2295FW: Green honey
- Sep 2, 2012
I am sending this picture (with written consent from the beekeeper) to the list in an effort to help the beekeeper find out if there is any natural cause any of you may be aware of for the colour of this honey (on the highveld of South Africa – no exotic tropical plants close by).
It has become a sensitive issue for the beekeeper, who feels mocked by others for asking – and who has received some pretty nasty replies already.
The beekeeper is proud of being an ‘organic’ beekeeper and is very aware and careful about and with the natural environment, especially where the bees are concerned.
As far as I can determine, this happens only rarely – always at the same time of the year. This is about the the biggest patch ever seen in a hive. Sometimes it is only a small area of honey.
Aside from its colour, the honey has the same consistency, appearance, taste and smell as the rest. (As cautionary procedure, it was fed only to the bees themselves in the following winter season as additional food to survive the winter.)
It has not been tested for contaminants, yet – the beekeeper does not believe that it is contaminated. The next batch, however, might be sent to be tested in a laboratory (one researcher has offered his services, which I hope will be taken up). Like I said, the very asking now has become a very sensitive issue to the beekeeper.
There seems to be no (unnatrual) external reason / cause in the area around the hives, or close by, e.g. a dye, confectionery, ice cream or cooldrink factory, a dump heap, etc. and the beekeeper is aware of the impact such things have had in causing coloured (red or pinkish) honey in other places in the world.
It is also not the greenish colour that ‘Heide’ or buchu plants (with their particular flavour too) might cause in honey.
When filled into a jar, this honey is not as bright emerald green as it looks in the hive with light shining on it, though it is definitely still emerald greenish.
Have you ever encountered something similar? A natural sweet coloured / excretion of some creature or plant that bees / insects may be particular to perhaps?
In the hope that someone has come across such honey before,
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