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Thread: burnt honey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    After melting my cappings, I ended up with about 30+kg of burnt honey. What do most of you do with this? I have heard great discrepanices as to whether or not I can feed it back to my bees. The wax was melted (and honey burned) at low temps. over 2-3 days.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    Make mead or feed back to the bees to use for feeding brood.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    Wow, 30kg??? That's a lot of waste!

    You need a spinner to spin the honey
    out of the cappings next time, and if
    you can save even half that 30kg, you
    will quickly pay for the spinner with
    the honey that you can sell rather than
    not be able to sell.

    The "burned" honey is not really a problem
    unless fed to overwintering bees. If they
    bees can fly and void their wastes, they
    can tolerate the "burned" honey.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2004
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    Thanks,

    Yeah, alot of burnt honey. But it came from about 3 years of cappings that just sat unprocessed until this winter.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Sometimes I like to make candy out of it. You can follow any kind of candy recipe from taffy to peanut brittle. Just use honey instead of sugar and instead of corn syrup and cook it to the same stage as required for the candy. You can also bake with it if it's not too burnt.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
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    327

    Default Re: burnt honey

    How is burned honey different than burned sugar syrup?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by whitebark View Post
    But it came from about 3 years of cappings that just sat unprocessed until this winter.
    Cappings that sit that long will float to the surface of any vessel. If you carefully scoped it out you wouldn't lose much honey. If you placed the cappings on cheescloth or a fine screen for less then a month you would lose practically no honey.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
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    226

    Default Re: burnt honey

    honey sitting like that for extended amount of time has most likely already naturally fermented

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    2,195

    Default Re: burnt honey

    I wonder how many of the people posting above Michael Bush are actually still keeping bees now 11 years after the OP.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    honey sitting like that for extended amount of time has most likely already naturally fermented
    Absolutely not. If it was dry enough it will never ferment.
    I put my cappings in clear plastic jugs and the honey has never fermented it crystallizes but doesn't ferment. With a good stiff spoon you can scoop out the wax down to the honey and then slowly warm it to liquefy it again. Or eat it crystallized.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    136

    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by kaizen View Post
    honey sitting like that for extended amount of time has most likely already naturally fermented
    Honey doesn't ferment. Until you add water. Or unless you're storing undried syrup.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Anne Arundel County, MD
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by cgybees View Post
    Honey doesn't ferment. Until you add water. Or unless you're storing undried syrup.
    If it is not tightly sealed it absorbs water from the air, and can certainly ferment this way in all but the driest climates.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2015
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    Derry, New Hampshire
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    guess its pointless as this is from2005......why do they allow that??? but op states 3 years cappings. in that timeframe I doubt it wont' get some natural spores. anyone storing cappings for 3 years probably isn't the most sanitary storage. agree shorter time no problem. but 3 years uh huh

  14. #14
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Brewster View Post
    If it is not tightly sealed it absorbs water from the air, and can certainly ferment this way in all but the driest climates.
    Jim a hygroscopic material will give up moisture otherwise you or the bees would never be able to dry it. Typically 45% RH is the neutral point.

    Kaizen all honey has natural yeast spores from day one.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #15
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    Dec 2014
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    Anne Arundel County, MD
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Jim a hygroscopic material will give up moisture otherwise you or the bees would never be able to dry it. Typically 45% RH is the neutral point.
    Yes, and my point being that for most of us that means honey will absorb water until it is dilute enough to start fermenting, which is anything more than 18-20% moisture, depending on various factors.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Ah Jim 18% moisture and 45% RH are two different things.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Jim a hygroscopic material will give up moisture otherwise you or the bees would never be able to dry it. Typically 45% RH is the neutral point.
    Ace, the interior of a hive (where bees dehydrate nectar into honey) has an environment that is managed by the bees. They can adjust the temperature, and with that, the humidity. Obviously, somehow bees manage to generally get honey below 18.6% moisture, so there is clear evidence that process works.

    And extracted honey, left in an unsealed container certainly can absorb additional moisture ...
    Hygroscopicity is another property of honey and describes the ability of honey to absorb and hold moisture from environment. During processing or storage however, the same Hygroscopicity can become problematic, causing difficulties in preservation and storage due to excess water content. Normal honey with water content of 18.8% or less will absorb moisture from air of a relative humidity of above 60%.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2269714/
    Certainly 60% relative humidity in a natural (unmanaged) environment is fairly common. Once that (extracted) open honey has absorbed additional moisture, its not easy to lower the moisture level back down below 18.6%. I'm sure you've seen the the many Beesource threads with questions about putting honey in a small room with a dehumidifier + heater in an attempt to lower honey moisture levels.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  18. #18
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    Dec 2014
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    Anne Arundel County, MD
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Ah Jim 18% moisture and 45% RH are two different things.
    I never said they were the same. If at >45% RH (which is a relatively dry day around here; so is 60% in the summer) honey that is >18% moisture continues to absorb water, fermentation is a distinct possibility.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Brewster View Post
    If at >45% RH (which is a relatively dry day around here; so is 60% in the summer) honey that is >18% moisture continues to absorb water, fermentation is a distinct possibility.
    Sure it is, but most people live in houses and store their honey indoors not outdoors. 60% RH indoors for long periods of time would not be that common for most backyard beeks in this country. In warm areas there is air conditioning and in cool areas there is heat. Both make the air very dry.

    I have had cappings stored in plastic pretzel containers with a screw lid (no seal) in my basement for 3 years with no fermentation. If it stays there for five years there will be no fermentation. The Mohawk Valley is a high moisture area in the state of NY. There are many golf courses in the area that do not irrigate and the grass stays green and lush right through August.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #20
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    Default Re: burnt honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post

    I have had cappings stored in plastic pretzel containers with a screw lid ...
    You don't think that a "screw lid" qualifies as a 'tight seal'?


    Here is Jim's original comment from post #12 ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Brewster View Post
    If it is not tightly sealed it absorbs water from the air, and can certainly ferment this way in all but the driest climates.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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