Author Topic: Alaska Bee Keeping  (Read 6711 times)

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Offline Lburou

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #120 on: September 13, 2017, 02:17:48 pm »
Wish we could all give you a 'high five' to celebrate this honey!   :yes:
Lee_Burough
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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #121 on: September 13, 2017, 11:50:07 pm »
"P.S> Fireweed honey is to die for ! it is very floral almost like roses smell, very sweet and has several after taste. its pretty special stuff, I have never had any honey like it. My favorite was that acacia honey until now."

Although there is fire weed in the honey, I doubt that it is very pure. The ("very floral almost like roses smell"  "and has several after taste") are not observations describing pure fire-weed honey. Also Pure fireweed is water white in color. It can some times have a slight greenish huge. In general the clearer the purer the honey is with fire weed. I would call it a fire-weed wild flower mix.
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Offline yukonjeff

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #122 on: September 14, 2017, 02:05:53 am »
Thanks guys. Would of been no harvest at all without the support I have gotten from Beekeep's here online.

As far as the honey.I bought a couple jars last year and it was similar to what I got mine is a bit darker ,although you can read through it. Also seams very light textured as well, kind of thin, but its not fermenting so its low enough.

When I added the third deep the hills were ablaze with fireweed, and I watched as them and every bumble and YJ worked them from July to mid August. I assumed it was Fireweed, but they could of moved some up from below, and we do have a plethora of wildflowers. It made a nice mix that's for sure.

Will see if I can get a second opinion. ;)

I put the frames back and have been feeding steady, they took about 40 lbs of sugar 2-1 so far,  I have to warm it every morning.

still in the 50s here and pretty wet, but they are still bringing in pollen from some daisy looking flowers and Icelandic Poppy, we do have something that looks like Goldenrod blooming now too.



 

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #123 on: September 14, 2017, 03:27:25 pm »
I am not criticizing at all, this is all written with the view of education. Your honey looks absolutely lovely and I can imagine the taste. I have tasted fireweed, wild flower mixed honeys many times over the last 19 years of judging honey. In the Okanagan it is rare to get the purest of waterwhite fireweed honey. There is always something else in bloom while the fireweed is in bloom. I have judged many honeys that were collected from fireweed areas but have only come across 3 that I would call fairly pure fireweed honey. Waterwhite in color, Very sweet, Very mild in taste, hardly any aftertaste.
It is the aftertaste that takes away from the sweetness. As you place the honeys on your tong the sugars are immediately sensed.  As the sugars get thinned down with the saliva, the floral aftertastes overtakes the sweet sensation produced by the sugars. Generally the stronger the aftertaste the less sweet the honey tastes due to the honeys not being needed to be thinned down as much for the flavor to over take the sweetness.
Just the way bees collect and store nectar, with scout bees always searching out new nectar sources and telling the bees in the hive where to find it and giving samples, It is almost impossible to get the bees to work a single floral source.
This is close to the color of pure fireweed honey. I have judged lighter honey than this thou.
https://onceinabluemoose.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4123&zenid=sb5kiknp7mmfktfvh1j2kpb042
Purer Fireweed has the sweet taste but does not have much of the nice fruity aftertaste as ones that are a mix of floral sources. I would much prefer your honey over a pure water white fireweed honey because of the floral overtones.
http://www.alaskawildhoney.com/category-s/1814.htm
Texture is what you would use to describe if there was crystals forming in it A better word to describe how thin the honey is, is Density. Density is the water content reading using a refractometer. 17.8% moisture is the maximum reading allowed for non-pasteurized honey.
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Offline efmesch

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #124 on: September 14, 2017, 04:04:17 pm »
 I love the answers that Apis gives---they are so completely thorough and clear.  :yes:
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Offline yukonjeff

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #125 on: September 15, 2017, 02:19:11 am »
Thanks Apis. I never turn my nose up at a free education. And coming from a honey judge as well. I am sure they mix nectar sources all the time, so can anyone really say their honey is pure ? is clover pure clover ? I would call it what ever the predominant flower/ flow is on at the time, if my bees are working it, and sell it as such. They were in a dearth until the FW bloomed, so I assume it was mostly FW.  They could of moved some up from below and I am sure they had a few dandelions in there as well.

The link with the 12 oz bear for $9.95 is most likely not Fireweed honey,  especially coming from a gift shop, ingredients  say Fireweed AND honey remember sugar syrup is clear too :)

Most Fireweed honey(what very little of it their is in Alaska) is usually $25-$30 a pint or $50 a quart

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #126 on: September 15, 2017, 05:19:36 pm »
You bring up a good point about honey source. It comes down to truth in advertising and labeling. There is talk of stricter regulations being put in place for this. If this does come about in order to sell honey as a specific type of honey you would have to send a sample away to be tested before it could be sold as a certain type. The reasoning behind this proposed change to the rule is that with out testing and analyses of the honey one can not be sure. Another change for commercial producers that are importing honey into the USA is that they have to keep information on where the hives that the honey was collected from where located, Address, GPS location, and that information is encoded into the label bar-code data base.
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Offline yukonjeff

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #127 on: September 16, 2017, 01:41:52 pm »
I think testing and truth in labeling is long over due. I would love to know what's in those plastic bears that had imported honey from China.

I would also bet that they would be finding a lot of insecticides, and other Ag. chemicals/pollutants as well.  I would love to have mine tested just to see whats in it.

 Keep in mind I don't have a real job, ;) I spent the last two summers literally following my bees around, to see what they were foraging on. We started the season with cat willow. it seamed to me they were bringing in pollen and nectar from it ?( coming in loaded.)

Then the tundra bloomed, we had blueberry, salmonberry, cranberry, mountain raspberry flowers. I saw them working in the spring.

Then we had a bloom of Blue Iris, I only saw them getting pollen from them( I think) along with the alder.

Next was the Cow Parsnips they worked heavy but such small flowers I am not sure they were getting much more than they were eating/ feeding brood...But those were also still in bloom when the Fireweed bloomed, so that could be what would be mixed with the FW honey, of course I could of missed something, we also have Goldenrod and Queen Ann's Lace, and some white Clover I planted, but I have yet to see one of my bees on any of those three flowers.

I will watch more close this coming year and pull a little honey at different times and see if it changes color or flavor at any other time.

We also have a couple kinds of fireweed, one is the Dwarf FW is smaller and it is a bit different shade of flowers, It could have different nectar color as well.


Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #128 on: September 16, 2017, 04:03:43 pm »
I am sure they mix nectar sources all the time, so can anyone really say their honey is pure ? is clover pure clover ? I would call it what ever the predominant flower/ flow is on at the time, if my bees are working it, and sell it as such.

I could never claim a specific floral source for my honey.  Around here there are far too many nectar sources blooming at the same time.  We give it the generic name "Wildflower Honey".  When I harvested, I did keep some supers separated from others because they were filled with the early fruit tree nectar.  I have told folks that, but I also tell them that apples, peaches, and pears weren't the only sources blooming at that time. 
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Offline CBT

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #129 on: September 16, 2017, 09:35:22 pm »
I keep my blue honey and sourwood honey separate and the rest is wild flower.
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Offline Perry

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #130 on: September 17, 2017, 07:25:56 am »
I think testing and truth in labeling is long over due. I would love to know what's in those plastic bears that had imported honey from China.

Sometimes it can be on the jar but if folks don't look for it.....



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Offline efmesch

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #131 on: September 17, 2017, 07:42:56 am »
"A blend of Chinese and Canadian" honey leaves a lot of room for manipulation.  With "Chinese" being written first, I assume that it is also the larger portion of the included blend-----but one wonders---just how much of that blend is true Canadian---49%? 10%? 5%? Less?   It would be nice to know more.
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Offline Perry

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #132 on: September 17, 2017, 07:45:57 am »
You are right my friend, the country listed first is the "majority" of the product. It leaves far too much to the imagination percentage wise. :yes: :yes:
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #133 on: September 17, 2017, 08:05:11 am »
I think testing and truth in labeling is long over due. I would love to know what's in those plastic bears that had imported honey from China.

I would also bet that they would be finding a lot of insecticides, and other Ag. chemicals/pollutants as well.  I would love to have mine tested just to see whats in it.


Perhaps we need a new thread entitled "Truth in labeling".
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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #134 on: September 17, 2017, 10:55:48 pm »
Don't go there Baker!!!
There is talk of having the (place of origin) needing to be displayed on the front panel and in a size equal to grade and product. So The same size as the (CANADA NO. 1 WHITE HONEY)
CANADA NO. 1 WHITE HONEY only means that the honey Meets the Canadian standard for 1 WHITE HONEY not where it was produced. Where it is produced needs to be displayed but is is not stated where on the container or what size. Lets play wheres Waldo to find it. If they are not proud of where it is from then make it small and hide it.
On a positive note Billy Bee honey that was importing Argentina honey and blending it with Canadian has gone back to only Canadian honey. on their newest labels.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #135 on: September 18, 2017, 05:37:03 am »
 :-X
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #136 on: September 18, 2017, 08:48:21 pm »
just my thoughts.......if i were jeff and all that is blooming is fireweed, pretty good indication that the honey is primarily fireweed?  i don't mean to take away from what apis said and apis is more than a honey expert than any of us. 

in my own experience of keeping bees, the bees work a primary source, although other nectar sources are available and these are worked as well. as boxes are stacked nectar sources probably do get mixed in the frames.  for me there are some primary nectar sources that i can identify just by what blooms, what the bees are working and what box/frames are on they are filling it up with and taste i guess.  one year we planted a field of buckwheat, i just opened and strained that bucket, one of two. the honey is primarily buckwheat, and likely other floral sources mixed in but buckwheat does have a distinctive flavor and color.  like many other primary sources of honey, there are distinctive colors, smells and taste. i have produced comb honey an old fashioned way, and comb honey frames can be drawn and filled quickly and some timing on removal. one year i am certain the comb honey was bee balm. the bee balm bloom was awesome and the comb honey had a mint flavor to it! it was excellent and had many customers ask me for more!  not an expert on this as apis is and do not possess keith's expertise; i guess i have learned to watch what the bees are working, how prolific the bloom is and lasts, and what boxes/frames the nectar is going into, and maybe a beeks educated guess as to what it might be.  :D

with all this said, truth in labeling?  i just label it all 'wildflower' because of the area i live in. i may suggest to a customer that it is a certain or a primary floral source or rattle off the wildflower sources/nectar sources in my area. with the buckwheat i will do the same.  i wouldn't feel comfortable advertising any single source honey without having it tested and knowing for sure........

jeff, i'd trade ya for a jar of your fireweed...........!............ :D.......seriously!  that stuff is good stuff!
maybe we ought to have trade a honey jar thing here?!............sorta karma honey from wherever............!........ :D
i keep wild things in a box..........™
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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #137 on: September 23, 2017, 08:08:49 pm »
Here is a fire weed honey collected about 50 miles north of me. It has some other nectar in it also as it is showing signs of crystals forming from when it was extracted  a month ago.







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Offline yukonjeff

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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #138 on: September 24, 2017, 04:06:33 am »
That is clear ! is it sugar syrup  :D

Is it from White fireweed ? We only have the pink type here.





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Re: Alaska Bee Keeping
« Reply #139 on: September 24, 2017, 06:35:46 pm »
We also only have pink. 2nd year from fire came into bloom a little later than the clover and hives were resupered for the fireweed. At the convention coming up may have some even lighter out of Terrace. No syrup, syrup has no floral taste where this honey does but it is very mild.
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