bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The mystery honey revealed?

I think I may have found the answer to my mystery about this year's honey that was so white and with a high sugar content, but no real flavour. I had a suggestion from the USA that it might be privet, but privet honey in this country is a nasty bitter honey.

I looked up the bible of Plants and Beekeeping and this is what FN Howes had to say:
The honey from willow-herb is very pale in colour and sometimes water white and of good density without any distinctive flavour. Some consider it flavourless though very sweet. It is valuable for blending with dark and strong-flavoured honeys. Granulation takes place with a fine grain and is not long delayed as a rule. Wax or comb ... is very pale in colour.
So, willow herb or Epilobium angustifolium it appears to be (I'll attempt some pollen analysis later.) See update.

Willow herb is an early coloniser of waste land but is soon pushed out by succeeding plants, although it is often maintains a niche on roadsides. Perhaps there has been some major woodland clearance in this area that I don't know about.

Road-side willow herb Posted by Picasa


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