Bees & Maple syrup

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Hobie, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    No, not a recipe!

    Do bees harvest maple sap when trees are tapped in the spring? My Mom said she saw a bee drinking at a pool of sap on a tapped sugar maple. Makes sense, I guess. Maple syrup honey... hmmmm....
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Maple sap has always been a spring staple for the bees in this area.
     

  3. rast

    rast New Member

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    I plead total ignorance. Can you tap Red Maple?
     
  4. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    We do ;)
     
  5. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Yes they use the dripping sap from wind broken limbs and other sources.

    I got to taste some maple honey from Vermont one year. :D really has that maple flavor to it.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  6. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Really? I didn't think they would produce edible syrup.
     
  7. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I think you can tap any maple, but the yield and taste may be different. When I was a kid, my Dad and I tapped the maple trees in our yard, which were swamp maples. I remember him drilling one without having the bucket ready, and the sap poured out... I caught it in my hands and ate it... sweet! We got gallons of sap, boiled for hours and hours, and ended up with a tiny jar of syrup.

    Ah, memories!
     
  8. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Memories!! I remember working a suger shack for a while as a kid. the smell of hot maple syrup and wood smoke are a steady reminder of that time. A time when mud season didn't seem so bad.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Never seen maple syrup made,do they cook the syrup like making sorghum molasses? My uncle's family ran sorghum mills in the fall fore years. Jack
     
  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    I am told the big operations are different than my youth experiance. Back then the tree was drilled and a short pipe driven in and a pail hung from it. Every evening the owner went around and colled those pails of sap pouring then into a stock tank with a valve on one end. he also had a couple of barrels for extra. At the sugar shack they had a fire pit about 8 feet long by 4 to 6 feet wide. On that pit were pans of about 6 feet by two feet. they were filled with sap and boiled stired every so often and a bit checked for viscosity. When it was ready a (hand)hoist lifted the pan off to be poured in wooden barrels which were bottled from. The pan was set back on the fire more sap being dumped in to boil.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  11. rast

    rast New Member

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    Will it turn to candy if you over cook it? I am very familiar with making sugar cane syrup and there is a very fine line to get the viscosity right and not overcooking it. It turns into rock candy when it has cooled if overcooked.
     
  12. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    I suppose it could. They did how ever keep an egale eye on it when it got close.

    :mrgreen: Al