hist-brewing: Re: honey and pine trees

Cindy Renfrow renfrow at skylands.net
Mon Jun 7 15:41:13 PDT 1999

Hi!  I thought you might be interested in this from the beekeeping list.


Cindy Renfrow
renfrow at skylands.net
Author & Publisher of "Take a Thousand Eggs or More, A Collection of 15th
Century Recipes" and "A Sip Through Time, A Collection of Old Brewing

> Jajwuth <jajwuth at aol.com> schrieb im Beitrag
> <19990606162535.16428.00000711 at ngol03.aol.com>...
> > In a book entitled Honey for Health it describes a type of honey from
> Germany
> > as follows:
> > 
> > product comes from the pine forests and is really a honey-dew (saccharide
> > exudation of the aphids that feed on pine needles). It is dark brownish
> in
> > colour with an accompanying strong taste and considered a great delicacy
> and
> > much relished.
> > 
> > Seems indirect and rather technical.
> Despite it is rather correctly stated. I'm a hobby beekeeper in Europe, in
> an area at around 2000 ft altitude, where this type of honey usually is the
> major crop and, in certain years, can give very high yields. The basis are
> tiny insects (genus: psyllinae, coccinae, aphidae) which tap not only pine
> trees and spruce but e.g., oaks and certain other leaf-growing trees as
> well. A beekeeping dictionary lists 58 species of such insects which are
> producers of 'Honigtau' (honeydew) which then is eagerly collected by ants,
> bees and other insects. One Hektar (about 3 acres) of spruce is estimated
> to produce as much as 1400 pounds of honey! This dark brown to greenish
> honey has a strong flavor, think of something like a very concentrate maple
> syrup with a flavor of pine needles. The highly complex and interdependent
> life cycles of all the insects involved in the production of
> 'Honigtauwaldtracht' (forest honey) are worth of further study and cannot
> be explained here. But if you are suspicous of honeydew in your area place
> a few white sheets of paper under the tree and check it after a few hours:
> if it is speckled with small, sticky, droplets bring in your bees!
> Full buckets!
> francis

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