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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in mid-Michigan. My friends who have been keeping bees for just a few years commented to me today that their fall honey was "stinky". Someone apparently told them it was due to the type of plants the bees were utilizing.

Any ideas?
 

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I am in mid-Michigan. My friends who have been keeping bees for just a few years commented to me today that their fall honey was "stinky". Someone apparently told them it was due to the type of plants the bees were utilizing.

Any ideas?
Most likely from the goldenrod bloom in September.
 

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One of my favorite has been the dark buckwheat honey. Smells like when they spread cow manure on the fields, but not necessarily in a bad way. But I love the flavor. Now, if it smelled like hog ponds that would be a different story. :)

When you say "stinky" can you describe it? There are lots of different sulfur compounds in many different plants that could certainly come through as something you might consider stinky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The specifically mentioned a manure like smell. They were worried that since local farmers spread manure on fields that it was the cause. I didn't get a chance to test it out.

Never heard of this before, hence the question. Someone mentioned aster family plants and goldenrod might be the cause.

I do know a BK who takes some hives over to local mint fields for pollination. He said mixing that honey with orange orchard honey from his Florida apiaries, which is bitter, results in a very sought after product. I also know that apple orchard honey has an apple taste so it occurs to me that blending might be an a valid idea.

I am looking into planting several acres with a clover blend. melilotus albus, Melilotus Officinalis. Dutch clover is already there and blooms into the summer. The other 2 are there but not in great numbers. I see those plants mobbed in the late summer months into early fall. I also notice sedum flowers getting hammered by bees in the Fall.

I wasn't aware of buckwheat plants. I will check for them in the area, and am guessing that they are around because of the local geography. Rolling hills with swampy areas and river bottoms.

Another bit of learning for me. Thanks.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Once you have smelled goldenrod honey as it cures, you will never forget it. Smells just like old gym socks that haven't been washed since um, forever.
 

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Agree with the smell , but only during cure. The finished product is very good. I usually leave this on during the winter. If it's still there in the spring , I take it.
 

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My take on stinky honey is beware of small hive beetle larvae presence. Even a small amount of larvae in honey frames stinks like hell. Capped honey shouldn’t smell bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Haven't seen a single hive beetle in my hives. Wax moths, a few but not a problem, bees seem to deal with those. varroa, those have been brutal, but that is my problem to manage properly.

The sisters chucked all the "bad" honey before I got a chance to check it out. Life teaches that perception is not always reality.
 

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We have tons of goldenrod where I am and boy does it smell bad! If it has a boozy or vinegary smell to it, that would be a cause for concern. The sugar content is high enough in honey to kill basically anything that can harm you. But if you are in doubt, a refractometer check is always good to do to make sure that your honey is not in fermenting range.
 

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:thumbsup: I find my over-wintered Golden Rod + Japanese Knot weed in great demand by tea drinkers. It seems to "mature" like a red wine. I only use OAV for treating, no supers but my winter brood chamber has a medium for Fall honey storage. I do not think, researched it, it is an issue six months after treating ( even a few weeks). I take a few frames to loosen the Spring brood chamber up. The few jars I make out of is given free with a warning - bees keep the rest. I think my friends are addicted to it.
 

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In the chaparral hills of CA we also had a late season tarweed honey. I would think that in parts of AZ and the Southwest you might also run into nectar sources that are less than palatable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So maybe CCD is related to bees committing suicide because the honey stinks so bad?:D

Appreciate the information. A taste test will be the first thing I do once fall nectar flow is going on.

Given the might of the marketing crowd, I wonder if there is much difference in taste. Wondering about potential repeat customer thoughts upon opening a jar and saying "WHAT? This doesn't smell right"

Marketing folks could probably figure out how to can and sell brain farts.
 
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