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Author Topic: Harvesting Honey  (Read 2205 times)
JD
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« on: January 01, 2009, 10:47:35 AM »

I was doing a search on goldenrod honey. I found some people like it or don't. I pulled my supers off labor day. A week later I checked in on the hive and got the old wet sock smell. I had some dark honey in the supers I pulled off, not much though. I'm guessing that was goldenrod. Anyway I was wondering if or how many people harvest at different times of the season? Just trying to get goldenrod honey to me it would be taking away from the bee's storage for winter. What time do you would you stop and make sure they would have enough stores for the winter and not have to feed them? I live in Cheney Ks.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 10:52:28 AM »

I do not anymore take honey off past the main flow. So anything they put into the hive after June is their honey. I used to take a fall flow off, but anymore, that just messes with the stores and lately the fall flow has been so poor, you just end up feeding all fall anyways. Stick with the good honey, let them sock away the lesser quality honey, and sleep good at night knowing the are heavy for winter.
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JD
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 11:05:51 AM »

Letting the bee's have makes sense. I'm assuming its not a good honey.
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jimmy
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 12:00:48 PM »

I did a June harvest of amber clear clover honey. I also did a fall harvest after the goldenrod. The honey was much darker but the taste was good.  Feedback from sales was folks wanted that amber clover honey. This year I have 3 kinds of white clover that has already come up ,so I am planning on doing a summer harvest    and place the supers back on let the bees keep the rest.

I was offered a place to put my bees in January for Mayhaw pollination but,moving the bee hives is a little much for me although I would love to get the bees building up early to do some splits when the clover flow starts.

Happy New Years everyone from an excited bee learner.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 01:06:00 PM »

Goldenrod honey is the most requested honey I get next to a wildflower blend.  For me to leave it completely to the bees would be a waste of potential yard growth the following year in terms of money earned to buy more stuff.  I winter my hives in 3 or 4 mediums.  The supers come off on or about October 1.  Typically they fill not only what they will be wintered in, but also the supers.  I only take from the supers.  I never ever take from the bottom 3 or 4 boxes (regardless of the time of year it is), so they always have plenty of honey going into winter.  I will take from the supers and put full frames in the main hive if they are light in the bottom boxes though.  I always make sure the bee's winter food supply comes first.

Goldenrod stinks and personally, I think it tastes horrible, but as I said it is a very popular honey for me to sell, so somebody must like it.  Goldenrod a low quality honey?  I dunno.  What defines that?  It does seem to crystallize quicker than any other variety I have.  Other than that...I get $6.25 a quart with people constantly asking for more so I wouldn't exactly call it low quality.
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mudlake
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 04:50:07 PM »

I am not sure about the smell, but the taste of goldenrod is great at least in upstate NY.  Maybe it is the millk weed mixed with it.  Tony
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buddy93
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 06:06:45 PM »

This the beginning of year two. I have three hives as of 1-1-09 all three had activity in fact i got my first sting of the year but back to my question Is their a book that could tell me what kind of honey the girls are coming back with ? Or a book Pennsylvania honey flowers(of course I need  a book with pix)
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bassman1977
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2009, 12:45:19 PM »

http://darylrice.com/pawilist.html

Maybe this will help.  Some times will be very easy for you to know what they are bringing in and others, you'll have an idea, but not exact.  For instance, dandelion and goldenrod are all over the place here and fairly distinct.  Dandelion honey is bright yellow and you can taste a hint of the flower in the honey.  It is actually a great tasting honey in my opinion.  Goldenrod, as you have read I'm sure, smells and tastes like sweat socks.  Those two are fairly unmistakable especially if you are paying attention to what is going on around you.  The best way to get an idea of what kind of honey you have is under a microscope.  The pollen in the honey have unique shapes.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 01:28:55 PM »

This the beginning of year two. I have three hives as of 1-1-09 all three had activity in fact i got my first sting of the year but back to my question Is their a book that could tell me what kind of honey the girls are coming back with ? Or a book Pennsylvania honey flowers(of course I need  a book with pix)


If your asking for a book, of what grows in your two mile radius that your particular bees are working, I don't think your going to find it. Books are from a general standpoint. Books listed on another thread that asked this question listed them. Beyond a good book like the one Pellett put out, your own observations, and the general consensus, I'm not sure how much more detailed you need to be.

There is a native plant club for Pa... http://www.pawildflower.org/03_aboutpnps/aboutpnps.htm

But worrying about every plant is crazy. You have either one of two things happening for your honey to be called or classified one thing or another. It's either clover time, dandelion time, goldenrod time or aster time. Then a bunch of mixes in between.

Then there are those beekeeper that happen to close to buckwheat, alfalfa, or some other mass farm plantings. But you need to do some looking yourself.

No book beyond giving you a general list is going to tell you what planted down your street, or what your bees happen to be working.

There are many books on flowers and native plants with many pictures. Unfortunately, not any that I have seen details what bees work, and what may be down your street.
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asprince
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 03:22:29 PM »

BjornBee, The dandelions are blooming in abundance (acres) here in the south. The temperatures are in the 60-75 degree range and my bees are working them like mad. I see them bringing in lots of yellow pollen. Do they get much nectar from dandelions? I have been tempted to smoke em and take a look inside.

Steve     
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bassman1977
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 04:23:59 PM »

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Do they get much nectar from dandelions?

Lots.  My hives are stuffed with Dandelion honey in the spring.  It's one of the major ones that Bjorn mentioned that I will do special harvests in order to get the specific honey from.  If you have acres nearby for the bees to forage on, you should be smiling like a butcher's dog.  Also, as you already noticed, pollen is abundant from dandelion also.
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challenger
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2009, 09:08:47 PM »

Don't kill the Dandelions! It is one of the best nectar producers and makes some of the best honey and maybe most importantly is the earliest bloomer. The real problem is this plant is likely the most hated in the yard by most and there is very little around due to herbicides. The bee  absolutely love it but of course there is not nearly enough around for them to bother with generally speaking. There has to be quite a large amt. of plants for them to forage on-one or two hear and there and they don't even land on them.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2009, 09:13:32 AM »

challenger.......No dandelions... Cry  What about clovers?

I can not imagine a place where bees are kept that does not have an abundance of clover or dandelions. The stuff grows everywhere. Maybe not in my next door neighbors yard, but certainly in millions of blooms within two miles of my hives.

asprince,
You a lucky beekeeper...hated by northern beekeepers right now....but lucky!  grin  You will have to pardon me, as I wanted to type more, but I need to get ready for that ice storm moving in.... Cry
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twb
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2009, 03:11:28 PM »

Don't kill the Dandelions! It is one of the best nectar producers and makes some of the best honey

I am very curious about this because I had some hives in an orchard last season where the orchard floor was covered with dandelions and the honey I got early was awful tasting.  It has an earthy, wild, bitter, weedy taste.  Then, after dandi's are done blooming the orchard floor is filled with white dutch clover, and wow, what a difference in honey taste--it's wayyy better.  So I have used the honey I considered to be from dandelions to let people experience for themselves the taste differences in different floral sources. I have read that dandelion honey tastes about like I described it so if you know any different let me know.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2009, 10:25:42 AM »

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I am very curious about this because I had some hives in an orchard last season where the orchard floor was covered with dandelions and the honey I got early was awful tasting.  It has an earthy, wild, bitter, weedy taste.  Then, after dandi's are done blooming the orchard floor is filled with white dutch clover, and wow, what a difference in honey taste--it's wayyy better.  So I have used the honey I considered to be from dandelions to let people experience for themselves the taste differences in different floral sources. I have read that dandelion honey tastes about like I described it so if you know any different let me know.

Not from my experience.  The dandelion I get is very sweet and only has a hint of dandelion taste to it.  Of all the varieties my bees have produced, this is probably my favorite.  It's a very bright yellow honey.  White clover is some good stuff for sure!
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BjornBee
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2009, 10:33:57 AM »

I'm not sure what it is called, but in many orchards I see, there is a low creeping plant that has blueish or purple flowers. It grows on soil under the orchard trees and in places that the soil has been disturbed the year prior. In some places, it literally is a carpet. And it blooms early, if not just prior to the dandelion and lasts into the dandelion bloom. So it could be this or perhaps another plant adding in to the dandelion honey  huh

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bassman1977
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2009, 02:17:36 PM »

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So it could be this or perhaps another plant adding in to the dandelion honey

Sounds like a good theory to me.  I wonder what the plants are that you are talking about.  I remember seeing some like you describe but they are very tiny.  I don't know what they are called either.  Some sort of violet I would guess.  I have never seen honey bees on them and would venture a guess that they are such a minor nectar/pollen producer that it is not even worth the bees' time when the dandelion and clover is out.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2009, 02:32:59 PM »

bassman,
I think the one with small flowers is something like creeping speedwell. Although I was thinking of something else that I can not find at the moment, the tiny flowers from the speedwell are found as often....

http://www.msuturfweeds.net/details/_/creeping_speedwell_2/

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bassman1977
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2009, 04:02:21 PM »

If I remember right (and of course I will have to wait until spring to verify), the ones I am thinking of do look like what you posted but have a little yellow center.  That sure looks a lot like it though.  Probably a variety of it.
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