Dark-Colored Honey...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    62

    Question Dark-Colored Honey...

    Just extracted a super and the honey is dark dark brown...

    I'm in the Northeast...

    Any thoughts as to what the nectar source might be to make a honey that is that dark?...

    Thanks...1/33rd

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Carvel, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    I'm in Alberta and have seen this twice in the last 6 years (this year being the second). I was told by a commercial guy that bees are visiting trees when dandelion nectar is poor. Bonus, besides the very mellow flavour, my "coffee" colored honey did not crystallize over a period of two years.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,434

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    It could be whatever is called - honeydew honey or pine hiney or something of that sort.
    Bad for the bees.
    Good for people per what I read.

    But also, some honeys are dark (buckwheat is an example).
    You should know best what is blooming in your vicinity, not us.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,071

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    You should know best what is blooming in your vicinity, not us.
    a little snarky there greg, jmho.

    1/33rd asks a good question for the forum.

    the 'us' you refer to includes beekeepers in the 'northeast' who might be able to help him/her out.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    Down in Florida the dark honey is caused by a very mild, wet winter allowing (I think) the Deer/gall berry to really bloom and the bees can fill up the hive with it before anything else can really bloom. I've only seen in twice, the year before I started keeping bees myself and last year. Hands down absolutely the best honey I've ever had and all my friends and family agree.
    So dark it looks like molasses and has a hint of vanilla.

    Awesome stuff.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,941

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    Square
    You should know best what is blooming in your vicinity, not us.
    a little snarky there greg, jmho.
    Hey greg, I kinda agree with squarepeg on this one. If you go to the Mo thread you will see that over two years I have been posting what I am seeing and when that is blooming in my area. I have extracted twice this year and this is my honey.

    Trying my best, I have no ideal what caused my honey to be this dark this year.

    What member kanikka posted sounds like it could be possible or it might be honeydew but with out a microscope, I don't know how a person would get experience to really know. I did hear fruit tree honey was dark and people that pollinate apple plantations would know this. I was super surprised that my honey was so dark. Last year it was a little lighter colored in spring (but not light colored) and a little darker in Sept when I extracted but nothing like what I got this year on June 18 and yesterday.
    It has me curious also.
    Cheers
    gww
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    zone 5b

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,434

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    Sorry guys!
    My self-judgement is not the best at times (I have reasons - not disclosing).
    This is true.

    In my defense, however, even regional people have no idea a lot of the time.
    This is also true. Just saying like it is.

    Heck, my own county keepers (most everyone!) have significantly different pasture situations and different understanding of that "bee pasture" is.
    Anything from mega corn field country to inner city to suburbia to nature reserves and restorations.
    We have lakes and we have dry highlands.
    This is only a single county.

    Recently a local guy asked a similar question and I say - well, go and drive around look and tell us what you got.

    I don't know what is there on your side of the city.
    Not a slightest idea.
    All I know is that sweet clover is booming here - this is in general and hardly any help.

    I have no idea if the guy has an sweet clover or not.
    Maybe there is a field of buckwheat next to him - I don't know (this is in the same city, mind you).
    How am I to know with no details provided?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,409

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    Last year my predominantly tulip poplar honey was very dark and delicious with a robust flavor. The poplars got hit hard this year with poor weather and this year's crop is much lighter and milder flavored. Ya takes what yas gets.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,071

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    The poplars got hit hard this year with poor weather and this year's crop is much lighter and milder flavored.
    similar here as well jwp.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    Well, I’ll try to post a pic of my dark honey also. Maybe it isn’t quite as dark as that of gww…

    The pint jar contains the same honey as the smaller rectangular-shaped one. When a tablespoonful is on a plate, it is a quite dark amber, yet darker than most other honeys I have seen…

    This is my 1st year and the super before this one was light amber. This honey came from a different super—same hive. Only 2 weeks apart…

    By the way, what is honeydew?...

    Thanks…1/33rd
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  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,382

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    011 (640x506).jpg

    GWW,

    From right to left, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2018.

    I'm not that far South of you, but this years honey is the lightest I have collected.

    Do you have a lot of Privet Hedge?

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,941

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    alex
    I do not think I have a lot of privet. I do have a lot of bush honey suckle that I saw the bees working harder this year then they did last year.
    Cheers
    gww

    Ps My area is probably a little more skewed to hardwood forest then some areas. Around 60 percent wood compared to open or farm land.

    I have only harvested two years and have never seen a light color yet but I do mix all I harvest. I did not notice big difference from comb to comb before extracting though.
    zone 5b

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,382

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    The only separating I do is Spring and Fall. Sometimes I extract in July just to get all honey off before Goldenrod.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,409

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    "By the way, what is honeydew?"

    I suspect you are going to wish you hadn't asked.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeydew_(secretion)
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Pennsylvania USA
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Dark-Colored Honey...

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    "By the way, what is honeydew?"

    I suspect you are going to wish you hadn't asked.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeydew_(secretion)
    As I think about it, I might have known the meaning of that word...

    I didn't know that bees use it from time to time...

    Seems some think it is good in honey according to Wiki?...

    Anyhow, I know my bees would do that to me!!!...

    Thanks...1/33rd

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