Tips for an ivy honey crop

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Stedic 

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Having missed most of my objectives for this year, but retained a sense of humour, I’m looking at my list again.

I would like to try to get a super of ivy honey if possible. What is the best way to do this? I presume I need to keep a strong colony and make sure they don’t need feeding so as not to contaminate the super.

Is ivy honey treated the same way as OSR? I.e, extract when it passes the shake test? Best as a soft set honey?

I’m keen to get something as one of the landowners gets terrible hayfever from ivy, so it would be a nice thing to offer her some.
 

pargyle 

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Having missed most of my objectives for this year, but retained a sense of humour, I’m looking at my list again.

I would like to try to get a super of ivy honey if possible. What is the best way to do this? I presume I need to keep a strong colony and make sure they don’t need feeding so as not to contaminate the super.

Is ivy honey treated the same way as OSR? I.e, extract when it passes the shake test? Best as a soft set honey?

I’m keen to get something as one of the landowners gets terrible hayfever from ivy, so it would be a nice thing to offer her some.
If you do get a crop then leave it for a year as it tastes really strong and smells of... you've probably guessed .... Ivy ! You will know when you've got some in the supers as you can smell it from about 10 feet away ! It's an acquired taste but it improves with keeping. Still a very strong taste though - won't win you any prizes at the Honey shows !!

My Ivy comes in late October and by then the supers are long gone and they fill the brood box with it ready for winter ... I leave it for them. It's a very dark colour.

I suspect if you keep an eye on when the Ivy breaks and put a super on (perhaps limit it to a few drawn frames) then they may put some up there that you could take off. It does crystallize but it's not as quick to set as rape - but I wouldn't hang about before extracting - or crush and strain if you just want a few jars ?

I have a lot of Ivy around me but it's never produced a massive flow .. just a steady stream. After the Ivy finishes I check the hives and feed where necessary.
 
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I would like to try to get a super of ivy honey if possible. What is the best way to do this? .
Move further south :)
Where we live in North Yorks never likely to get an ivy crop as if flowers far too late, usually Nov/Dec.
Sells at a good price if you can get some, many like the strong taste.
 

Teebeeaitch 

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I wish the all the best with your ivy. Around here it is the most important crop of them all as far as I am concerned. Not for me of course as I don’t touch the hives after mid September but for the bees it’s their winter stores and their spring brood food. Yes, it has a distinctive odour when they are piling it in but I like to know they have it in there. Never yet seen a colony not use it despite what some others may report.
 

Ian123 

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Our ivy in this area starts pretty much as the heather finishes and there’s normally some still going into December, it really is fantastic for the bees. If you want to try for a crop break a large double brood into a single box with young larvae/eggs to outside of brood nest. This encourages the bees not to back fill and place a box of drawn comb on. It is irrelevant how crowded the hive is even to the point of bearding. Can often manage a box of heather doing this from quite small heathland heather areas.
 

MartinL 

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Having missed most of my objectives for this year, but retained a sense of humour,

I would like to try to get a super of ivy honey if possible. . . . one of the landowners gets terrible hayfever from ivy, so it would be a nice thing to offer her some.
Are you sure she has a similar sense of humour that will see beyond her tasting the stuff? :puke:

I'm very sceptical about the Hay-fever & Honey thing and have always dismissed it as dodgy sales pitch. :sifone:
After all, pollen causes Hay-fever and homey is from nectar???
 

Millet 

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Are you sure she has a similar sense of humour that will see beyond her tasting the stuff? :puke:

I'm very sceptical about the Hay-fever & Honey thing and have always dismissed it as dodgy sales pitch. :sifone:
After all, pollen causes Hay-fever and homey is from nectar???
Honey also contains pollen grains..
 

SDM 

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Our ivy in this area starts pretty much as the heather finishes and there’s normally some still going into December, it really is fantastic for the bees. If you want to try for a crop break a large double brood into a single box with young larvae/eggs to outside of brood nest. This encourages the bees not to back fill and place a box of drawn comb on. It is irrelevant how crowded the hive is even to the point of bearding. Can often manage a box of heather doing this from quite small heathland heather areas.
All the way through reading that I was thinking ",this is good advice on heather too"
 
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My standard technique for taking colonies to the moors is do exactly that; double brood shaken down into single with extra supers to provide room. Although some say it makes no difference whether you go with double brood or single.
 

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