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Trevor Gillbanks

Apiary Diary. January 2020

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46 minutes ago, Bighands said:

Still be truthful in what you sell.You cannot tell the difference between S and N Rata in the frames but it is not the frames you are selling,it is the honey extracted from these frames and you can differentiate then.It is great telling people the difference between N and S Rata trees, so many people do not know.

How is the honey different ?

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

How is the honey different ?

The N. Rata is light amber while the S.rata is water white and I dont think the N Rata goes like concrete if it is not creamed.

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I feel calling vipers bugloss  as Blue Borage is the same as calling Kanuka as Manuka

 

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1 hour ago, Bighands said:

The N. Rata is light amber while the S.rata is water white and I dont think the N Rata goes like concrete if it is not creamed.

From.your description I think I have very little southern rata honey here .

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15 hours ago, kaihoka said:

How can you tell the ratas apart in the frames .

What colour is northern rata .

It would be very hard to get the consumer to start calling borage honey ,echium honey .

It would be a marketing disaster .

but is 'borage' honey from Vipers bugloss or the actual borage (i.e. with the drop starflowers, not the prickly tall VP)?

the bees like both

 

auckland council description of VP

"Viper's Bugloss

Echium vulgare

Also known as:
Vipers Bugloss, Blue Borage
Family:
Boraginaceae
Origin:
Asia, Europe
 

General description

Densely bristly annual or biennial herb to 50-90 cm high. Deep taproot. Stems stiff, erect, covered in reddish bristly hairs, with many short branches. Basal rosette leaves to 15 x 5 cm, narrow, stiffly-bristly, harsh to touch. Stem leaves much smaller, alternate, also rough. Flowers funnel-shaped, 5-petalled, 12-18 mm long, pink in bud, becoming vivid blue (rarely remaining pink or white), in tapering spike-like heads, Nov-Jan. Seeds 4-angled, egg-shaped, 2 mm long."

 
Edited by Rashika

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"Blue Borage" honey is all from Viper's Bugloss. I don't think there'd be enough Borage anywhere to produce a flow ?

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On 19/01/2020 at 2:25 PM, M4tt said:

I attempted some sugar shakes today but there is too much fresh nectar getting put next to brood . The bees get drenched in nectar upon dumping in the container , so it will have to wait till nature winds the tap back .

Of course , this wouldn’t matter with an alcohol wash but I’m not that callous 

One apiary I went to today had fresh Catsear nectar. Bees actively working the Catsear close by too. It looks like the only thing flowering.

Edited by dansar

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1 minute ago, dansar said:

One apiary I went to today had fresh Catsear nectar. Bees actively working the Catsear close by too. It looks like the only thing flowering.

Yep. Catsear is all my bees have got this year. Far too dry for clover including my Persian Clover . I took some off yesterday and it’s exactly the same as my December take 

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26 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Yep. Catsear is all my bees have got this year. Far too dry for clover including my Persian Clover . I took some off yesterday and it’s exactly the same as my December take 

What does it taste like and what colour is the honey?

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Previously if you got a catsear crop on the Plains it was sold to blend in with light coloured honeys. Previously it had value for this reason as a superfluous crop.    Care has to be taken in getting it off in time, cos it granulates rapidly.  Part of the daisy family - hawksbit, dandelion, hawksbeard.  Catsear later in the season is just left for the brood box. 

BORAGE: Borago offinalis.  Family is Boraginaceae (the forget me not family).  Probably these days the only place to find this is as a farmers' market

 

VIPERS BUGLOSS: Echium vulgare.  Family is Boraginaceae

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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

Yep. Catsear is all my bees have got this year. Far too dry for clover including my Persian Clover . I took some off yesterday and it’s exactly the same as my December take 

I have catsear everywhere here but the bees completely ignore it .

They will be on the lotus right beside it .

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Bees go to the most attractive and nutritious floral source

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1 hour ago, Bighands said:

What does it taste like and what colour is the honey?

Light amber is the colour . Liquid tastes like that warm waxy smell of a hive when there is a flow on. ( probably because it’s a Catsear flow). Creamed tastes different . Mild to strong honey flavour . Of course I’m struggling with my description because I don’t know any different .

 Very hard to beat in my opinion 

2 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Light amber is the colour . Liquid tastes like that warm waxy smell of a hive when there is a flow on. ( probably because it’s a Catsear flow). Creamed tastes different . Mild to strong honey flavour . Of course I’m struggling with my description because I don’t know any different .

 Very hard to beat in my opinion 

 

9E264FB8-FAF8-41A1-A47D-78852CC10EA5.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

Previously if you got a catsear crop on the Plains it was sold to blend in with light coloured honeys. Previously it had value for this reason as a superfluous crop.    Care has to be taken in getting it off in time, cos it granulates rapidly.  Part of the daisy family - hawksbit, dandelion, hawksbeard.  Catsear later in the season is just left for the brood box. 

BORAGE: Borago offinalis.  Family is Boraginaceae (the forget me not family).  Probably these days the only place to find this is as a farmers' market

 

VIPERS BUGLOSS: Echium vulgare.  Family is Boraginaceae

Well call it by its correct name Vipers Bugloss not Blue Borage.

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2 hours ago, Bighands said:

Well call it by its correct name Vipers Bugloss not Blue Borage.

If you were trying to sell it in a jar you would have to call it what consumers were used to , accurate or not .

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57 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

If you were trying to sell it in a jar you would have to call it what consumers were used to , accurate or not .

Disagree.If you did a pollen analysis and it showed it was more tan 70-% pollen of vipers then under the codex system it has to be called that by its common name.do you name your honey manuka when it is Kanuka?Do you call your white rata vine Rata.

 

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3 hours ago, Bighands said:

Well call it by its correct name Vipers Bugloss not Blue Borage.

I have never called borage honey vipers

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1 minute ago, Maggie James said:

I have never called borage honey vipers

Why not ?

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8 hours ago, Bighands said:

Disagree.If you did a pollen analysis and it showed it was more tan 70-% pollen of vipers then under the codex system it has to be called that by its common name.do you name your honey manuka when it is Kanuka?Do you call your white rata vine Rata.

 

Between beekeepers and purists I totally agree .

But your average punter who buys a jar of borage honey because they like taste would get confused and it would effect sales .

Even if it was only temporary , in the current honey sales climate it would not be worth the risk to be botanically accurate .

White rata vine is a rata , but I do call it white rata .

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8 hours ago, Maggie James said:

I have never called borage honey vipers

If it's good enough for some.......

 

vipers.jpg

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8 hours ago, Bighands said:

Why not ?

 

Why do yo think?

 

9 minutes ago, yesbut said:

If it's good enough for some.......

That looks like a Viper's Bugloss flower to me.  Doesn't look like what I would call Borage

https://www.google.com/search?q=photo+of+borage+flower&rlz=1C1CHBD_enNZ884NZ884&sxsrf=ACYBGNRMEJEdzKpDUCFJ4GmDmx6neAv0vw:1579633390069&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=ZrAxlRobKU1lcM%3A%2CuZft2ekOooEewM%2C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kQnp7LyONjng9_5mhKxi0mnRh8knA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZptz4sJXnAhU8zTgGHZ-MBzoQ9QEwAnoECAoQCA#imgrc=ZrAxlRobKU1lcM:

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9 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

 

 

 

That looks like a Viper's Bugloss flower to me.  Doesn't look like what I would call Borage

 

It IS Vipers' Bugloss !! The point of this current conversation is the issue of people mistakenly calling Vipers Bugloss  Borage. 

Do you produce true  "Borage " honey ? 

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I don't produce Vipers or Borage.  Friends who produce both, label accordingly

In this area Borage is produced and cultivated as a seed crop.  Vipers produced by friends comes generally from shingly areas e.g. riverbeds or the sides of irrigation runs, or areas such as the Mackenzie Basin or Nth Canty

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5 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

I don't produce Vipers or Borage.  Friends who produce both, label accordingly

In this area Borage is produced and cultivated as a seed crop.  Vipers produced by friends comes generally from shingly areas e.g. riverbeds or the sides of irrigation runs, or areas such as the Mackenzie Basin or Nth Canty

Good to hear

37 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Between beekeepers and purists I totally agree .

But your average punter who buys a jar of borage honey because they like taste would get confused and it would effect sales .

Even if it was only temporary , in the current honey sales climate it would not be worth the risk to be botanically accurate .

White rata vine is a rata , but I do call it white rata .

It depends on your moral views.I always tell my customers about the different ratas we have and label accordingly.The only problem is we do not get enough white rata to be pure, it is norm,ally a blend with everything else out there flowering.

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I don't think it is anything to do with morals.  It is to do with law - Codex Standard Honey - published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations governs how NZ labels honey.

 

You only have to go overseas to see how NZ leads with labeling requirements.  NZers are  discerning when it comes to labeling, they like things labeled truly.  If you are selling at a market, customers really appreciate floral differences being pointed out to them.  You can utilise it as a selling tool.  NZers love to hear the story behind a product or label.  

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