Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stinky Bee Yard? Blame the Goldenrod

You can certainly tell when fall is in the air.  The goldenrod flowers are in bloom and boy does the bee yard ever stink.

It's true that flowers give honey its flavour so don't be put off by the smell of goldenrod in the yard as the bees process it.  The final product doesn't taste anything like the smell.

What does goldenrod smell like?  If you put your nose to a flower it has a faint but pleasant fragrance.  But when the nectar is being processed by the bees there's a very distinct and unpleasant smell that comes out of the hives.

It smells like stinky feet.  Image a hot day with lots of walking and you're wearing your shoes with no socks.  Then you pop off your shoes and within a few moments you've cleared out the room.  Everyone complains.

That's what golden rod smells like.

So don't panic and think you've got American Foul Brood (AFB) if it's fall and you get a whiff of something stinky.

Goldenrod is a plant native to North America and it grows abundantly in meadows and alongside roads and highways.  If you're lucky sometimes you'll get what I call a bird poop gift--a bird has eaten a flower seed and pooped it out in your garden where it catches and grows.  I have a goldenrod plants now in both my front and back yard.

I have to say that goldenrod honey is my favourite flavour of all the honeys flowers and bees produce.
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