‘Springbok honeycomb’ causing a buzz among beekeepers

2012-10-03 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A green and gold “Springbok honeycomb” that was found in the East Rand in Gauteng this week has caused a buzz among beekeepers.

It is not something one sees everyday, said Ferdi du Preez, a retired police officer and apiarist from Bellville.

He said that while green honey occured sometimes, the combination of green and gold was a rarity.

“I have never seen something like this before,” said Du Preez, author of A History of Bees and Beekeeping in South Africa.

He said green honey tastes just like normal (golden) honey, and he had tasted plum-red honey in the Stellenbosch region a few years ago, which was not nice at all.

The hive in which the rare green and gold honeycomb was found is one of 10 kept by Christelle Langenau of Edenvale in Gauteng.

Du Preez said she posted her find on a beekeepers’ forum and people soon dubbed it “Springbok honey”.

Mike Allsopp, honey researcher at the Agricultural Research Institute, said green honey had been reported several times in the past 15 years across South Africa.

He said previous attempts to determine what type of pollen makes green honey had been unsuccessful.

Allsopp added he had also seen tomato-red honey once, near Wellington, but it was also a mystery which pollen the bees had used to make the red honey.

He said the clear separation between the green and gold honey in the “Springbok honeycomb” was due to the bees’ making a new comb to store each new sort of honey.

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