Harvest my first honey
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Harvest my first honey

    So I had a really strong package of bees that filled up two deeps and half of a honey super this year.

    I harvested the 5 frames that were fully capped, and froze everything else for next year.

    My honey is very dark, very strange smelling and tasing. Almost has a slight sour aftertaste. This honey is like nothing I have ever tasted before. Not what I was expecting, but I stole my bees hard work so I will learn to enjoy it.

    I strained it through two filters, a course and medium, there is still a lot of small air bubbles and other particulate which I’m guessing is pollen.

    I bottled it in mason jars and put it deep in my pantry.

    Any suggestions on what I am experiencing?
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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    drakesville, iowa
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Harvest my first honey

    Honeydew honey.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,915

    Default Re: Harvest my first honey

    That would definately be a question for a local experienced beek. Do the farmers market circuit and taste test some of the other local honeys. See if you find one similar and the ask about it's source. Just as an afterthought, you don't live near a sewage treatment plant, do you?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by couesbro View Post
    Honeydew honey.
    That is an interesting guess. I did grow a lot of honeydew and cantaloupe in my gardens this year which were a million times more prolific than the year before without bees. I also grew a lot of cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes. I wonder how my little quarter acre garden could really influence the outcome of my hives.

    To the sewage treatment plant comment, the local MUD is nearby. It’s a very small fenced in area smaller than my backyard. I guess they process water for residential use, but I don’t think I would call it sewage treatment. Why does that matter?

    I always wondered where my bees get their water from. I see a few in my bird bath from time to time but it must be from somewhere else.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,915

    Default Re: Harvest my first honey

    Two things, bees are known to frequent waste water treatment plants for water. Disgusting to think it is going into the hive, but best guess is that is does not end up in the honey and provides nutrients the bees need.
    Second, Honeydew honey does not come from honey dew melons. Google it so you know I'm not blowing smoke up the back of your hive.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Two things, bees are known to frequent waste water treatment plants for water. Disgusting to think it is going into the hive, but best guess is that is does not end up in the honey and provides nutrients the bees need.
    Second, Honeydew honey does not come from honey dew melons. Google it so you know I'm not blowing smoke up the back of your hive.
    Yeah I did research on honeydew honey afterwards and figured that out.

    I wonder how Cousbro decided my honey was honeydew honey? Color or taste?

    Why did you suspect waste water treatment? Color or taste?

    I’ve heard bees like the nastiest water they can find, like disgusting old bird bathes. The nastier the more they like it. But honey doesn’t spoil right? So their magical stomaches get it all figured out.

    I’m trying to narrow down where my honey is coming from and what I can grow to help. Right now I’m growing crimson clover as a fall/winter cover crop. I read buckwheat would also make a really dark unpleasant honey so I chose the clover, I’m assuming its a light clover type honey.

    My honey is very dark, not very sweet with a very mild sour aftertaste. Very thick and really tough to extract, or maybe just my first time and 59 degrees outside. It could be honeydew honey. We have tons of oak and crepe myrtle trees in the area. Not sure about flowers, pretty urban area.

    Seems like it’s important to know because I’m reading it’s not good honey for the bees, ironically. I have no problem feeding sugar and winter patties, I have plenty. I guess as long as the supers are not on I can feed them all I want.

    Comments on all my rambling would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,270

    Default Re: Harvest my first honey

    Honeydew honey is bad for bees (specifically for wintering, but this is less critical in Houston TX) and good for people.
    So extracting it and eating is a good deal for both.
    I want some of that!
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Honeydew honey is bad for bees (specifically for wintering ) and good for people.
    So extracting it and eating is a good deal for both.
    I want some of that!
    So assuming I have honeydew honey, which I’m still not sure I do, I should make sure to keep sugar candy and winter patties going through winter?

    I took their super but I didn’t ransack the brood boxes. I don’t want that honey anyways right?

    Will they eat my sugar candy and patties over the honey they squirreled away in the brood boxes?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,915

    Default Re: Harvest my first honey

    I was going by taste. Last year my honey was very dark and delicious. This year, light and not as good, IMO. You never take honey from a brood box and yes, they will eat the sugar you provide before uncapping their own honey, at least until it is time to clear the broodnest. Winter patties are ok to feed. They are mostly carbs with a little protien. Since your bees will have many flying days throughout the winter, cleansing flights will not be a problem.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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