The Paulownia honey, new in Europe, millenary in China

Hoja del Árbol de paulownia

Paulownia honey is a honey that has been produced for millennia in Asia and Australia. However, it only became known in Spain a few years ago with the first plantations of this spice. The honey has unique characteristics and the taste is said to be delicious. However, to date we have not yet found any beekeepers to supply us with this honey. However, plantations are being established and it will only be a matter of time before we find this honey.

Index:

  1. The paulownia honey
  2. The paulownia tree
  3. Arrival of paulownia in Spain
  4. Use of paulownia
  5. Where to buy it?

Summary: The paulownia honey is a millenary honey from Asia, in the case of Spain, the first plantations are arriving. The wood of the paulownia tree is also of great economic interest. At present, we do not have any paulownia honey in our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid. The only foreign honeys we have are manuka and acacia.

Other interesting articles: Flowers and bees. Where to buy quality raw honey?

1. Paulownia Honey

Paulownia honey is a honey native to China and Australia. It has been consumed there for thousands of years. However, it has only arrived in Spain a few years ago.

There are currently paulownia plantations, but I have not yet found any beekeepers who have been able to obtain this monofloral honey. However, plantations of this tree are being carried out in Valencia and in other parts of Spain, such as Extremadura. Therefore, in a few years, a national beekeeper should start producing monofloral paulownia honey.

a) Characteristics of paulownia honey:

The palownia honey is a honey with a very light colour reaching white. It has a very remarkable taste, it is a light and very aromatic honey. Its colour and consistency is similar to acacia honey.

2. The paulownia tree

The pauolownia tree is a great opportunity for Spanish farmers.

  • Firstly, the wood it produces is of very high quality and rots with great difficulty. For this reason it is highly valued in the nautical and maritime industry.
  • Secondly, it grows very fast, probably the fastest growing tree in the plant world. This means that you don’t have to wait 10 or 20 years, like other crops, before you can sell the wood. In 5 or 6 years, it is already thick enough to be sold.
  • Thirdly, as indicated above, it produces a large quantity of foliage, allowing the farmer to make an annual profit from the sale of this foliage, either green or hayed for livestock.
    Fourthly, thanks to its rapid growth, it allows the control and management of very eroded and poor soils.

On the other hand, let’s take a look at the effects on beekeeping

a) Benefits for the beekeeper

Beekeepers also benefit greatly from this new crop, as the flowers of paulownia are highly melliferous, i.e. they produce large quantities of nectar and pollen, sources for the production of honey. The paulownia honey is of high quality.

Another of the benefits of this tree is that as it is not a plantation for the purpose of harvesting the fruit, no pesticides are used during flowering, thus respecting the bees and not poisoning them.

3. Discovery of Paulownia honey in Spain

In order to fight against climate change, and now we will see how a group of Spanish researchers discovered how bees go crazy with the nectar of these flowers.

The paulownia honey is a honey that has not been catalogued in Europe, but has been consumed in China and Australia for millennia. Technicians from the European project LIFE + Ecoglauca Ergon, a research project aimed at developing new energy crops for use in biomass, erosion control in very low productivity and abandoned areas, rural development and the development of crops to capture greenhouse gases, have discovered by chance the usefulness of a species native to the Asian continent, the Paulownia tree, a tree that, in addition to producing a large amount of biomass, is a melliferous tree, that is, it produces a large amount of nectar and pollen, which bees can use to produce their honey.

A technician in this study discovered, while carrying out his routine inventory of the Paulownias crop in Navarrés, one of the seven municipalities in the Valencia region where this European research project is being carried out, that many bees were going to pollinate this tree in search of its pollen and nectar.

a) A discovery by chance

After observing these facts, the technician asked a beekeeper from Navarrés to place some hives in order to observe the behaviour of the bees in the hives with the new plantations of paulownia. They discovered what they were already imagining, that the flowers of this tree were highly desired by the bees. The honey produced was then analysed and it was confirmed that the bees used the pollen and nectar from the paulownia trees to make their honey.

Paulownia is native to China, Laos and Vietnam. It has been cultivated for decades in Korea and Japan for commercial purposes and to regenerate badly eroded and polluted soils.

Paulownias are deciduous trees, which flower and have their peak growth season in spring and summer, covering their crowns very thickly with leaves. They can grow up to four metres in one year, and even more if they are in optimum conditions. In autumn, the leaves fall in preparation for the cold winter and are deposited on the ground. They can be left on the soil for decomposition and enrichment, increasing the amount of organic matter and nitrogen content, as they are very rich in this element. Or they can be used for livestock, either green or hayed.

4. Uses of paulownia

The paulownia tree has the following uses:

a) Timber

The wood of paulownia is of high quality and can be used for making any kind of furniture.

b) Biomass or bioethanol

The leaves of paulownia are used for the production of bioethanol and its use as biomass.

c) Foliage component for livestock and other uses

The leaf mass of paulownia is very suitable for use as fodder for livestock. Paulownia is an excellent substitute for alfalfa.

d) Pellets and soil improver

The wood of paulownia can also be used to make pellets.

5. Where to buy it?

Currently, we have only found Paulownia honey on Amazon. As of today, we have not yet found a beekeeper who does not supply it, but once we do, we will add it to our shop. Also, if you are a product of this honey, please contact us.

Sources:

The newspaper Las Provincias: http://www.lasprovincias.es/

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *