Honey Taste

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by letitbee, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    I just harvested a super this morning and the honey I got doesn't taste like the honey I took about a month ago. This new honey has sort of a sour taste. Could it be fermented or just tastes different because of what the bees were feeding on? We have a lot of golden rod around here and I read that it can make honey taste strong. I sure would hate to throw out 2 gallons of hard work. Is there any way I can tell if the honey is fermented? It was all capped except one side of one frame that I am going to give back to the hive. I am stumped :roll:
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    And the next honey you take won't taste like either of the first two. That's the difference in natural and processed honey.

    You likely have GR and/or Aster honey this time around. If it is fermented, it will foam up in 3or 4 days and stink like a brewery. My guess is it's going to stay as is. IE: not fermented.

    Some like a mild honey, others like a strong honey. It's just a matter of taste.
     

  3. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Thanks Iddee...My last batch was so delicious and this batch is still very sweet but is also strong tasting...I hope your right as we all know the care and effort (and stings) we take to make our girls thrive. I guess I was just expecting it to taste as awesome as the first gallon.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    That's odd. I just harvested a gallon of honey that was mostly made by the bees in the past 6 weeks, during which the main flow has been goldenrod here- fields and fields of goldenrod blooming, but probably mixed with Japanese knotweed, which was also blooming en masse along the roadsides. Yet my honey has no noticeably strong or sour taste or smell other than just a nice sweet honey taste. It's the color of pale amber.
    What color is your honey? Does it actually taste unpleasant?- or merely a slightly different flavor than the previous harvest?
    Unless the odd taste is due to the bees foraging on something bad or due to medication/treatments, I certainly wouldn't throw it out- if nothing else you could use it for cooking I think?
     
  5. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Omie...the color is a nice golden amber and I have not used any medications. I have read that SHBs can ferment honey. I have them.
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    It's a matter of taste. My one sister loves my fall goldenrod/aster honey, the other thinks it tastes funny.
     
  7. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    I just went out and tasted the honey in my last super and it tastes normal, no smell. My bees kept the SHBs mostly up in the top super so I suspect that they laid in my honey and fermented it. My fiance tasted it and she said it tastes and smells to her like rotten apples. I used to brew beer and I know what fermentation smells like. I had no luck with SHB traps and went on a crusade to kill as many as I could manually but you can never get them all. Lessoned learned . I guess I'll have to harvest that last super in a hurry.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    letitbee writes:
    I had no luck with SHB traps and went on a crusade to kill as many as I could manually but you can never get them all. Lessoned learned .

    tecumseh:
    you got to be quick and it is only a recognized clean kill if you get them with just the point of your hive tool. bludgeoning is not allow in this sport.

    I have never tasted shb tainted honey but it can smell a bit like rotten apples. fermentation can also be caused by excessive moisture in the honey.
     
  9. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    Tecumseh..After reading about SHBs and the damage they can do I have to assume they are the cause of my fermented honey. I checked the honey in my remaining super and it tastes good and now that the top super is off, the fermentation smell is gone around the hive. I hope the beetles don't ferment the honey in the 2 brood boxes or my colony will not winter. I put my super whamodyne homemade bee escape on today as I want to harvest the last super on Sunday. I checked the weight of my hive and it is very heavy with stores but if the SHBs do to that honey what they did to the super the bees can't eat the fermented honey and survive. My poor girls worked so hard to make all that honey only to have those@#$% beetles ruin it all :(
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I wondered letitbee if you perhaps let the honey set a bit too long after either removing the honey from the hive or with bee escapes on and that might been when the shb did their little misdeed? here I pretty much have a policy of extracting the honey on the day it is taken off and returning the wet supers back to the hives on the same day. I learned long ago it is also good policy to first smell and then taste every pail of honey I capture before I put it in bottles. there is a long list of stuff that can make honey taste pretty nasty.
     
  11. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    tecumseh...My bee escape takes about 2 days to work. I planned on harvesting 2 days after I installed it, which is what I did. I had been noticing an acrid smell around the hive but I attributed it to my compost heap which is nearby. The smell had been around for awhile but I never would have guessed it was coming from my hive. I guess I am going to have to strip out all of the comb in the super I harvested as I can't let the bees clean it up. I now officially HATE SHBs! :box:
     
  12. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    My nasty motor oil looking honey was a big hit this year, customers came to the house to stock up for winter. :confused: Three years ago some friends beg me to sell my honey at there open house in the fall. (The berry patch) I told them all i had left was fall honey (three 5 gal. buckets) i took off for friends, family, and myself who like it. (mostly Aster honey) I took it, and wouldn't sell it to them till they taste it,not one person turned it down and i sold out. Haven't had a good fall flow since,and still have people call to see if i have any. :confused: You never know what they like, but i don't ever remember having bad tasting honey. :thumbsup: Jack
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    The more I read about SHB, the more thankful I am that we don't have them here---and the more scared I am of the day they might arrive. :(
    Spare us. :|
     
  14. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    We northern US folks feel the same way.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    oh the small hive beetle is not so bad.... it always provide some real entertainment when you are in a yard with other bee keepers. there must be some primal urge that requires all bee keepers to smash that little bug with their hive tool. I have yet to come across one beekeeper who is not in total denial when I ask them... 'do you really think that is doing any good?'
     
  16. letitbee

    letitbee New Member

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    I have smashed a lot of those little SOBs..I mean SHBs..ahem.. Its like a mini hunting trip every time I go in the hive. I have not caught any in my beetle traps so smashing them is my only option I guess. I think I will try the oil traps next year.