Our honey was taken off this last weekend and extracted. Unfortunately, I just had back surgery and was unable to participate.
After extracting, my father brought me up a pint of very dark honey with an odd flavor. Although it looks similar to buckwheat honey, it tastes nothing like it. I wouldn't say that it was bad tasting, just very odd.
Now my supers and my nephew's supers were mixed up during the extracting process so we do not know what location it came from. His hives and mine are + / - 2 miles apart (as the bees fly!) We have been keeping bees at these locations for close to 30 years at mine and 25 at his. We have never gotten any thing like this before. We have approximately 100 lbs of this.
Due to my surgery I have not been able to take a ride around and see if any of the local farmers have planted anything odd.
Does anybody know what blooms in late summer / fall that would produce a dark honey?
I'll say goldenrod or perhaps a foriegn plant introduced. There is a type of reed/grass plant that has been showing up on the east coast and it gives a very dark type honey (fall) that is not common. It is some sort of oriental reed. Good chance if some wetlands are nearby. Not sure the name but I did experience it about three years ago. Wish I knew where to find it.
Always keep in mind that bees will collect from any sugar source at certain times. A bottling plant, candy factory, food processor, etc. Any place that could throw used containers with residue in the trash could add different flavors and honey varieties.
Thanks for the thoughts. I know it is not goldenrad. Goldenrod is my main honey crop and has been for 30 years. This is Much darker, almost black. Like Buckwheat, but does not taste like buckwheat.It does not taste bad, just odd, very odd. Not like any honey i have ever had. Far too rural for industrial waste (I hope!), however It makes me wonder If one of the farms could have a sweet product out where it was available to the bees....
I would dare say it as said from an introduce oriental plant. I few years back we had a very red honey (maybe honeydew??) in the area believed to be from a introduced Japanese plant. The honey was good yet quite odd at the same time.
I do not know about odd-tasting honey, but dark, flavorfull honey is very good for baking. Perhaps cooks would be interested?
>It makes me wonder If one of the farms could have a sweet product out where it was available to the bees....
We feed our cattle molassas protein in the winter. It comes as a liquid in a tanker truck and is fed in troughs.
It sounds like you have Japanese bamboo honey, The Hive and the Honey Bee on pg.482, call it Japanese knotweed, Mexican bamboo (Polygonum cuspidatum). It blooms the first week of August in central Pa. If you would say buckwheat honey tastes like molasses, bamboo honey would be like maple or pancake syrup.
Sounds as if it may be Japanese Bamboo.When I kept bees in W.Penna. I got great crops in the fall. It tends to be very dark with a red tinge to it and a very unique taste, definitley a specialty.It also grows near rivers or in moist shady areas close by.
Kevin R., TN
I,too, extracted some supers with darker than usual honey. It has quite a nice "nutty" taste...almost like something else blended with buckwheat nectar.
[This message has been edited by James Burke (edited October 17, 2003).]
I think you all have come up with it. Rjshimmel, Your description "like maple or pancake syrup" seems pretty acurate. Leaves almost a spicy aftertase, too.
Now I'll have to find out what this looks like and do some poking around the neighborhood.
Bullseye Bill, do you find your bees work in the molassas? There are still a couple of licks with in my bees foraging area. Just wondering if they could be a problem.
Clayton you was talking about Honey dew above,The honeydew I've had dealing's with is not a very dark honey & taste alot like cane syrup,(molassas),>>>>MARK
>Bullseye Bill, do you find your bees work in the molassas? There are still a couple of licks with in my bees foraging area. Just wondering if they could be a problem.
We feed it in the winter and I only go up there on weekends. I didn't see many on the tank, but it was cold and they were not staying out very long.