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Author Topic: Suspiciously Light Honey  (Read 720 times)

Offline The15thMember

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Suspiciously Light Honey
« on: July 28, 2020, 02:44:52 pm »
I harvested some EXTREMELY light honey this morning, which I was quite excited about because I assumed it was sourwood.  But now that it's in the jars, I think something is wrong here.  This honey is too light, it's totally clear on a spoon, and it isn't at all golden.  The top picture is a jar I harvested last week, which I believe is sourwood, and the bottom is the jar from this morning.  The opacity is just air bubbles, but the color almost looks to me like sugar syrup.  Do you guys agree?  Do you think that the bees found and stored sugar syrup?  Or is there some sort of clear honey out there that I'm not aware of?
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Offline Northernbeek

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Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 02:51:40 pm »
I harvested some EXTREMELY light honey this morning, which I was quite excited about because I assumed it was sourwood.  But now that it's in the jars, I think something is wrong here.  This honey is too light, it's totally clear on a spoon, and it isn't at all golden.  The top picture is a jar I harvested last week, which I believe is sourwood, and the bottom is the jar from this morning.  The opacity is just air bubbles, but the color almost looks to me like sugar syrup.  Do you guys agree?  Do you think that the bees found and stored sugar syrup?  Or is there some sort of clear honey out there that I'm not aware of?
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Mine looks even clearer to me, it?s wild flower. People say they can taste a flowery taste


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Offline amymcg

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 10:03:24 pm »
Did you taste it? 


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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 11:57:54 pm »
Did you taste it? 


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I have the same question as Amy. Did you taste it? I do not have sourwood trees in my area but I have heard people talk who do. One fellow in particular says that sourwood has a VERY light color and distinctive taste.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 12:40:02 am »
Did you taste it? 


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I have the same question as Amy. Did you taste it? I do not have sourwood trees in my area but I have heard people talk who do. One fellow in particular says that sourwood has a VERY light color and distinctive taste.
Yes I did, and it definitely has taste, it's not straight up sugar syrup.  It is extremely sweet, and it's thick enough to "stack" when I pour it (if you know what I mean by that).  The thing that's so confusing to me is that if this light stuff is sourwood, than I have never had real sourwood.  I bought sourwood honey for several years before I started beekeeping, and it didn't look or taste like this.  The stuff in the darker jar is more like what I used to buy.  It's thinner consistency and has a twangy flavor, almost citrus-y.  It reminds me of sheep sorrel, if anyone's familiar with that.  Hopefully this is making sense.  I feel like I'm describing wine or something.  :cheesy:   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 12:46:18 am »
Did you taste it? 


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I have the same question as Amy. Did you taste it? I do not have sourwood trees in my area but I have heard people talk who do. One fellow in particular says that sourwood has a VERY light color and distinctive taste.
Yes I did, and it definitely has taste, it's not straight up sugar syrup.  It is extremely sweet, and it's thick enough to "stack" when I pour it (if you know what I mean by that).  The thing that's so confusing to me is that if this light stuff is sourwood, than I have never had real sourwood.  I bought sourwood honey for several years before I started beekeeping, and it didn't look or taste like this.  The stuff in the darker jar is more like what I used to buy.  It's thinner consistency and has a twangy flavor, almost citrus-y.  It reminds me of sheep sorrel, if anyone's familiar with that.  Hopefully this is making sense.  I feel like I'm describing wine or something.  :cheesy:   

Member I understand what you are saying and asking. I am reminded that you are in an area where Bob Binnie is famous for sourwood honey. Yes you would know the difference. I do not know what to say.  :shocked:  Except ask, have you tried the cotton test to make sure it is pure?




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« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 01:02:15 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline beesonhay465

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 08:37:19 am »
been framed, what is this cotton test that you mentioned?   

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 10:46:26 am »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Hops Brewster

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Winter is coming.

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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 11:34:40 am »
https://beemaster.com/forum/index.php?topic=51539.msg456370#msg456370
I'll do some testing today.  I'll perform both of the tests Van mentioned in the link Hops posted.   

been framed, what is this cotton test that you mentioned?

https://ayurmantra.com/how-to-test-the-purity-of-honey.html
No offense, Phillip, but I question the legitimacy of some of those methods.  Honey certainly dissolves in water, and lighter, thinner varieties dissolve just as easily as sugar syrup in my experience.           
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2020, 11:51:42 am »
15th.  Perhaps a walkabout or driveabout the area where your hive are will give you answers as to what the bees are collecting.
Any hay fields?  Alfalfa honey is very clear, near waterwhite.  Same for alsike and red clovers, and wild/sweet clovers.
Your answer can only come from standing by the hive on a heavy forage day.  Observe what direction they are flying to work. And go for a walk that way until you find bees working a bloom concentration.

The test is the taste test and verifiable, credible, source.  Does it taste like honey? Is it thick like honey? Did it come out of a hive?  Was the beekeeper (or neighbour) feeding?  Did the beekeeper walkabout and knows the forage around the hive(s) at the time?
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2020, 01:13:07 pm »
15th.  Perhaps a walkabout or driveabout the area where your hive are will give you answers as to what the bees are collecting.
Any hay fields?  Alfalfa honey is very clear, near waterwhite.  Same for alsike and red clovers, and wild/sweet clovers.
Your answer can only come from standing by the hive on a heavy forage day.  Observe what direction they are flying to work. And go for a walk that way until you find bees working a bloom concentration.

The test is the taste test and verifiable, credible, source.  Does it taste like honey? Is it thick like honey? Did it come out of a hive?  Was the beekeeper (or neighbour) feeding?  Did the beekeeper walkabout and knows the forage around the hive(s) at the time?
That there is what we mountain people call flatlander advice.  :wink: :cheesy:  In the mountains there is no picking a direction a walking that way.  Here's the way my bees normally fly.
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Try walking that way.   :cheesy:

Kidding aside though, that is good advice.  Maybe I'll take a drive around and see what I can see, presuming I can reach where they are working by road.  I doubt anyone is growing alfalfa around here, but clover is certainly a possibility.  The other thing that is making identifying my honey varieties challenging is that because I'm foundationless, I move frames around a lot to help the bees draw straight, so I'm not always sure when an individual frame was filled.  I kept track of frames drawn during the sourwood flow, but nothing else, so next year I'm thinking about penciling the date on the frames as the bees are working them, so I can keep better track of what honey is from what bloom time.   
 
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Offline Nock

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2020, 03:08:40 pm »
You got some hills there. Be interesting to see what you find with those test.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 04:38:54 pm »
No offense taken member . Beesnhay ask what the cotton test was so I posted the first one that I found that mentioned the cotton test. I did not read the whole thing. Basically what you do is place some Honey on cotton, if it burns it is real honey. Sugar syrup will not burn . Supposedly that leaves no doubt. Should be pretty accurate?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Nyleve

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2020, 06:33:52 pm »
?Pure honey even if kept of a long time will never crystallize.?

I question all of those ?tests?. The above statement is absolutely not true. We all know that.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2020, 06:48:46 pm »
?Pure honey even if kept of a long time will never crystallize.?

I question all of those ?tests?. The above statement is absolutely not true. We all know that.


Yes I agree that statement is not true. I have read at more than one place that the following works. It may not be true. I have never tried it....

"Basically what you do is place some Honey on cotton, if it burns it is real honey. Sugar syrup will not burn . Supposedly that leaves no doubt. Should be pretty accurate?"




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« Last Edit: July 29, 2020, 07:55:04 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2020, 08:21:28 pm »
No offense taken member . Beesnhay ask what the cotton test was so I posted the first one that I found that mentioned the cotton test. I did not read the whole thing. Basically what you do is place some Honey on cotton, if it burns it is real honey. Sugar syrup will not burn . Supposedly that leaves no doubt. Should be pretty accurate?
That is basically how Van described it on the other thread, and I do think that sounds reasonable.  The link you provided says that the impure honey will sputter when it burns, and pure honey will burn cleanly.  I think that might happen if the honey had water added, but I'm not sure why sugar syrup would do that, at least not 2:1 syrup. 

We had some stuff come up today, so I won't have any time to play with fire until tomorrow.  I'll let you guys know how it goes.  I too am very curious to see what happens.  Another interesting thing I noticed today is one of the jars of this extra light stuff didn't clear, it is staying opaque, which also seems suspicious to me. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2020, 09:22:09 pm »
I do not know. It will be interesting to see what happens. Perhaps you can fire up each type?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2020, 09:35:51 pm »
I took the liberty to play with a little honey and fire myself. I knew my honey was pure as no sugar has been fed here since before the first flow. This was from the comb honey I posted yesterday.

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For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Suspiciously Light Honey
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2020, 03:22:56 am »
> No offense, Phillip, but I question the legitimacy of some of those methods.  Honey certainly dissolves in water, and lighter, thinner varieties dissolve just as easily as sugar syrup in my experience.

As I said earlier, I was not referring to any other test nor recommending any other test. But having looked back at the thread that Hops so graciously found and posted, I have now been enlightened by Mr Vans several post. By taking his time and truly explaining to we here at beemaster, of adulterated honey.

Since I know for a fact that my honey is pure as according to the cotton test, I intend to also try the moisture test that Mr Van described on that same topic 2 years ago. Mr Van did not say how long it would take for real honey do dissolve after it puddles. I will try and measure that period of time as well.

Quoting Mr Van. In His Reply#(14)
"The solubility test was a wash, I could not tell the difference.  This test is simple: drop a drop of Honey in a glass of water,  pure honey will puddle, dilute honey will dissolve.  There was a slight difference but my eyes are not as good as they used to be."
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.