Purple Honey

Discussion in 'Products of the Hive' started by dustin19d, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. dustin19d

    dustin19d New Member

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    This week we pulled 4 frames of purple honey from one of our hives. And I mean beautiful purple, I’ve never seen anything like it. When in a jar it’s very dark like used motor oil, but spread it on a white plate and its the color of a light amethyst gem. All in all we got 2 gallons of purple. The region of NC where we live is well-known for this rare occurrence and has been documented in books dating back 75+ years, but how is happens is still not understood. We want to open up a dialog in our beekeeping community about it as it still seems to be relatively unheard in the community of outside of North Carolina.

    You can see pictures of our purple honey here: http://peregrinfarms.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/purple-honey/
     
  2. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Thanks for the post. Very interesting.

    I am sure that a beek into microscopy would find it an interesting project. A comparison of the pollen analysis from a purple sample and a same time normal honey sample may point the way. Even more technical would be the identification of the pigment producing the colour. Such identification may indicate the plant/insect sources.

    With such a rare honey, you may find a demand willing to pay a premium price. Since honey will keep for several years, you may not wish to unload it quickly. It could be a bee club demo item for several years.
     

  3. Walt B

    Walt B Active Member

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  4. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I would be interested to read a follow-up to the last post.

    Rather than hijack this thread maybe a new thread on "Contaminated Honey" or similar could be started.
     
  5. dustin19d

    dustin19d New Member

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    Although we like reading all kinds of stories about bees, I have to admit, we're a little frustrated that we're continually directed to anomalies like the maraschino cherry and blue M&M "honey" incidents. Pretty much everywhere you post about purple honey results in link sharing of stories of contaminated honey such as the incident in France. I assure you, we would be upfront with our fellow beeks of there were a candy factory near by. This is frustrating because it detracts from the conversation - purple honey comes from nectar, it is naturally occurring, has a long rich history in the US and has been extensively studied by the scientific community.

    As some of you suggested, I contacted Professor David Tarpy from the Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University and while he didn't seem to interested in me sending in a sample for analysis he did point me towards the research his predecessor, Dr. John Ambrose did on the subject back in the 70's.

    Here is a link where you can read a little about his studies
    http://www.ourstate.com/blue-honey/

    And if you want the try the honey out yourself, here you go:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/171520746384?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
     
  6. dustin19d

    dustin19d New Member

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    Thanks Walt! It was good to read someone else experience with purple honey in their hives!
     
  7. Melissaejacklyn

    Melissaejacklyn New Member

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    When there is a nectar dearth bees will feed on berries.
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They also feed on hummingbird food. My first cutout was in a fairly wealthy area with a lot of hummingbird feeders, all of the honey was red. I let the bees keep it.
     
  9. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I have had a deep Burgundy honey one year in the hives the bees stored about a 2" band in all the colonies. I kept it separate by uncapping the areas of dark honey in the frames and spinning it out with a 2 frame hand crank extractor, before uncapping and spinning out the rest of the honey in the frames.It was some of the most palatable and flavorful honey I have ever eaten. This was true honey, not from color sugar water or syrups. and not from over heating of the honey. It came from a plant that bees do not get nectar from.
     
  10. HenniPenni

    HenniPenni New Member

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    You could contact Dr Vaughn Bryant at Texas A&M University. He is probably the only living authority that does nectar and pollen analysis on honey. He has been involved in identifying illegal honey imports. One of his many amazing areas of expertise include melissopalynology (pollen in honey). Send a two ounce sample to the following address. The analysis cost is $60.00 per sample. Be sure to request both a nectar and pollen analysis.

    I recently had my spring and summer honeys analysed and was thrilled at the results. It's the only way to know for sure. My spring honey which I was sure was predominately Tulip Poplar and I labeled Wildflower honey is actually predominately Blackberry Honey and summer honey is Sourwood. Like I said, I was thrilled and feel it is worth the expense.


    If you do decide to get this sampled, I can't wait to hear the results. Please share them if you do.

    Vaughn M. Bryant, PhD ([email protected])
    Professor and Director
    Palynology Laboratory
    Department of Anthropology
    Texas A&M University (TAMU 4352)
    College Station, TX 77843-4352
    979-845-5242 FAX 979-845-4070




     
  11. Baloo4599

    Baloo4599 New Member

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    Purple honey is kudzu honey....it's highly coveted.
     
  12. brockmole21

    brockmole21 New Member

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    It feels like you're harvesting gold. That's just great!