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Bees make honey from the pollen and nectar they harvest from flowering plants. The type of flower bees have access to affects the color and the flavor of the honey. Blackberry honey is created from pollen and nectar collected from flowering blackberry bushes. The golden-colored honey has a subtle blackberry flavor and can be enjoyed alone; used as a topping for yogurt, desserts or nuts; or used instead of sugar in baked goods and cooking.
To produce blackberry honey, the bee hive must have access to blackberry blossoms. Bees leave the hive every day to collect pollen and nectar from nearby flowers. For the most chance of the bees producing this flavor of honey, the hive should be placed within 1 to 2 miles (about 1.6 to 3.2 km) of a field of blackberry bushes.
Pesticides wreak havoc on a bee population. When placing a hive near a blackberry field, it is important to make sure the bushes are grown without insecticides. Pesticides and insecticides are designed to eliminate harmful insects on plants, but they also kill off beneficial insects, including bees. Additionally, to produce organic blackberry honey, the blackberry shrubs should be grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
Bees generally will go to the closest flowers available. As such, the hive should be placed as close to the blackberry shrubs as possible. It also is best to place the hive in a spot where the bees won't be separated from the flowers by a busy highway or a river broad river.
The flavor of the honey is determined by the type of flowers the bees visit. Blackberry honey takes on a slight, subtle taste of blackberries. The rich taste makes this honey one of the more popular varieties on the market.
After the bees collect the pollen from the blackberry flowers, they process it in their mouths with saliva. The resulting honey contains enzymes as well as antibacterial and antiviral properties. Blackberry honey can be purchased either raw or pasteurized. The pasteurization process uses heat to kill off living elements in the honey, stripping it of much of its health benefits and some of the delicate blackberry flavor.
Blackberry honey can be used as an alternative to sugar or corn syrup sweeteners. It also can be used in baking and other desserts to replace some or all of the sugar. Additionally, blackberry honey can be used as a glaze for roast meats, drizzled on top of yogurt or dessert dishes, or used to sweeten drinks.
@Soulfox -- good point, and keep in mind that most honey is made with clover pollen. There is nothing wrong with that, but how many people realize there are some great alternatives available? Blackberry honey is but one of many varieties of honey that is unique and different from the typical stuff.
Oddly, mead brewers tend to be authorities on the different varieties of honey available (the made component in mead is, of course, honey that is fermented to yield alcohol). For example, someone making blackberry mead would do well to pair those berries with blackberry honey.
The point is this -- clover honey is great, but there are a lot of tasty alternatives available. Blackberry is a good choice and there are a lot of other varieties to try.
A good alternative to blackberry bushes are dewberry bushes. In the South, dewberries are quite common and are very similar to blackberries in taste. They generally grow in the wild and are rarely cultivated and sprayed with insecticides like blackberries are. In other words, people wanting to harvest blackberries can find a good patch of dewberries, located hives nearby and have honey that tastes similar to that made with blackberry pollen but is almost always organic and not guarded by farmers who might have a problem with a commercial bee operator using his product and not paying him a dime.