I harvest honey several times during the spring and early summer. Each time, the color is unique. The first time it is usually darker because it is a blend of what the bees gathered the previous fall and of the early tree blossoms, all of which produce darker honey. As spring goes on, the color takes on the lighter color of spring blooms like blackberry, honeysuckle, persimmon blossoms, and clover. Then again in fall, asters, ironweed and goldenrod give the honey a darker color. This fall honey I leave for the bees to winter on and some will still be in the hive for next year's first harvest.
The weather affects which flowers bloom, when, and whether the bees can get out to collect the nectar. Soil and climate also affect which plants can grow in a certain area. So from one year to the next and from one week's harvest to the next, the honey will vary in color and flavor, depending on the unique combination of nectars the bees have gathered. The honey also varies in consistency for several reasons. If it's harvested on a high humidity day, it can increase in water content by as much as 2%. Honey harvested on a very dry day will be thicker. I monitor my honey for proper water content because if the percentage of water is too high, the honey could ferment. Honey that has begun to crystallize will also become thicker. When it crystallizes, as all raw honey eventually does, it is still edible. You can use it as is or gently reheat it in a pan of water to make it clear and fluid again.
Honey is like wine in that it's quality depends on terroir. And I like to think that Persimmon Ridge has the best "honey terroir" in the world!