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How to determine floral source of native honey?

Hi all,
Is there any way to determine “floral source” of a native bee honey? Apart from sending samples away for testing. I was thinking something like a colour chart? or by identifying what floral species are within 300m of the hive?

Hi and welcome @ShaneoEm :cherry_blossom:

I think it would be next to impossible to tell, unless you’re near a massive field or commercial orchard and watched for bloom times/nectar storage. Sometimes you can narrow things down a bit by looking at the color and tasting. I wonder if anyone else has a chart - that would be interesting!

Hi ShaneoEm (Shane and Em??)
You might find this honey tasting chart of interest.

The colour of the honey will give you some indication of which nectar will use, however, this will depend on where you are and what your bees are foraging on nearby… there are charts online, you could search according to your location and narrow it down based on what’s in bloom near you at the moment (or recently).

Thanks for your help @Eva and @Freebee2. That tasting PDF will be a great reference for the future. I only have two hives and have only had them for 4 years so still very new to it all. One thing I am finding is that everyone in the “bee and honey” community are awesome!

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So good to hear! Maybe you can post photos of your honey when the time comes and have us guess the nectar source… :slight_smile:

Pic is from the last harvest. 2 different hives. It’s very dark. The lighter coloured one does taste very different. Tell me what you think according to your experience and I’ll tell you what is in the area.:slightly_smiling_face:

Ha! I don’t claim to be any kind of honey sommelier! Just thought it might be fun to have a guess :slight_smile:

So my absolute guess would be maybe blackbutt on the the left and spotted gum on the right - do you have any of that nearby?

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I was thinking you were referring to native bee honey, especially when you mentioned 300 m from the hive, which is 200m short of the range of native bees. European honey bees have a much longer range & may even fly past flowers near the hive if they find something better further afield.

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There’s heaps of spotted gums, bottlebrush and paperbark and Blackbutt so would definitely be a good guess @Freebee2. There is also a big lemon tree and lime tree within 50m of the hives that I always see them visiting. What is strange is that only one of the hives honey has the citrus taste.
Yeah @JeffH i am talking about native bee honey, didn’t realise they do venture so far, thanks for that. 500m, that makes it all that much harder to really know what they are collecting hey. What I do know is that The honey is beautiful and I quite often find myself coming home from work, cracking a beer and watching them come and go from their hives just doing their thing. So interesting.

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I agree, they ARE interesting. One landed on my hand today as I was working near the hive. I glanced up to see them flat out working the entrance.

I read once that 500 meters is their range, however I’m not sure if they fly past flowers close by to forage on flowers further afield. They seem to avoid flowers that are not native or they don’t resemble native flowers. One thing I do know, & you’ve probably observed it yourself, is that they love Golden Pendas. There’s a few of them in flower at the moment here in Buderim.

As a bit of an eccentric, one Australia Day I made myself some Bunya pikelets to have with native bee honey. They were nice.

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Wow @JeffH! I think I just watched your video. Where can you get hold of bunya nuts? I wanna give that a go for sure.

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It probably was my video you watched :slight_smile: Thanks for watching. They start dropping in January & into Feb. You just have to keep an eye out for where the trees are, then monitor them for when the cones start dropping. A lot of people with trees on their property are happy to share cones. I used to offer to barter with honey, that always worked. I haven’t bothered the last few years. Maybe I wore the novelty out. They are still my favorite tree.

cheers

Love this! What a lovely celebration of Australian local food sources

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