I recently received the following from PA Department of Agriculture:
Penn State Needs Honey Samples
We are interested in collecting small samples of late summer/fall honey from beekeepers across PA.
The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is a planthopper from Asia that was found in PA in 2014. This plant-sucking insect feeds on many plants, excreting a sugary substance known as honeydew. There have been reports of honey bees feeding on this honeydew, which may be made into honey. Honeydew honey, which is commonly made in other countries from the honeydew of aphids and scale insects, is dark, has a strong flavor, and is less sweet than honey made from nectar.
In PA, some beekeepers have reported a strangely-flavored dark honey that was collected in the late summer and early fall in areas with large populations of lanternflies. While we do not know if this the result of bees collecting lanternfly honeydew, we would like to find out. We can do this via a DNA test. We are also interested in the properties of this honey and whether it is a good winter food for bees. If it is from lanternfly honeydew, we intend to further investigate whether the efforts to control lanternflies are impacting honey bees. Systemic pesticides are sprayed onto host trees, where it travels throughout the plant. Lanternflies are then killed upon feeding, but they might live long enough to make honeydew, which can contain the pesticide. We are investigating whether this is the case.
We are interested in collecting small samples of late summer/fall honey from beekeepers all across PA even if you are not in a spotted lanternfly area. If you are willing to provide a sample of your honey, please follow this protocol:
The honey should have been made in Aug, Sep, or Oct of this year. It can be from extracted frames or simply collected from the hive by crushing some capped honey and capturing the drips. No straining or filtering needed.
Submit 2-3 tablespoons (about 2 oz) of honey in a labeled container (containers will not be returned).
Indicate the gps coordinates (or address) where the bees were during the fall flow period and the name and contact information of the collector.
Bring your sample to the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association conference registration desk at the PSBA meeting on Nov. 1-2, 2019, or to Karen Roccasecca at the PA Department of Ag. at any time.
If you attend the meeting and have not yet collected a sample, you can obtain a container and return envelope at the meeting.
If you do not attend the meeting and would like to participate, contact Robyn Underwood for details.
Text/call/email Robyn at [email protected] or 610-301-4283 with questions.