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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Madison County, AL (USA)
    Posts
    9

    Default Does smoke taint the honey?

    When you use a smoker repeatedly over the course of a season, does the smoke give the honey a "smokey" taste? Is it bad for the honey?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,426

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    I don't believe smoker smoke is a problem with honey and hives. Its very unlikely that a hive could get smoked so often, so heavily that the honey would be affected. More likely, before that happens, the bees will abscond and find a better place to live.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,902

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    I'm with Rader, it would be tough to get a smoked honey flavor. John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,083

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Yep, so all your honey is ruined. send it to me for proper disposal.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Smoke is generally not an issue in regards to tainting capped honey but...where I live the weather and environment is extremely dry and that can have effect on how the bees cure the nectar. I always try to avoid the use of extensive smoke when I pull my shallows to extract. Because its so dry here our honey doesn't retain nearly as much moisture as it does in some climates. Our relative humidity is often 5-6% whick makes it difficult to extact at times because its so thick. Our bees often leave the cells in the boxes uncapped but I pull it anyways because its ripe. I assume they know what they are doing and will go back and cap things once the nectar flow diminishes. So I often have lots of uncapped nectar cells and for that reason I avoid the use of smoke pulling honey. Generally the bees are so busy with the flow its not an issue with management. Honey is hygroscopic and will absorb moisture and odors.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Yep, so all your honey is ruined. send it to me for proper disposal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    beekeepers have smoked bees for thousands of years i think if it was a problem it would have noticed by now.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,218

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    I read somewhere that if you go to a honey show where they look very closely at the honey they will sometimes notice soot particles from your smoker and mark you down for it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Adrian,i find it hard to visualize how one could get soot in honey or even on honeycomb and not be burning the wings off ones bees.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Oh, it's happened to me too. Don't know exactly how it happens, but it does.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,089

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    I think those "soot Particles" could better be described as cocoon particles. The only time I find them is when I uncap dark comb.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,218

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Mike, what I think happens is that smoke, which contains little carbon particles, floats through the frames and some of those particles rest on open cells of honey and become trapped. I should imagine that the particles in the smoke vary with the type of material that is burned.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,218

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Vance, good point. Perhaps that is what the judges see? Cocoon particles would be larger and more visible.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    maybe its keepers trying to revive a smoker going out and pumping too quickly - or smokers too hot and burning but not smoking and being pumped too hard looking for smoke....
    thats why i love this forum-it makes me reflect and to try and see things like i did starting out.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    >Does smoke taint the honey?

    Not if you do it right. It only takes a puff of smoke to calm a hive. You should NOT be filling the hive with smoke.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,680

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    You can assuredly get a taste of smoke in honey. If you smoke too heavy, it will taint the stored nectar before it is capped. Don't even ask how I know... still ticks me off! lol
    Like brylcream, a little goes a long way.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,218

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Maybe it could be marketed as a special ingredient for BBQ sauce.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    I talked to a beekeeper from Maryland about a year ago and he told me that he tried smoking the bees down out of the supers which in turn made the honey taste like smoke. So he used the honey to make BBQ sauce. My guess was that the honey had not been capped to well.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Does smoke taint the honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Bees View Post
    My guess was that the honey had not been capped to well.
    Probably. My first harvest I smoked the remaining bees down out of a fixed comb warre box to harvest it (used an escape board first). That box made the whole garage smell of smoke while it sat for a few hours. We used the crush and strain technique and the honey came out fine. Not a whiff or taste of smoke in it even though the combs smelled of smoke. All the comb was 85-90% capped at least.

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