Why is some of my honey dark?


Most of the honey is light and natural looking whilst there is this bit that is much darker and doesn’t look particularly healthy.  I can’t see any signs of larva in there though haven’t really inspected properly. Would be grateful for any info. Thanks

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Photography is my passion. i love to tell a story and use photography as a creative medium for sharing and exploring
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15 Responses to Why is some of my honey dark?

  1. simplebees says:

    I have never come across it personally, but honey made from honeydew (aphid excretions) is particularly dark and highly prized in some countries (parts of Germany, I understand). It is said to have a rich and complex taste.

    Gareth, Cotswolds

  2. tracywebb255 says:

    Thanks for Gareth. I might taste it!

    • Mark Bunce says:

      Is it possible that the comb has been propolised by the bees after being used for brood – cleaned out, coated with propolis and then used for honey?

  3. salp111 says:

    when you say it doesn’t look particularly healthy, do you mean just because it’s dark in colour or is there something else about it? I ask through curiosity rather than being able to give any words of wisdom.

    • tracywebb255 says:

      Hi I was just thinking about that. I suppose next to the pale honey and itis so dark it looks at first glance as if it was off. On further inspection it actually looks richer. Probably conditioned reaction to the darker honey being different.

  4. salp111 says:

    Have you tasted it yet? If so, what’s it like? Again, curiosity.

  5. johnmkubwa says:

    Honey does come in a range of colours depending on the nectar source. Borage is almost clear and runny whilst heather can be a dark amber and thixotropic.; ivy or clover is white and sets solid. Wild comb will contain a variety of pollens or bee bread ( bee bread is pollen fermented to break open the protective layer on pollen grains) of a wide range of different colours and flavours. The cells are also cleaned and lined with propolis between broods and will also hold the vacated cocoon. All of which contributes to the flavour. Multicoloured wild honeycomb is highly prized and sold for $100 per kilo in Turkey, according to a Bees for Development report.
    A friend of mine buys his honey in comb and he much prefers my multi coloured comb. My family also eat it:o)
    John H, Stockbridge, Hants

  6. Jane Horst says:

    I have 3 hives and take small amounts of honey to get different flavors from nectar flows. The early blooming borage and black locust trees yield a very light honey. Later we have bay magnolias that help make dark rich honey. I am on the coast, but in NC mountains they get sourwood honey which is dark. A honey tasting to compare flavors is interesting. I took 3 varieties to a family dinner recently. Then we tasted a well known brand bought from the grocery store that they had on hand. It was bland like sugar syrup in comparison. And everybody came away with a new appreciation of the honeybees !
    Wilmington, North Carolina, USA

  7. Paul says:

    Try smelling it. If it’s got rotting larvae or something else nasty in it, you’ll probably smell it.

    I was going to suggest – see if a dog rejects it, but on second thoughts they’ll eat anything!

    You could also have a look on your baseboard to see what kind of pollen they’ve been collecting. That might reassure you it’s heather, etc. You’d probably need a decent magnifier.

  8. Mary Powers says:

    In the US, at least, dark honey often means the source was a mix of wildflowers. I know that in September my bees were gathering mostly from goldenrod. My honey was very dark and almost opaque, more like molasses actually! It doesn’t even vaguely resemble the clear amber color that we usually associate with honey. It tastes very good, though.

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