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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
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    1,779

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    I have about three gallons of really crummy honey. Don't know why. It was the last three gallons off the strawberry field hives. It was capped, but it's very watery (I don't have a refractometer, but I know watery when I see it) and doesn't taste all that good. What would you do with it? If I feed it back to the bees, do I feed it full strength? Can I freeze it so it doesn't crystallize? Should I make mead? Ideas, please!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,376

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    Uncap and feed for me. Of course, my bees are starving right now with the drought. Feeding everything hoping for a fall flow soon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    9,123

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    I agree with Ross.... Let the bees consume it for the winter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Posts
    103

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    Regarding freezing frames of honey. Does freezing keep it from crystalizing ? I was thinking of freezing the partially drawn out frames and using them for feed in the spring. Anyone ever don that ?
    sterlingc

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Brunswick
    Posts
    103

    Post

    Regarding freezing frames of honey. Does freezing keep it from crystalizing ? I was thinking of freezing the partially drawn out frames and using them for feed in the spring. Anyone ever don that ?
    sterlingc

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
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    5,080

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    I do it all the time. The bees will liquefy it when they are ready to use it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

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    All you would feed guys check the other related post! Lets not get all anecdoatal about the most common method of spreading foulbrood!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Oceano, California, USA
    Posts
    467

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    Freezing it will keep it from crystalizing, but when you thaw it out it will probably crystalize very fast.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,119

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    >Lets not get all anecdoatal about the most common method of spreading foulbrood!

    If it's my honey and none of my hives have (or every have had) foulbrood. Why wouldn't I feed it?

    If you have some hives with AFB you shouldn't be feeding it and you have bigger problems that deciding to feed it or not.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

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    Thanks for the varying opinions, guys. I just did an inspection of all eight hives yesterday. They're booming with good brood patterns, good stores and an upcoming goldenrod flow. The weather here has turned perfect in the past few days and I've never seen a happier, healthier bunch of bees. I use no chemicals in my hives and there are no other bees within a ten-mile radius of my place (unless there's some ferals I don't know about). Maybe it's a foolish newbie attitude (this is my third year), and I've only seen it in the classroom, but I'm not really worried about foulbrood. I think I'll hold onto it for now and field feed when the need arises. Thanks, Tim, for answering my question about freezing. If I freeze it in gallon increments, they'll probably put it away so fast, I won't have to worry about it crystallizing. They cleaned out six extracted supers in a half day!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

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    Tia:
    When you extracted how much of the frames were capped? Watery and crummy tasting sounds like raw honey. I would feed it back as soon as possible it could have a tendency to ferment. There is nothing more embarrassing than having someone you sold honey tell you that there honey fermented. I check all my extracted honey with a refractometer, it is a good investment.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Dayton, OH USA
    Posts
    303

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    >>Watery and crummy tasting sounds like raw honey.<<

    Raw honey isn't watery and crummy tasting. I know what your intention was, but the statement makes it sound like all raw honey is watery and crummy tasting. Didn't want new people to get the wrong impression.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,119

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    I think "green" was the term he was looking for. Raw as in "not finished yet" or "green", not raw as in "uncooked".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Dayton, OH USA
    Posts
    303

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    You and I know that's what he was referring to, but as you know, most people use "raw" meaning unheated and unfiltered, pretty much straight from the hive.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,119

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    I agree. The meaning of "raw" is usually just unheated and unfiltered. The meaning of "green" is usually unfinished.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

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    Michael, if you took the time read the other post I think I stated it quite clearly. In light of that information and the fact infected honey is one of the 2 main sources of AFB transmission the real question is why would you reccomend someone with less experiance than yourself, who may pick up foulbrood infection with 5 infected larvae, to feed back honey that may be AFB or put it out to infect surrounding colonies.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,119

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    >the real question is why would you reccomend someone with less experiance than yourself, who may pick up foulbrood infection with 5 infected larvae, to feed back honey that may be AFB or put it out to infect surrounding colonies.

    I must be missing something. What are the "5 infected larvae"?

    If, as you say, all honey has AFB spores in it, then all hives already have AFB spores in them, in which case what are you exposing them to that they are not already exposed to?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

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    Michael, I'm assuming you did not read or see that Tia posted and identical post. It is not an issue of AFB spores in honey, we know that's the case, it's the amount of AFB spores and the danger of infection to everyone even if a there is minor infection. Living in one of the area's that had a large outbreak 4-5 yrs ago due to TM resistance has changed my opinion 180 degrees. I did not say all hives have spores, Dr. Shiminoko,then at Beltsville stated that in his ABF lecture on disease at the 1997 national convention in Norfolk, which I attended. In light of the fact we have 3000 beekeepers on this post in all parts of the country the imact of feeding infected honey by many well meaning but inexperainced beekeepers could be significant.


    posted September 04, 2005 10:37 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here's some food for though about feeding honey back to bees.

    A study was done *(Van Eaton) placing wet honey supers from hives showing only 4 or 5 infected larvae (easily missed in an inspection even by an experianced beekeeper) in an apirary of 40 hives. No brood in the honey supers, just honey after extracting. 20 got the wet supers off the very negligibley infected hives, 20 did not. Within 2 days ALL 40 hives tested positive for AFB spores (despite no obvious robbing) and 45% of colonies receiving infected supers developed active AFB infections.

    Now I believe there are a few on this post that would identify foulbrood in a hive with 5 infected larvae. I'm absolutly sure most would not until infection became much more obvious.

    So if you are really experianced, positive you know what you are doing and have really checked, feed honey. If not you are rolling the dice. Foulbrood is not the rare player of the sulpha and pre-TM resitance days. I've helped clean out and burn 2 yards this year with folks who thought they new what they were doing. It was a very painful experiance for them to watch their money and efforts go up in flames.(both attended the master beekeeper course at Cornell and had seen active AFB). This is one area we need not be cavalier about and say because I have done it and not gotten infection it is safe!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,119

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    I know of very few beekeepers who actually keep track of what super came from what hive. I know of no beekeepers who don't give the wet supers back to the hives to clean up. How is feeding green honey back any different?

    Feeding you own honey back to your own hives has been (and still is) common practice for centuries. Feeding honey from unknown sources has been recognized as dangerous since at least the late 1800's.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

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    Joel, these posts don't sound like you. I'm almost attempted to ask for ID to prove it is you. You are sounding like the birdflu people. It's commonly known as overkill. The amount of honey that would be wasted, compared to the danger is a very easy ansewr in my opinion. The reward far outweighs the risk.
    That, of course, is feeding your own honey back. FEEDING OTHER'S HONEY IS DEFINITELY A NO-NO.

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