The wonderful flavours of honey
Something I did not expect when I started is that there are different flavours of honey. 100% natural, nothing added by anyone other than the bees. You see, flowers produce nectar, the bees collect this nectar and turn it into honey, and each flower has a different taste!
Different flowers are out in bloom, to attract honeybees, not intentionally designed to attract us, and they are out at different times of the year. Spring flowers – fruit tree blossoms such as pear, apple, quince, crab apple, plum are all producing nectar at a similar time. Spring honey or “orchard” honey will usually be a combination of them.
A common spring honey in England is rapeseed. The fields of bright yellow flowers are rapeseed. The plants are grown to make rapeseed oil, a vegetable oil used in cooking. It is a popular crop in the UK and the honey bees love it. The honey is quite a thick honey that sets and crystallises quickly and has a distinct good favour.
Summer honey, one of my absolute favourite honeys is from the lime tree (not to be confused with trees that produce limes), British lime trees (i.e. like in clumber park avenues of lime trees), huge trees that produce a prolific amount of nectar. Lime honey is a lovely clear runny honey, a light very slight golden-green colour. This one I just eat from the jar. A brilliant all round honey.
Autumn honey. I am very lucky to have a wild growing weed nearby. This weed is very difficult to remove and because of that there is a national scheme to remove it but for honey bees it is a very important late flowing plant which helps honey bees prepare for winter. The plant is Himalayan balsam. The honey is absolutely gorgeous. Very pale and very runny, appearance is almost like thick water. And is my personal second favourite honey. It is delicious in a cup of tea or with cheese. It was also my very first crop of honey I extracted in 2015.
There are many other good honey flowers out there, look out for them.
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