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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenwood, IN ,USA
    Posts
    117

    Post

    I have 2 questions:

    1.) What would an average total honey production per hive...as a rule of thumb.

    2.) How are you suppose to, or, how is best to store quantities of surplus honey. Also how long can it be stored?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Alot depend on the size ofsupers you are using. A small super is about 60 lb/super and deep supers could go about 100 lb/super. These are average figures though. I would put the surplus honey in quart or half gallon jars. These are usable amounts. You can fill smaller jars when needed for sale and if it crystallizes then the amount is easy to turn back into a liquid.
    ------------------------------------------<br />Colton<br />------------------------------------------

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    Every area has a different average. Here in Kansas, the statewide average is about 65 pounds per hive. But, I have heard that the yield is higher up North.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,931

    Post

    &gt;&gt;how long can it be stored?

    as long as the moisture content isnt too far over 18%, then as long as you want to keep it.

    Dont over heat your honey when melting it down. Slower the better.

    I dont melt my personal honey down anymore. My granulations tends to be fairly fine anyway, and I keep it soft by keeping it over the stove with the dishes
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenwood, IN ,USA
    Posts
    117

    Post

    Maybe I'm wrong but I kinda left it up to the bees..if the honey was in the comb and capped I figured it was the right % of moisture? Should I go out and buy something to measure this? Is there a way to see this visually?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    307

    Post

    If all the cells weren't sealed, you extracted some nectar or unripe honey that could affect the moisture content. This is measured using a refractometer. You might be able to find one at your local beekeeping association or another beekeeper. They're relatively expensive for the hobbyist.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Post

    Refractor? Check e-bay under "beekeeping"

    Refractors are sold on e-bay every week. They're cheaper than they used to be, and if they save a 5 gallon bucket of honey from fermenting due to high moisture, then they've paid for themselves.

    I've been toying with the idea of a forced-air, low heat source - maybe 90 degrees - to blow through a stack of supers before I extracted. The heat would make extracting easier and the heat would remove moisture.

    At this point, it's still a concept. I'm not sure if it would really make a difference. The big boys store their supers in a "warm room" before they extract.
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    Posts
    311

    Post

    I know a beekeeper who pulls his honey off 100% uncapped, and then puts it into a room with a dehumidifier until it's below 19%
    Heat alone wont reduce moisture, you need somewhere for the moisture to go.

    J.R.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    &gt; Heat alone wont reduce moisture, you need
    &gt; somewhere for the moisture to go.

    Well, heat alone WILL do the job, as hot air rises,
    and convection alone will take care of moving
    the hot moist air out, as long as there is some
    sort of venting or the usual "leaks" in any
    building.

    But a fan certainly helps. An actual dehumidifier
    works better, and uses less electricity than
    the heater-and-fan approach. I have a pair
    of basement dehumidifiers I bought at yard
    sales, each one a 2-foot cube. They can do
    some impressive work, once you hook up drain
    hoses to their collection pans so that they
    can run unattended. Some come with built-in
    garden hose fittings on the pans, and this would
    be a very nice feature to have.

    But even an air conditioner will dry out the
    air quickly, so a window unit or two might do
    the job.

    None of this will help much unless you get an
    accurate hygrometer (humidity gage) and
    make sure that you have control over your
    extracting and bottling environment. Taylor
    makes decent instruments, and they are adjustable,
    so you can hang it outside, and calibrate it
    to your local weather report for a few days
    in a row to tweak it into reality.

    &gt; if the honey was in the comb and capped I
    &gt; figured it was the right % of moisture?

    This is not always true, which is why one
    needs to use a refractometer to check a
    sample of honey BEFORE pulling supers.
    Capped honey CAN ferment, if it is not
    eaten quickly, but many hobby beekeepers
    might not notice, given the speed with
    which honey "sells out".

    Watch out for eBay refractometers. There are
    many types, including ones intended for use
    on wine or fruit juice, ones intended for use
    on urine, and many other less common types.
    What you want is a refractometer that will read
    water % from roughly 12% up to 27% (Brix 87 to
    Brix 71). Don't waste your money on something
    that will not measure the proper range of Brix!

    You also want automatic temperature control
    ("ATC") unless you just like doing math in
    your head all the time.

    I used to have a top-of-the-line Atago
    refractometer costing several hundred
    dollars, circa 1980-something, but it
    took a one-way trip down a flight of
    concrete stairs. With great doubts, I bought
    Dadant's middle-priced (made in China)
    model, the RHB-90ATC, and I was impressed.
    For less than $100, it is every bit as
    good as the Atago was. Don't buy the
    cheapest one, as even Dadant employees
    dismiss it as "not really worth buying".

    I have no idea why "honey refractometers" come
    with such wide measurement ranges, as capped
    honey will rarely be less than 15% water (Brix
    83), and rarely will be above 21% water (Brix 77).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenwood, IN ,USA
    Posts
    117

    Post

    Good info Jim...thanks. As a hobbiest beekeeper (I only have 2 hives) so do I really need to worry about testing for moisture? I will store my honey for...say...overwinter. But as you said my honey is pretty much gone by the time the bees produce a new spring crop.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    &gt; do I really need to worry about testing for
    &gt; moisture?

    What you are really asking is "do I need to spend
    the money", correct? The time required is only
    a few seconds.

    Convince your local bee club to buy a shared
    refractometer, and the cost goes down to maybe
    $5 or $10 per beekeeper. Running the thing
    around to whoever wants to use it next would be
    a pain, but if money is the issue, bee club owned
    gear is the way to go.

    I buy disposable plastic cattle syringes without
    the needles, and use them to suck the honey out
    of a few cells for testing. This lets me keep
    the refractometer safe in its cushioned box in a
    drawer, but still allows me to check honey before
    pulling supers. I just jot the hive number on a
    strip of masking tape on the syringe, to keep
    things straight. They can be washed and reused
    "forever".

    One could use these same syringes to sample
    one's own crop, and then meet at a central
    location to do the refractometer testing as
    a group over coffee.

    If you only have two hives, your best option
    is to leave the supers on the hive until they
    test as "dry enough". You don't want to try
    to dry it out mechanically, as I assume you
    don't have the facilities.

    Here's another hint - take your refractometer
    to the next state fair or honey show, and
    calibrate it against one of the honey judges.
    These folks buy the best toys, and know how
    to calibrate, so if yours does not match theirs,
    you can simply take their reading as "gospel",
    and tweak yours to match.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenwood, IN ,USA
    Posts
    117

    Post

    Good ideas...I will take your advise...heck I like new toys anyway!

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