16 hours. In the morning and in the evening, the amount of glucose decreases.

Honey plant productivity

Flowering of the sowing variety in the first year of life is observed only 1 time. In the next 2 years, it is more abundant. The timing of flowering is determined by the time of mowing the grass. If the field remains unmowed, the plant blooms for more than 1 month in the first half of summer.

Within 1 day, a bee family can collect about 10 kilograms of nectar. At the same time, 100 kilograms of honey can be obtained from 1 hectare of irrigated field. It has a transparent structure and an amber tint. The product has a mild taste with no bitterness.

Flowering of crescent alfalfa begins in the first half of summer and lasts until mid-autumn. The cutting time affects the intensity of this process. From 1 hectare it is possible to get up to 300 kilograms of bee nectar. Crescent Alfalfa produces a light amber honey that has a delicate flavor. A distinctive feature of the product is fast crystallization.

The period and duration of flowering

Alfalfa bloom depends on variety. The sickle-shaped variety begins to bloom in the first half of summer. This process continues until mid-autumn. The sowing variety of culture also blooms in early summer. This has been going on for over 1 month.

Healing properties

Alfalfa honey contains a lot of valuable components. It is recommended to use it in such cases:

  • acute respiratory viral infections - the product strengthens the immune system and increases the body's resistance;
  • burns and minor damage - honey accelerates skin regeneration and stops inflammation;
  • pathology of the organs of bile formation - the composition activates the synthesis of bile and improves digestive functions;
  • diseases of the digestive organs - the substance is perfectly absorbed in the stomach;
  • pathology of the heart and blood vessels - the product helps to avoid the development of stroke and heart attack, and is also useful for varicose veins.

Alfalfa is considered an excellent honey plant, which allows you to get high-quality bee nectar. It contains many valuable components and brings great he alth benefits.

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