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Strange tasting honey -- brandyesque?

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New Bee

Joined: 03 Aug 2014
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:40 am    Post subject: Strange tasting honey -- brandyesque? Reply with quote


I've harvested some honey today and it tastes strange, unlike any honey I have harvested before. It tastes a little funny, as if it is slightly fermented or something. Someone else described it as a plastic taste and the first thing I thought of is that maybe it could be someone's pesticides from their garden in the honey or something? Does this happen?

Appearance wise, the honey comb looked great, all capped nicely . The hive itself looked strong with a lot of brood waiting to hatch. It's been humid weather in Sydney if that could be a contributing factor... not sure.

Any ideas as to how this was caused would be appreciated.
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Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


My first thought was that perhaps it wasn't ripe, but you say that it was capped, so that rules out that possibility. Did it sit around in an unsealed container for any length of time after extraction where it could have absorbed moisture from the air?

After that my guess would be that they have been working a particular flower that has a strong flavour. There are some here in the UK that I really don't like....heather being one of them and hawthorn another. Bees will work different flowers in different conditions so it may be that this is the first year of beekeeping that they have worked that particular blossom as previous years, other flowers have been more attractive to them. I cannot rule out that it has been caused by chemicals but I would be surprised considering that most commercial honey will have been exposed to agricultural pesticides.

A third possibility occurs to me... What type of hive do you have and was this honey stored in comb previously used for brood. I'm thinking if this is from a Warre or horizontal TBH rather than a supered Langstroth, perhaps the extra propolis from the brood comb is what you are tasting particularly if you used a crush and strain extraction. If so, then it is worth trying to educate your palette that this flavour is good, as there may well be increased health benefits from eating propolis infused honey.

If you really can't bring yourself to acquire a taste for the flavour, then feed it back to the bees or use it for cooking.


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