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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just extracted 20 pounds of honey. It is very dark, almost like molasses and has a strong but still pleasant taste. We have had a very smoky summer due to all the wildfires in the area and I’m wondering if that could influence the color and taste? Or is this just typical of fall honey?
Drinkware Liquid Mason jar Table Glass bottle
 

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Nothing about smoke.
You need to find your sources for fall honey (what was blooming).
 

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It is typical of what was blooming.

I know buckwheat honey is very dark and strong, personally I do not like it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Living in town I don’t have any way to know what the nectar source was. In my own yard I see bees on Sedum, frog fruit (Phyla nodiflora), Guara, and lavender. In the forage radius there would be hundreds of species but the wild areas have virtually nothing this time of year.
 

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My fall honey in WA is always very dark like that after the Blackberry flow, I know I get knotweed , Asters, who knows what else. I always harvest a little before the Ivy starts as it has a VERY strong medicinal flavor.... bees can have that for winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Justin, thanks for the tarweed suggestion. We definitely have tarweed around here. Does it impart the petroleum odor?

Jason, thanks for the reply. The blackberries here are a spring-early summer bloomers.
 

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This brings back a very fun memory.
Decades ago, My son and I were extracting and he uncapped a couple of supers of VERY dark honey.
He asked about it and I told him to just set them aside.
At the end of the day, we ran the frames through a small extractor into a bucket.
All of the rest of our honey was amber to amber light.
What in the world are we going to do with this stuff?
I had a friend who's family used honey in all of their cooking, so we bottled this dark honey up and I GAVE it to them.
I said, "I thought your wife might use this for baking or something".
Next time I saw him he told me that his wife came from a region that produced dark honey and she said it was THE BEST honey we had ever came up with!!!
Go figure!
 

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IMO the darker the honey the better it is.
BTW, dark honey may also suggest the non-floral sources.
 

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IMO the darker the honey the better it is.
BTW, dark honey may also suggest the non-floral sources.
yup! I love my dark fall honey full of knotweed and asters.... that blackberry honey gets kinda boring to me(maybe because I have so much of it). The problem is pulling the good stuff just before winter, and getting to it before the ivy begins(yuck). So I don't pull much just a frame or two per colony to get a few pounds of my favorite stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I appreciate all the comments. My wife and I have decided we really like it although it isn’t the typical flavor. We will probably use it ourselves and give the more typical flavors to family and friends.

GregV, are non-floral sources resins and honeydew?
 

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GregV, are non-floral sources resins and honeydew?
Natural non-floral sources would be - other insect droppings (e.g. aphids) and plant secretions (e.g. sugary conifer secretions, etc).
Non-natural - soda in trash cans, etc.
It is the natural non-floral honey that is the main concern (soda is fine).

One year I had some non-floral honey in certain hives.
I even tested it and pretty sure I am correct on this.
My best colony died because of it that year and its daughter colony nearly died.
I went ahead and harvested whatever honey there left.
Otherwise, that honey was superb.
Would never crystalize (another marker for non-floral honey).
Left jar on the attached photo - that honey (color as of molasses).
 

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I even tested it and pretty sure I am correct.
Besides, my best colony died because of it that year.
How did you test it and what were you testing for, what was the outcome of the testing?

What did the bees die of?
 
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