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Ouarda 

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I've been told that once the girlies start foraging on ivy that the honey is no good.bee-smilliebee-smillie

Can sombody explain what the problem is with ivy honey and when will the ivy become a problem.

Thanks in advance for your replies
 

Eyeman 

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Can sombody explain what the problem is with ivy honey and when will the ivy become a problem
Ivy is usually the last nectar flow before winter. Most will have taken supers off before the flow starts- usually starts to flower in Oct to Nov around our area in Manchester. It gets stored for the bees use during the the winter but can granulate making it difficult for the bees to use.
Ivy honey definitely has an 'acquired' taste. If you have ever smelled the flowers then you will know what I mean.
 

Adam 

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I've been told that once the girlies start foraging on ivy that the honey is no good.bee-smilliebee-smillie
Can sombody explain what the problem is with ivy honey and when will the ivy become a problem.Thanks in advance for your replies
It granulates in a flash. I've poured a bucket of ivy honey into a filter, and it's actually set before coming through the other side. It has a very medicinal taste, which the odd person loves but the other 99% hate. Ivy flows from Late August, although through to October sometimes.

Adam
 

Haughton Honey 

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It granulates in a flash. I've poured a bucket of ivy honey into a filter, and it's actually set before coming through the other side. It has a very medicinal taste, which the odd person loves but the other 99% hate. Ivy flows from Late August, although through to October sometimes.

Adam

It's exceptionally good for getting foundation drawn. Bees seem to go in to 'drawing overdrive' when the Ivy flow begins.
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
I've had hives ignore syrup i've tried to feed them in preference to ivy

i've also heard (old wives tale, never experienced it myself) that once it's granulated and then warmed back to a liquid state the "bitterness" disappears...

:confused:
 

susbees 

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So what do you do with it? Eat it with a nose-peg on? Leave it for the bees to have trouble with (starve on?)?
 

Adam 

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I've had hives ignore syrup i've tried to feed them in preference to ivy

i've also heard (old wives tale, never experienced it myself) that once it's granulated and then warmed back to a liquid state the "bitterness" disappears...

:confused:
From personal experience, I'd say no, that's not true. It continues to have a very strong flavour.

Adam
 

Haughton Honey 

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So what do you do with it? Eat it with a nose-peg on? Leave it for the bees to have trouble with (starve on?)?

I've left it previously as, for me at least, it's a good source of Winter stores - so far mine haven't had a problem eating it!
 

Cazza 

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My personal experience would be that for me the ivy flow is too late to harvest as I have taken my supers off by the time it appears and am also treating for varroa at this time.
I leave it for the bees to collect and "have trouble with later." ( Actually I don't believe they really find it a big problem.)
Cazza
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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sadly, no more!
My bees collected a good super full of ivy honey last autumn, after I had begun to treat for varoa. Left it for them over the winter, and I did not need to provide any other feed at all. Intend to do the same again this year (though this time, I will put the super under the brood rather than leave it above).
 

justme 

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I've had hives ignore syrup i've tried to feed them in preference to ivy

i've also heard (old wives tale, never experienced it myself) that once it's granulated and then warmed back to a liquid state the "bitterness" disappears...

:confused:
At a recent show where I helped on our association stand one of the members brought along some ivy honey that he'd warmed & stirred that morning.
It was offered to people to taste in small amounts, on the day that I was there 38 out of 40 people to try it liked it and bought a jar to take home. 2 thought it was disgusting:.)
I also bought some and although it didnt stay as soft it tasted just the same, in my opinion lovely:.)
 

Ouarda 

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Many thanks for all the replies,:D it's answered my questions and a load more.

I think for this year I will leave it for the bees but as an Herbalist I would be very interested in trying some next year, in the mean time I will research medicinal uses of ivy honey. bee-smillie
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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sadly, no more!
May I ask why under and not over as you successfully did last season?

The bee cluster move upwards during Winter.
Because, as a newbee, it took me forever to coax the Queen back down into the brood box in the spring. With the brood above, I am hoping she will get there much quicker - I really don't want to start the season with a brood and a half again.
 
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