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Flavor

 
david tyler
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I was wondering if there was anyway of changing the flavor of the honey by growing certain flowers around the hive or do the sugars just all break down the same and on this point can certain flowers make the honey more medicinal then others?
 
Cj Sloane
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Honey is highly dependent of the flavor of the plants the bees are foraging from.
 
Thomas Pate
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Honey flavors are at least as complex as wine. Buckwheat honey has a strong flavor that is better on toast in my opinion while clover honey is more mild and better in tea. One of my favorite honeys is from neem flowers. The worst I've had smelled like cat urine and had a taste similar to apple, so I assume it was apple blossom honey. I've had honey from an Asian pear orchard that had a definite pear flavor to it.
 
david tyler
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Thank you very much, what about the medicinal values, I would just think that because some plants that flower have different medicinal properties to them, can the honey be manipulated as well to carry different benafactories to them. I know honey is a natural antibiotic, can this strength be lowered or raised according to the nectar that the bees are collecting?

Thank you.
 
Cj Sloane
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I don't know for sure about medicinal values but I do know that honey can be toxic if the bees are foraging from deadly poisonous plants like oleander. I forget which country it was but they gave a "gift" of oleander honey to occupying soldiers and killed them. It might be this story.

The honey off my property is great but my husband insists it smells like his snot - presumably when he's got allergies from goldenrod! I keep telling him it's supposedly to help his allergies but his not into it.
 
david tyler
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Is there a way to tell if the honey is toxic before hand? this seems like such a dangerous prospect like a crap shoot every time you collect your honey.
 
Cj Sloane
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I'm guessing it's pretty rare for honey to be toxic or it wouldn't have been used for thousands of years. The one caveat is that it shouldn't be fed to infants for other reasons (slight risk of botulism).
 
Ludger Merkens
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Well toxic honey is pretty rare. But flavor was the starting point of this thread. So here is a small list I compiled:

  • black locust - a lightly coloured, gentle honey. if pure this honey will stay liquid - cristallisation will occur late (after several months, even years)
  • buckwheat - dark brown, sometimes reddish brown honey. strong taste. cristallisation late
  • chestnut - brown (amber), strong even bitter flavor. cristallisation normal
  • calluna - yellow/orange, aromatic honey. thixotropic (antibiotic qualities?)
  • dandelion - yellow, gentle sometimes a little tart. cristallisation normal (tendency to bigger cristalls)
  • linden (tilla) - light brown, aromatic. cristallisation late but with big cristalls
  • silverfir - dark brown, strong aromatic, if pure this honey will stay liquid - this is a honeydew honey
  • clover - lightly colored, gentle, cristallisation normal
  • rape (Brassica napus) - light almost white colour, often very gentle, fast cristallisation with smooth texture


  • My personal preference though is a well mixed honey with lots of nectar sources in it. In my environment this often means a mixture of dandelion, apple and other fruit trees. Colour and tastes will be a mix of the list above (and from more sources). Taste mixes like colour and gives the richest picture in coulour and flavor you can get.

     
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