Honey Differences Between Hives?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    272

    Default Honey Differences Between Hives?

    I was planning my upcoming bee keeping season (and therefore, mead making season), and I was wondering if anyone here has ever sampled honey from their hives located in the same location, and found noticeable flavour/aroma differences. In theory, individual hives may visit different nectar sources, leading to different tasting honey...but I'm not sure whether there would be enough of a difference for us to identify with our human senses.

    Bryan

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,757

    Default Re: Honey Differences Between Hives?

    Yes. The honey from different hives is often different.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,739

    Default Re: Honey Differences Between Hives?

    I have watched bees from different hives taking off in entirely different directions. Something about fidelity to one plant being advantageous to the plant for pollination and thus to the bees.
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Honey Differences Between Hives?

    I sometimes have honey on the same frame from different sources. One source dries up then other sources begin to bloom. The bees will put it wherever space is available. In my area there is usually a color difference which makes it easy to spot. It makes a unique natural blend and would be much too tedious to try and separate.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Lambton Shores, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Honey Differences Between Hives?

    Thanks - assuming a reasonable harvest this year I'm going to try to keep the honey from different hives separate, to see what difference it makes in a mead!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Napanee, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Honey Differences Between Hives?

    Last year I had the whole middle of 3 supers dark. I spun it all separate and in that same 3 supers was three different colors. The dark as it turns out was buckwheat and I don't have any so I posted in our local facebook page and found out there were two huge buckwheat areas right around the corner from my property. Who knew. Looking forward to see what the girls do this year

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Gadsden, AL, USA
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Honey Differences Between Hives?

    It goes further down in the hive. You can have different honey in the same hive. You can see the different nectar sources on the the same frame as different colors. I generally extract once a year in July. I know we have collected white clover, privet hedge, and poplar nectars. The clover is very light, and poplar is medium amber. Occasionally, I will see a black strip of honey in the frames. I decapped the black strip and extracted. It looks like burnt transmission fluid. Very dark with a red/purple hue. It tastes great with a slight fruity after taste. I believe this is the rare elusive Kudzu honey. That year, I bottled about 5 lbs of it.

    Spend some time with your honey frames if you wanting different flavored honey. You may find some you really like.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Honey Differences Between Hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuiGeneris View Post
    Thanks - assuming a reasonable harvest this year I'm going to try to keep the honey from different hives separate, to see what difference it makes in a mead!
    I guy spoke to our bee club that extracts and bottles honey frame by frame to avid mixing. or he will only scratch certain areas with the uncapper based on the honey color. He will get 30 different colors/flavors of honey in a season. He claims he can get a 3X premium at a boutique store for this. "why would you take different vintages of fine wine and dump them in the same bucket?"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,878

    Default Re: Honey Differences Between Hives?

    I went ahead and cut out a half-frame so we get to taste the real maple/willow early honey.
    Delicious - to die for.
    The real deal.
    Forget clover.
    20190424_181559.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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