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Bushfire smoke and effect on honey

We are getting a lot of smoke here on Lake Macquarie from the fires to the south and west. The bees are still very busy and honey is building up in the Flow super - although I’d wondered if the smoke would slow them down. They are obviously finding lots to forage from as my suburb is surrounded by bushland.

Does long term smoke like we are experiencing have any effect on the taste of the honey?

Hey Kim, I had bush fires within a couple of hundred mtrs of my apiary in very dense old growth bush with smoke so thick for safety I drove with my headlights on one day to check on my hives. When I finally got there thru a couple of road blocks the bees were out foraging. :smiley:
The week of really heavy smoke and a week either side of the ‘main event’ didn’t seem to upset the bees but I have lost 30 to 40% of the natural bush so the bees must fly further to find nectar.
With no ‘wet season’ here last Summer and with the drought and lack of rain for a year now I’m sure that has had a much bigger effect than the fires and smoke. I’m not saying it didn’t effect them at all, but from what I saw it was nothing compared to what I was expecting.

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Thanks for that account Peter. It is also good to remember that these events have an even bigger impact on the local wildlife not just our bees.

Getting back to the original question, does the smoke have any effect on the taste of honey itself from your experience?

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Sorry mate, I forgot your question. Capped honey couldn’t absorb the taste or smell of the smoke. Uncapped honey could I guess but I really doubt it could be tasted without knowing the honey had come from a hive having gone thru a bush fire.
But on the other ‘flip side’ if you were asked to taste honey being told it had gone thru a bush fire I suspect a lot of people would be convinced they could taste the smoke.
I know one person who only uses dried lavender in her smoker, she is sure she can smell the lavender when puts the honey on her toast. Yeah, right…:smiley::smiley:

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Thanks for your responses. I asked about taste because we’ve had three weeks or more of heavy smoke here and the bees are filling the flow frames like mad, so it’s building up with the smoky air as part of the environment.

I expect to be harvesting for the first time soon, perhaps even before Christmas the way it’s going at the moment.

Enjoy you first extraction and I’m confident it will taste great. I definitely couldn’t taste or smell any smoke symptoms in what I have taken since the bush fires up here.
Cheers Kim