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,
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.
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.
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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