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Sour Urban Honey?

 
Charlei Scott
Posts: 32
Location: Tampa, FL (USDA 9b)
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We just got our first totally urban honey harvest.

Last year we got or hive and they had spent the majority of their honey making season in an orange grove so we harvested a full load of honey shortly after moving the hive.

Our honey tastes slightly sour. Anybody else raising bees in a city area (we're suburbs of Tampa, but close enough) and have this happen? We have used no pesticides, but are trying to make sure this isn't because of high pesticide use in the area by others.

Feedback appreciated. Honey is still delicious, just has a tang we haven't experienced before.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Honey flavor will vary widely, depending on their forage.
What do you (and your neighbors) have planted?

 
John Redman
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Location: Perkinston Mississippi zone 9a
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I'm new to beekeeping, but John's post was what I was thinking. The beekeepers bible has an extensive list of mono crop plants honey bees forage and it list the color, taste and viscosity of honey from those plants. Under orange ( also lemon, limes and grapefruits, ect.) it says "delicious honey, pale and dense with distinct fruit taste and echoes of blossom".
The only other thing I can think of is moisture issues, maybe. Or the type of wood the hive was built out of.
 
Alder Burns
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Bees will forage out quite a distance, so I'd guess the likeliest cause is something pretty common in the vicinity in bloom that they like to forage from. When I lived in Georgia, beekeepers around a lot of privet would take that honey off and reject it....it is almost inedibly bitter. In the Appalachians I hear that honey gathered predominantly from rhododendrom bloom is actually toxic.....
 
Charlei Scott
Posts: 32
Location: Tampa, FL (USDA 9b)
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I read in some other forum (google searching sour honey) that it can be sabal palms (common here) or gallberry (also common). None in our yard but I'm sure the bees have access to it.

The honey was a fascinating red ale color. The sour flavor was only slight and definitely not bad or toxic tasting so we will hope it's just a crop. I'll have to do some more research and see what else is common this time of year for them.
 
louren Cohen
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Last year we went for picnic to the hill sides and bought honey from the people living there. It is the best honey I have ever tasted. Even the prize for one bottle was little high it is really worth for the year. We are planning to get it more when we visit there next time.






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Louren
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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If it isn't up to scratch maybe save it for other uses - mead? baking? etc...
 
Amedean Messan
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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Charlei Scott wrote:We just got our first totally urban honey harvest.

Last year we got or hive and they had spent the majority of their honey making season in an orange grove so we harvested a full load of honey shortly after moving the hive.

Our honey tastes slightly sour. Anybody else raising bees in a city area (we're suburbs of Tampa, but close enough) and have this happen? We have used no pesticides, but are trying to make sure this isn't because of high pesticide use in the area by others.

Feedback appreciated. Honey is still delicious, just has a tang we haven't experienced before.


Bees will collect more than nectar if provided (link below). On another note, there are sour nectars of fine quality. I imagine beekeeping in an urban environment will expose them to a multitude of uncommon flowers.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/10/pictures/121011-blue-honey-honeybees-animals-science/

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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