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A tale of 2 Honey's
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joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7094
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 8:55 am    Post subject: A tale of 2 Honey's  Reply with quote    

On Friday evening we extracted our second super of honey from our bee's - In itself an exciting task because we never expected to get any honey from them this year let alone 2 supers - especially when its been such a bad year for most beekeepers.

So we were very excited when we found we had another 28 pounds of honey which is a total of 50 pounds from one hive - I was worried that I was taking off too much but having checked the hive before I took off the super I found that they had plenty of stores - the second super (third in total) that is still on is almost capped off and they also have plenty of honey in the brood box as well

However, I digress - The thing that has intrigued me the most is the difference is colour of the honey from both supers - The first is a rich golden colour but as you can see from the photo below - the second is very dark - a rich mahogany in colour




I realise that honey's are different colours due to the type of forage that the bee's are bringing in but I wasn't really expecting 2 supers from the same hive to be so radically different -they taste different as well - the first one is very floral almost like a heather honey, the second less intense but with a toffee edge to it

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Congratulations on your crop----I've had the worst year in terms of quantity---the quality is great though--only honey for us, friends and family this year I think the difference in honey depending on what they have foraged is fascinating----especially where its clearly different on the samr frame

Mrs Fiddlesticks



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 10460

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

lottie wrote:
Congratulations on your crop----I've had the worst year in terms of quantity---the quality is great though--only honey for us, friends and family this year I think the difference in honey depending on what they have foraged is fascinating----especially where its clearly different on the samr frame


we're the same in terms of quantity, just over 7lbs in the end.

Fascinating that there is different colours within the same hive. I love the look of dark honey!

We're fascinated also by the different pollens they bring in. Can sit for ages watching the comings and goings. Sometimes the little carrier bags are orange like sainsburys ones, or maybe they'll be very pale yellow and their backs will be pale dusted as well. Once we even spotted black pollen going in - which we think is poppy. We've a chart that you can compare it do to try and work out what flower they've been to.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mrs Fiddlesticks wrote:
We're fascinated also by the different pollens they bring in. Can sit for ages watching the comings and goings. Sometimes the little carrier bags are orange like sainsburys ones, or maybe they'll be very pale yellow and their backs will be pale dusted as well. Once we even spotted black pollen going in - which we think is poppy. We've a chart that you can compare it do to try and work out what flower they've been to.


That's wonderful Julie. It had never occurred to me how much variation there is in pollen colours. I know you get different colours of honey, but I'd never put two and two together to work out why. I imagine that you can really waste hours watching them work.

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7094
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mrs Fiddlesticks wrote:
lottie wrote:
Congratulations on your crop----I've had the worst year in terms of quantity---the quality is great though--only honey for us, friends and family this year I think the difference in honey depending on what they have foraged is fascinating----especially where its clearly different on the samr frame


we're the same in terms of quantity, just over 7lbs in the end.

Fascinating that there is different colours within the same hive. I love the look of dark honey!

We're fascinated also by the different pollens they bring in. Can sit for ages watching the comings and goings. Sometimes the little carrier bags are orange like sainsburys ones, or maybe they'll be very pale yellow and their backs will be pale dusted as well. Once we even spotted black pollen going in - which we think is poppy. We've a chart that you can compare it do to try and work out what flower they've been to.


If they look like ghosts going into the hive - Apparently they are working Himalayan Balsam - I haven't seen them take that in but we have seen them with the bright orange and pale yellow - we've also seen them with a brick red which according to the pollen chart is either Horse Chestnut but it was coming in a long time after the horse chestnut was in flower or Asparagus - which I think is more likely as we've got an allotment site not far away from here.

We've also seen them bringing in loads and loads of pale silver - which I believe is Blackberry - Can you tell I've been wasting rather alot of time watching them this year ?

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My B.H. spends hours watching to see what they're bringing in and is always thinking about what he can plant to watch them working---that's the pleasure of it for him. Talks about "the girls"

Pilsbury



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

could the diference between supers be that the first one was filled first, ie earlier in the season, so the forage would be different pollen, then the second one so the frames were filled with the different colours.

As i mentioned in an earlier thread I have 35lb of honey to pack off tomorrow at work but it has set so what is the best way to liquify it? I have big saucepans i can uses as a water boiler or a big steamer I can pop it into or will that make it to hot?

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pilsbury wrote:
could the diference between supers be that the first one was filled first, ie earlier in the season, so the forage would be different pollen, then the second one so the frames were filled with the different colours.

Yep, I think its different "flows" at different times.
If you want to make a "specific variety" (like say lavender) then I think you'd change the super frames (even if incomplete) at the end of the flow.
Isn't lavender so strong that it gets diluted down with general purpose honey?

I believe oilseed rape makes for a very dark honey (and moody bees?)

Pilsbury wrote:
As i mentioned in an earlier thread I have 35lb of honey to pack off tomorrow at work but it has set so what is the best way to liquify it? I have big saucepans i can uses as a water boiler or a big steamer I can pop it into or will that make it to hot?

Dunno about 35 lb... but the way that I deal with individual jars of crystallised honey is as follows - add a teaspoonful of (boiled?) water (remember this for about a pound), then place in a really low oven (85C?) for a couple of hours, stir occasionally to get everything that is going to to dissolve, keep it hot, but then let it stand for a while, (so any bits, undissolved crystals, whatever, sink), then pour off into an equally hot (sterile clean) jar (to avoid cracking the glass or cooling the honey), but keep back the dregs with any bits, then put fresh jar(s) of honey back into the oven, turn off the oven and allow them to cool really slowly with the oven.
You want the honey to be a saturated (or slightly super-saturated) solution at room temp. So, you need to remove any crystallisation nuclei and cool it really really slowly.

Pilsbury



Joined: 13 Dec 2004
Posts: 5645
Location: East london/Essex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ok so if i scrape it out of the plastic bucket it is in and put it into a stainless steel tub with a splash of boiled water then into a cool oven for a while I should be able to skim off the clear and runny honey into jars.
Excellent thanks, it doesnt matter if it goes cloudy again but i need to get it out of its plastic honey bucket before EHO's come sniffing around so i picked up some honey jars and I plan to have a go tomorow.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44239
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dougal wrote:
I believe oilseed rape makes for a very dark honey


I got some off a beekeeper round here last year, it was very pale and distinctly unrunny.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Idea is to add as little water as possible, get everything to dissolve (or leave behind what won't) and then to avoid it crystallising immediately, cool it down just as slowly as you can...

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
dougal wrote:
I believe oilseed rape makes for a very dark honey


I got some off a beekeeper round here last year, it was very pale and distinctly unrunny.


oilseed rape honey isn't runny---you have to get it off pretty quickly or you can't spin it off the frames----I also think its flavourless stuff----but not everyone agrees----I'd rather get less of better tasting honey.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44239
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

lottie wrote:
oilseed rape honey isn't runny---you have to get it off pretty quickly or you can't spin it off the frames----I also think its flavourless stuff----but not everyone agrees----I'd rather get less of better tasting honey.


Dunno about flavourless, I could definitely taste it was rape, not my cup of tea, was given 6 jars offloaded 4 of em.

lottie



Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 5059
Location: ceredigion
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

that's what I meant and totally lacking in bouquet as well.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44239
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 07 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

lottie wrote:
that's what I meant and totally lacking in bouquet as well.


Yeah, a funny honey.

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