Trees Bees Use
Paul Latham, Croft Cottage, Forneth, Blairgowrie, PH10 6SW, UK
Schefflera volkensii is recommended for honey production.
A creeper or tree which is sometimes much branched, spreading up to 24-30 m tall. Schefflera volkensii may grow as an epiphyte on other trees. Leaves are composed of 4-7 leaflets, each up to 15 cm long by 7 cm wide. The leaf stalk is up to 13 cm long.
Found in wet or dry upland forest, sometimes in Hagenia woodland or in the bamboo zone at 1,550–2,900 m.
The plant can be grown from cuttings, wild seedlings or from seed. Ripe fruit should be collected from the ground and gradually dried. The seed is stored in sealed containers in a dry place. No treatment is required before sowing.
Schefflera volkensii requires supporting when young in order to grow straight.
The flowers are important bee forage. Bees were seen collecting nectar from Schefflera volkensii in June. A related species, Schefflera abyssinica, is an important source of honey in Ethiopia having abundant pollen and nectar: the honey is pure white and granulation fine. Schefflera wallichiana is an important honey plant in tropical Asia producing up to 60% of the total honey crop.
The wood is used for firewood and charcoal. It can also be grown as a living fence and for shade. The latex from this plant, mixed with honey, is used medicinally to treat colds and coughs.
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