Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => HONEYBEE REMOVAL => Topic started by: Big P on February 24, 2021, 01:22:39 pm

Title: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: Big P on February 24, 2021, 01:22:39 pm
First post! I was doing a cut out yesterday and the nectar in the combs was dark and sludgy like motor oil. Something I have not seen before. There was no smell or beetles to be seen. The brood nest was full of dead bees in their cells with a pile of dead bees on the floor below the hive. There were what seemed to be at least a few 1,000 very healthy bees working the combs. Only thing I can think of is that the hive was sprayed some time ago and a fresh swarm had just moved in. I?ve seen that circumstance many times, but never with this black sludge nectar. Any thoughts? Photo below! [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
Title: Re: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: Ben Framed on February 24, 2021, 01:36:10 pm
Interesting, did you taste it?  And welcome..
Title: Re: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: Big P on February 24, 2021, 07:09:25 pm
I did not taste it, but I did sterilize my tools after 😦
Title: Re: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: Ben Framed on February 24, 2021, 07:36:01 pm
I am from a different area.  I have not had black honey here.
Title: Re: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: sawdstmakr on February 24, 2021, 07:42:55 pm
Welcome to Beemaster.
Dead bees with their heads in cells is a good indicator that the bees ran out of in reach food.
Their is a good chance that there is nothing wrong with the honey. Dark honey is due to the nectar the bees found and the age. Dark honey tends to darken with age.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: Skeggley on February 25, 2021, 10:36:47 am
Possibly not in your parts but down here we have a plant/tree called a bottle brush (Callistemon) whose honey is a dark sump oily colour. Not great to look at but not a bad tasting honey.
Title: Re: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: FloridaGardener on February 25, 2021, 10:41:52 am
The comb it's in is light and thin - it's not old brood comb.

So I'd evaluate that the nectar source is the reason for the honey color.
Title: Re: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: Big P on February 25, 2021, 12:02:08 pm
Thanks all for replies! Bees were not dead head in like they would from starvation. There were significant remains of all stages of development in the cells. Wish I had a photo of the brood nest, but by then my gloves were covered in honey and I was 15? up on a ladder. There are actually a good amount of bottle brush trees in that area. There are bottle brush trees everywhere around here as a matter of fact. I have not seen the nectar isolated like that (to my knowledge), but maybe that explains it. If it had been a healthy hive I wouldn?t have questioned it, but with all the evidence of the old occupants meeting an untimely death I couldn?t help but question how dark it was compared to what else I?ve seen in the area.
Title: Re: Black Nectar Like Motor Oil
Post by: JurassicApiary on February 27, 2021, 05:06:51 pm
Big P, do you have a lot of avocado's in your area of SoCal?  It tend to yield a very dark honey and can bloom in January.  Those cells looks like they were actively being worked...