Strong early honey in Upstate New York
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Syracuse, NY
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    93

    Default Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Pulled my earliest harvest ever this week and extracted tonight. At first blush I was pretty excited-extra light, snow white wax caps, all after observing a good bloom of honeysuckle and black locust.

    Then I tasted it. Bitter, strong, and musty with the tell tale orange-flower water after taste of black locust. Huh....what gives?

    It's settling in the bottling tank overnight. I'm praying it mellows out. Anyone have any experience with honey this early in the season? Would dandelion honey be contributing to the funky flavor?

    TIA

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Northampton, MA
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    198

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    In Western MA our harvest done last week was fine but small. We got locust rained out. After Maple there wasn't much flying time here.

    Bees are drawing wax out now and appear to be on flow.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,175

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Quote Originally Posted by chefbeek View Post
    Anyone have any experience with honey this early in the season? Would dandelion honey be contributing to the funky flavor?

    TIA
    Yes, and there was a good dandelion flow this year. Looks like we made about 2 mediums from the spring flow.

    Nectar started shaking out again yesterday.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    syracuse n.y.
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    5,295

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    what a difference a few miles can make, no locust bloom here due to hard late frosts, also took out or injured most everything else. not sure what the nasty tasting honey is but going on what people have told me I would guess you are right about the dandelion's being the problem. I have two yards out of ten making honey. I do see that some of the bass wood will be flowering, but doesn't look like it survived the frosts all that well either.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,057

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Our locusts are usually around July 1. I thought they may bloom way early this warm year but they are holding out so far. Probably by the end of this sunny week.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
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    2,095

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    ya 40 miles south of syracuse zero locust bloom this year. first time in my memory. strange year

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Northampton, MA
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Quote Originally Posted by Keth Comollo View Post
    Our locusts are usually around July 1. I thought they may bloom way early this warm year but they are holding out so far. Probably by the end of this sunny week.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norther...for_Honey_Bees

    The chart usually holds pretty true for us. It's good enough that I printed it and have it on a bulletin board for easy access. Black Locust is a late May thing and we missed it. Rain and cold after the heat. Funny, you're pretty darn close to us to have a month between our bloom times.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
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    358

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Would you guys with the locust flow please stop rubbing it in! Ours did not even bloom this year.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Thanks guys. It mellowed out overnight in a big way, but still has a bite. Is what it is...grateful we got some either way.

    Funny about the locust bloom...this yard always grabs intense tree flows. My yards east of Syracuse didn't get a lick. I'm watching the basswood closely....fingers crossed.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hammond, NY, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Hey guys, I'm a first year beekeeper up in Hammond just a few miles from the St Lawrence river. I've got 3 hives going this year. The first was a package of Buckfasts that I put in the end of April, the next a swarm that I caught in May at a farm about 7 miles from our farm and the last was a nuc colony I got here local that is in a 10 frame deep. The first hive has filled both deep brood boxes and I just added a deep on top yesterday. The other 2 have filled the first box and I've added the 2nd deep for brood this week. My question is this, can they be wintered with just the 2 brood boxes or should I leave the 3rd deep on for winter if they happen to fill it? I'm a little confused about how much stores they need to winter.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    678

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Hard late frosts indeed.. Check out this image. Note the black locusts in the background. This wiped out bunch of my stuff that had bloomed early:
    Attachment 2218

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    13,203

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology...heet.cfm?ID=40

    Are these really black locusts? Map says they are in the south. We do have honey locusts. Is that what you are talking about. That is a much later bloom.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Northampton, MA
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    198

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Those are black locust. Black locust is common around here in Western MA. Very common in Northampton. This it is a large import flow we skipped doe to rain and low temps. I didnt see much of a bloom.

    From what I know honey locust has thorns.


  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    I pulled some honey off the hives already this year and extracted it, and it definitely has a different smell and taste than what I am used to getting, I think there is alot of maple and dandelion in it as we had great weather during that bloom time and I had the first super on. It doesn't taste that bad, its a little stronger flavor though, probably doesn't have a drop of clover in it to mellow it out. I'm wondering what my regular customers are going to think of it though. John

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Northampton, MA
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    198

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    We had amazing flying time during maple too, but I would expect that would have all been used making bees.

  17. #16
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    taxonomy, I had my first super on most of my hives when the maples bloomed, and we had about one and a half weeks of 70's and 80's, I remember looking in the supers to see how they were doing and about a third of the boxes were filled with nectar, so I think that I have maple honey in there, still can't believe I got this much honey this early in the year. John

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Quote Originally Posted by taxonomy View Post
    Those are black locust. Black locust is common around here in Western MA. Very common in Northampton. This it is a large import flow we skipped doe to rain and low temps. I didnt see much of a bloom.

    From what I know honey locust has thorns.

    I don't know what that thorny thing is, but it isn't anything like any Black Locust or Honey Locust I have ever seen. From wikipedia, eh? Can't be wrong.
    Mark Berninghausen

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
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    2,940

    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    That is honey locust, that is what they look like down here anyway....not a good nectar tree. Black locust has gnarly bark and very hard wood, very fickle flow, a little rain and they can be done. Both sport thorns.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    So, I guess our Eastern varieties are all black locust? Could be.
    Mark Berninghausen

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Strong early honey in Upstate New York

    Our honey locust have thorns on the branches not on the trunk.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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