Plants and taste of honey
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Franklin, Illinois,USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Plants and taste of honey

    Newbie here. I know the nectar and pollen ??have a lot to do with the taste of honey ( especially the nectar.) Are there any plants in America the would really make honey taste bad or be noxious . Rhododendron, Wisteria, St. John’s wort,

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Franklin, Illinois,USA
    Posts
    22

    Default

    I am a retired veterinarian and I know some plants that are poisonous to animals especially grazers that eat the whole plant. Are some nectars and or pollens noxious

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lake Forest Park, WA
    Posts
    599

    Default Re: Plants and taste of honey

    Rhododendron (and other plants of the heath family) nectar has a toxin that affects human, but this ‘mad honey poisoning’ is very rare, probably because when rhodos are in full bloom (we have lots of them around here), other plants that honey bees prefer are also in bloom. I once harvested ivy honey in fall. That honey had a very strong flavor and some people may not like it at all (I decided to leave it to the bees since then). I have heard tobacco nectar makes really bad-tasting honey.
    Zone 8, elevation 70 ft, near the north end of Lake Washington

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,882

    Default Re: Plants and taste of honey

    >Are some nectars and or pollens noxious

    It's usually not an issue in the US as the few plants there are usually there are more attractive sources. They sell them for a premium in the middle east as an ED medicine. But the list would be: Rhododendron, mountain laurel, yellow jessamine. There are some that are poisonous to bees and humans, but bees usually don't make much from them since they are poisonous... : summer titi, California buckeye.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
    Posts
    1,182

    Default Re: Plants and taste of honey

    There are also plants that make awful tasting honey. I tried manuka once and thought it was awful. I am told that Queen Anne's lace make terrible tasting honey and I find ivy honey to be pretty bad too. I often get a good harvest of maple honey and I have customers that just hate it. I find it initially tastes like menthol or eucalyptus but after aging for 5 or 6 months it loses that taste and becomes a very rich and complex tasting honey. It has become my favorite.

    I don't worry too much about toxic honey in my area. There is so much in bloom when rhodies are blooming that I never see honey bees in them.

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