Our Recent Harvest: Black Locust Honey
We have bee hives at a friend's (Mike) farm. We discovered this spring that there are Black Locust trees near his farm - much less than three miles away, which is typically all the farther that a bee will fly to get nectar. We recently harvested honey from our apiary at the farm, and are thrilled with the honey - while we can't state that the honey is solely Black Locust honey, we know that a lot of the nectar is from the Black Locust Tree.
When we extract, we simply cut off the wax caps - you need to render certain that the cells are capped, or your honey may have a high moisture content, which will cause storage issues, specifically fermentation, in the future, especially if the honey is stored for any length of time. The honey is extracted in a stainless steel extractor, then strained through a 400 micron filter. This size filter allows the pollen granules to filter through and remain in the honey. We never heat our honey - our honey is pure, raw honey.
I've added information on the Black Locust Tree and the Honey.
Black Locust Tree
Robinia pseudoacacia, commonly known in its native territory as black locust, is a medium-sized deciduous tree native to the southeastern United States, but it has been widely planted and naturalized elsewhere in temperate North America, Europe, Southern Africa and Asia. Another common name is false acacia, a literal translation of the specific name (pseudo meaning fake or false and acacia referring to the genus of plants with the same name.)
The flowers open in May or June for 7–10 days, after the leaves have developed. They are arranged in loose drooping clumps (racemes) which are typically 4–8 inches (10–20 cm) long. The flowers themselves are cream-white (rarely pink or purple) with a pale yellow blotch in the center and imperfectly papilionaceous in shape. They are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, very fragrant, and produce large amounts of nectar.
The tree grows from 30 to 70 feet and blossoms in May to June. During this time it can easily be found by following the highly aromatic, wonderfully sweet smell of the ample drooping clusters of white blossoms. Bees are drawn to the calyxes filled with nectar, returning throughout the day for ten days or so during the blossoming time. Nectar flow is dependent upon the weather and may not be consistent from year to year.
Black Locust Honey
The honey is extremely light colored, lemonish white or yellow-green, and if relatively free of other floral sources, it can be very transparent, like liquid glass. The aroma is floral, fruity, delicate, very persistent. The flavor is very sweet, slightly acidic with hints of vanilla and no aftertaste. The flowery notes are noticed best in the finish.
It has a lower acid content. It’s delicious combined with cheeses, especially pecorino and gorgonzola cheese. Because of its light taste, it is good for children and ideal on fresh cheeses (ricotta), yogurt, fruit and ice cream. The honey remains liquid and does not crystallize easily due to its high fructose content.