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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    I just bought out 6 hives and a bunch of equipment from the family of a beek who passed away 3 weeks ago.His wife had a super of honey that he had already pulled,but not extracted,in her basement.It was set on top of an empty super with some mothballs underneath.I know a lot of the old time beekeepers would stick mothballs under their stored frames to keep the wax moths out but had never seen anyone do it to a super of honey.My question is,will this air out in a couple of days or is the honey going to have some residual taste left in it? Its a whole deep full of honey so I really hope I can sell it but I dont want to sell anything that could cause potential problems for anyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    Would you eat something that had moth balls in it? I would not. Nor would I sell it. Reputation is worth 100% of your sales. If you ruin your reputation, guess what it will do to your sales.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    I'd be tempted to pitch it, but if it doesn't seemed to have harmed the bees, I suppose you could feed it back in the fall and figure it will be burned up by spring.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    I wont even wear something that had mothballs in it,but the reason I am asking is that I know of 2 or 3 older beekeepers personally that still put mothballs in their equipment(drawn comb thats been extracted)when they have them stored.I ask one of them once if that would have any effect on the honey and he said that he sets his equipment out for a couple of days and the smell goes away.I just wondered if it permeates the wax or if it is just a scent that will dissapate.I would not extract it at the same time as the rest of my honey anyway.I've already pulled a couple of hundred pounds of honey off of the hives I bought so what little bit thats in this super wouldnt make a lot of difference.I dont even use chemicals to treat my bees so I'm a little funny about my honey already.Just wondering if I was too paranoid.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,081

    Default Re: What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    Short direct answer - Nothing. The Naptha compounds will be absorbed by honey and I believe removing those odors is virtually impossible and not worth the bother. It is likely unhealthy to use the honey, I would not. I would pitch it. Mothballs are not to be used around wax and honey products.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    Don't forget that when we 'smell' something, it actually means that we are breathing in minute particles of that substance. The 'smell' on the wax comb is really particles of the toxic mothball chemicals settled into the wax. Consider the honey to have been fumigated. It's contaminated food.
    Maybe if you really want to save it bad enough, you should keep it just for your own personal use. =8-o
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SNOHOMISH, WA, USA
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    mothballs should never be used for keeping wax moth out of stored equipment, it absolutley should not be used on stored honey supers. The chemical pesticide in moth balls is toxic to humans if consumed (it will be in the honey) they are also toxic to bees.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    Thanks for the answers guys.I was pretty sure that it would be in the honey too.I think I will just toss the whole super so it dont find its way back to my bees.I've seen people use the stuff but always thought it was a questionable practice.I got into all the bees and equipment cheap anyway so this super of honey is not really significant.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,664

    Default Re: What can you do about mothball smell in honey

    It he indeed used Naphthalene, then I would not only throw out the honey, but I would throw out the frames too. If PDB then I'd just throw out the honey.

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