Oilseed rape (Brassica napus) is one of the most widely grown crops in East Yorkshire, and elsewhere. The bright yellow patchwork of fields bring colour to the countryside in spring for the autumn sown crop and in summer for the less common spring sown crop. Oilseed rape produces a seed which is pressed to release the oil for use as vegetable oil, in animal feed and in the production of bio diesel.
Bees love it and collect vast quantities of nectar and pollen. Oilseed rape honey is quick to crystallize and produces a set honey with a fine texture. For this reason it is mostly reserved for set honey but is rarely labelled as rape honey. In the early days of rape harvests, the quick setting rape honey was a problem to beekeepers as it tended to set in the hive. More recent cultivars are much less of a problem although they do seem to yield less nectar and thus less honey.
As oilseed rape is so widely grown it is rare for beekeepers to move their hives to rape but they rely on their bees flying to it from home.