Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    Hi all,
    I'm new to the forum and hope there's someone out there with some good advice about crystallized honey. I have a super full of totally crystallized honey, left over after a hive die out.

    I made the mistake of leaving a full super on my hive last winter, thinking the bees could use the extra honey as it was such a huge colony. Some of the honey was already crystallized in fall, but I didn't realize that was what I was seeing until too late. The colony dwindled over our cool, damp winter and all that was left in March was a lot of dead bees on the bottom screen, a damp hive with some mold on the comb, and all this crystallized honey.

    Did the colony starve because I left so much honey they had no room for brood or clustering? Or die due to the dampness?

    And now, is there any way to salvage all this honey, even if just for my own use?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    I don't think anyone can answer that question for sure on "why did they die?", but from what you are describbing the dampness couldn't have helped. The saying goes, cold does kill bees, moisture does. As for salvaging the honey. I would think the best way to "salvage" the honey would be to give it to another hive, they would probably have the best luck at getting it out of there and using it. Other than that I guess you could put it in a hot room for a week or so and hope it liquifies then crush and strain or extract. Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    Put the crystallized honey super in front of your hives about 100 feet, they will have them cleaned up within no time!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,134

    Default Re: Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...r/P1030988.jpg

    A set up like this will warm the honey and drain it out of the comb. This was my first extraction attempt. I have since learned that the cells in the comb slant up hill. So if you are to do this use a couple of sticks across the top of the frames to hold them in and invert the whole box.

    These frames are still capped right? Has the honey fermented? I would say don’t let the temperature get above 110 or you can loose the whole comb.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    Thanks for the ideas. I tried taking one frame and scraping everything off, then heating it a little in a double boiler type set up. Seems there may always be some emulsified wax mixed in though, or at least kind of runny weird honey. I can rent an extractor from my local club if I knew these little "honey plugs" in the comb might shoot out if warmed a little. Then I could just heat that all enough to package but wouldn't have all that melted wax too.
    It sounds like the best option might be to let it go back to the bees... Will the formerly moldy combs or the crystallized honey hurt them? I've read not to encourage robbing, so what if I just slowly put a few frames at time into the hive early in the season for them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,134

    Default Re: Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    Quote Originally Posted by NJC View Post
    Will the formerly moldy combs or the crystallized honey hurt them? I've read not to encourage robbing, so what if I just slowly put a few frames at time into the hive early in the season for them?
    Right or wrong that is what I have done. They say crystallized honey gives them nosema and I have witnessed some of that.

    You don't what to heat the honey any wheres near the melting point of wax. Warm water in a sink around a Ball jar is all you need.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,740

    Default Re: Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    Why make them move the honey? Just put them on a hive that needs the stores and let them keep them until they burn them up some winter.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    Thanks Michael, I'm a big fan of your website. Do you recommend putting a frame or two of this stuff into a building up hive at a time? Or can I just set the whole box with frames above or below a deep with brood and honey? I actually have one super and one deep with this crystallized stuff and would love to let the bees in one of my two stronger hives have it without interrupting their season. Thanks a lot

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,740

    Default Re: Harvesting a super full of crystallized honey

    I doesn't matter much. Give it to them in the frame so they don't have to move it. If the frames are the same size as the ones in your brood nest, you can put them on the edges of the brood nest. You can uncap them first to get them to clean them out. Otherwise you can put them above or below the brood nest. Below is more likely to get burned up in brood rearing.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads