Submitted by J. Orem
Yes, it's that time of year! Goldenrod is in bloom and my apiary smells like feet.
I have heard that in Indiana alone there are 11 kinds of goldenrod. I can identify only 3. There's the early one you see in July, then the flat topped kind you see in August then the good stuff comes in right after Boneset. Right now it's bright yellow and looks like a kings scepter. Later it becomes gold just before going bronze or brown. The last one is the one that's my favorite. The bees make a wonderful full bodied honey that REALLY tastes like honey. I know plenty of folks that just love that light spring black locust honey. Spring honey is weaker in body and taste compared to goldenrod honey.
Here's a strange thing. When the goldenrod honey is ripening in the hive you can smell a distinct oder of feet. Normally in the warm spring and summer days you can smell bread or cookies baking. You know the girls are making honey. But in the fall, it's feet. I have heard of people burning their hives because they thought they had foul brood or some other nasty thing in the hive. Nope, they are making goldenrod honey. After the honey is capped you don't smell it. The smell somehow gives me a calm feeling. I know I have done all I could for the girls all spring and summer. I know fall is almost here. I have had a great summer with the bees. Now it's time to think about harvest time, closing down for winter, and even taking a break from beekeeping. We have never caught so many swarms or harvested so much honey, God has been so good to us this year.
It's funny how smelling feet in the apiary can make me thank God for all his goodness to us.