The Big New York State Honey Harvest: Empire State Honey Producers Association, New York's State Beekeeping Organization

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New York Beekeepers are preparing to remove the sweet bounty that the honeybees have collected from the various flowers that bloom in the Empire State.

Shorter days and cooler temperatures herald the traditional honey harvest here in New York State.

Beekeepers are preparing to remove the sweet bounty that the honeybees have collected from the various flowers that bloom in the state. The sweet and varied flavors of honey differ according to the type of flower the nectar is gathered from, be it from manged plants like apple blossoms or blueberries, cultivated garden stock such as honeysuckle, mint, flowering bushes and trees, to the wildflowers of New York.

The Empire State has some of the best honey in the nation, due to the temperature climate, adequate rainfall, and the rich limestone soils. The state is geographically diverse, presenting a quiltwork of fields, meadows, agricultural crops and orchards, swamps, mountains, fallow lands, suburban and urban gardens – all of which provide bees a variety of nutritious flower nectars and pollens to choose from.

Generally earlier Spring and Summer honeys tend to be lighter and sweeter, and used as tea honeys. Later honeys tend to to be darker and more flavorful and are good for baking.

Many apiarists are eager to market their Fall honey, one of the most abundant and one of the best of the New York honeys. What makes this honey so special? It is an especially dark rich and robust honey with an almost butterscotch type flavor. The primary floral source the bees visit to make this honey is the humble roadside and field weed - Goldenrod (solidago), a native North American species.

This honey can be found at local farm stands, farmers markets, and harvest festivals throughout New York State. The Empire State State Honey Producers has a listing of beekeepers, many of whom produce autumn honey, on their website, http://www.eshpa.org/index.php/buy-local-ny-honey/2011-12-30-19-04-58.

September is also National Honey Month, which recognizes the great nationwide honey harvest across the United States.

New York currently ranks #14 in honey production, with about 2.7 million pounds produced, the number of managed beehives in NY is 52,000 and increasing.

Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
½ C New York honey
½ C butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 C chocolate chips
½ C ground walnuts (optional)

Cream honey and butter together. Add egg and vanilla. In bowl, mix flour, soda, powder and salt together. Add flour mix. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 11-12 minutes.

Pat Bono is the 2nd Vice President for the Empire State Honey Producers Association.

The Empire State Honey Producers Association is the state organization for beekeepers in New York; it is a not-for-profit group and welcomes new members. The group has been promoting the interests of New York beekeepers since 1868. ESHPA.org

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