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I pulled some supers that we had left on after the August Harvest and there was considerable honey comb in a few supers. It was very rich looking and dripping with honey. We brought back a container full to the house, cleaned out the dead bees and chewed on some.comb It tasted like very very strong old honey. I cant describe any better. We are accustomed to a light floral taste and this honey was extremely strong tasting. Is this the taste of goldenrod or could it be honey that was not harvested and somehow had the taste become different. Although we have goldenrod in our area we usually harvest in August and leave a super on for the bees over the winter. Based on the comb it was not darker in color. Any ideas as to this strong taste?
 

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A lot of different nectar sources can be strong. Smartweed is a strong fall honey around here that is somewhat dark. But back to Goldenrod, it does change flavor over time. Usually improving as you go...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was excited to start chewing some good looking honey comb and given that it was from this summer I thought it would have a nice light taste like our honey aways has during the past 10 years. The comb looks light colored and so does the honey in t. So I was surprised to experience such a heavy strong honey taste. My grandson thought it tasted spoiled.
A lot of different nectar sources can be strong. Smartweed is a strong fall honey around here that is somewhat dark. But back to Goldenrod, it does change flavor over time. Usually improving as you go...
 

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You very well can have a high proportion of HoneyDew honey in it.
Good for human consumption; unusual taste; easy to test for to confirm.
Bad for the bees.

Presence of Honeydew honey in late honeys is typically downplayed as if insignificant.
I think this is a mistake.
 

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You very well can have a high proportion of HoneyDew honey in it.
Good for human consumption; unusual taste; easy to test for to confirm.
Bad for the bees.

Presence of Honeydew honey in late honeys is typically downplayed as if insignificant.
I think this is a mistake.
I don’t intend on hijacking this thread, but I started digging on the internet about Honeydew honey and it is very interesting. Learned something new. Many thanks!

Ryan
 

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I don’t intend on hijacking this thread, but I started digging on the internet about Honeydew honey and it is very interesting. Learned something new. Many thanks!

Ryan
I, in fact, saved some of that 2018 honey and want to test it.
Consistently with high honeydew contents - it just does not get thick - still runny, going second year now.

Entirely possible - it was to blame for cases of terminal diarrhea the last spring.
People around me kinda downplay it; but I don't.
 

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I’ve always heard honeydew is bad to overwinter bees on but my only experience was quite the opposite. Some of the best spring doubles I’ve ever had were hives packed with honeydew.
 

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I’ve always heard honeydew is bad to overwinter bees on but my only experience was quite the opposite. Some of the best spring doubles I’ve ever had were hives packed with honeydew.
Until you test and have a affirmative result - you don't know if and how much you actually have it.
Did you test and know for the fact?
 

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About two years ago this part of the country was infested with the aphids that secrete honeydew. It was mainly in the Hackberry trees. Everywhere a Hackberry was overhanging a paved back road it would be wet with the stuff.
Honeybees, Yellow Jackets and Red Wasps were all over the one we have in our yard. The bees must have collected a lot of it, although I don't know how much.
I didn't notice any detrimental effects from them consuming it over the Winter. In fact, as Jim said above, all was well next Spring.

Alex
 

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About two years ago this part of the country was infested with the aphids that secrete honeydew. It was mainly in the Hackberry trees. Everywhere a Hackberry was overhanging a paved back road it would be wet with the stuff.
Honeybees, Yellow Jackets and Red Wasps were all over the one we have in our yard. The bees must have collected a lot of it, although I don't know how much.
I didn't notice any detrimental effects from them consuming it over the Winter. In fact, as Jim said above, all was well next Spring.

Alex
If they consume it right away WHILE still being able to poop outside - that is a non-issue.
OR if winter is mild and your bees get to poop outside every month - a non-issue.

The real issue is - IF they pack enough of it away and actually consume mid-winter AND can not poop outside.
The hard contents in this "honey" are high and fill up the bees too quickly.

More factors - the "honeydew" honey is not only coming from the aphids.
Very significantly - bees will also collect sweet sap from oak, evergreens, etc, etc.
The latter factor maybe even more significant or at least as significant as the sweet bug poop.
The mostly ignored/unknown factor.
 

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Until you test and have a affirmative result - you don't know if and how much you actually have it.
Did you test and know for the fact?
Yes had a leading packer test it and said no doubt about it.
 

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Yes had a leading packer test it and said no doubt about it.
OK then.
Will trust the "leading packer" testing whatever the results they produced (hopefully in writing and the #s included; I'd be interested to see how was that presented).

Testing at home is supposedly silly simple.
Will try for myself first and see.
 

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Until you test and have a affirmative result - you don't know if and how much you actually have it.
Did you test and know for the fact?
Yes had a leading packer test it and they said no doubt about it. It was a once in a beekeeping life phenomena for me. Raised about 30,000 lbs of it in a drought with no forage in sight. Just brown grass and scrub oak trees (apparently aphid infested). The bees packed everything full including the brood nests oddest flow I’ve ever seen.
My next thought was these bees are going to suck next spring. Turned out to be my strongest hives.
 

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Yes had a leading packer test it and they said no doubt about it. It was a once in a beekeeping life phenomena for me. Raised about 30,000 lbs of it in a drought with no forage in sight. Just brown grass and scrub oak trees (apparently aphid infested). The bees packed everything full including the brood nests oddest flow I’ve ever seen.
My next thought was these bees are going to suck next spring. Turned out to be my strongest hives.
How was the winter that season?
Were they able to poop outside every few weeks?

If they can poop outside regularly, the honeydew honey does not matter much.
The relatively long no-poop time is the real issue - the bees overfill too quickly.

The last season I had ~4 month of not flying by some bees - some of the best units of mine literally exploded in the end of it.
I now suspect the honey was part of the equation.
 

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Sorry about split post. Not saying you’re entirely wrong Greg. The bees were wintered in Texas. My take is given the right conditions and perhaps the right type of honeydew, any negatives can be overcome.
 

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I did state, "in my part of the country", in response to your blanket statement of "Bad for the bees", instead of, "Bad for my Northern bees. I can only relate what happens in my area. We do have a lot of flying days in the Winter, so maybe that is the difference.

I can't even be sure it is from honeydew because most of it goes into the brood nest. The comb is much too dark to tell. I am only assuming it is because of the abundance that particular year.

I rarely see the bees on pine trees, when I do, they are on the needles. I don't know if they get anything from the needles. Sap does ooze out of bug bites, but I have never seen them collecting any. I don't know about the Oaks, they are too tall. I did see a lot of bees gathering sap from a Mimosa that the bark had split. I have seen them collect sap from a Cedar tree that was cut, but I thought maybe they were going to use that for propolis.

Alex
 

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Greg, as I recall the testing was pollen based. Just showed a few random weeds had been worked, certainly nothing to account for the volume produced. The guy seemed positive that it was honeydew based on his experience and my description of the conditions it was produced in.
 

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I did state, "in my part of the country", in response to your blanket statement of "Bad for the bees", instead of, "Bad for my Northern bees. .......

I rarely see the bees on pine trees, when I do, they are on the needles...
Alex
It is generally bad for the bees - the blanket statement is intended - because it has to do with pooping (very general thing).
Not the assumed toxicity.
It is about pooping (regular pooping is important because they gain lots of solids from the non-floral honey; there is lots of ash in it).

No qualifications here for southern vs. northern bees (well, northern bees will hold the poop longer - a difference at that).
If you gotta poop - you gotta poop.
We all gotta poop eventually, no IFs or BUTs.

The mild winter, which allows to bees fly out intermittently and relieve themselves - that is the the mitigating factor and the main difference.
And here I agree - in your part of the country this may NOT be an issue.

The sweet pine sap exactly comes at the needle ends.
Yellow jackets are loving it - btw.
If no flow going, the bees will do the same.
 
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