I posted this earlier this week on the BB website and was suggested to post it over here on the organic beekeeping site. Since originally posting this I have put the honey into gallon buckets and came up with just over 3 gallons. I have tested it every day since straining it and keeping a fan blowing over it and it is staying consistantly above 19.5%. Unfortunately it is getting wintertime over here and that means rain and it has been raining off and on the last 3 days and humidity has bumped up to the 70% range, hot and muggy. Any suggestions?

original post:

I just recently harvest my first batch of honey from 2 of my hives. I pulled only frames of honey that were 90+% capped and left the partially capped framed to be completed for next harvest I crushed and strained the comb and got almost 3 gallons of honey.

After straining for 3 days, I pulled a bottle off to taste & test and my refractometer said it was 19.2% water. I set the uncovered bucket in a closet with a fan overnight and retested after about 15 hours drying and it got worse 19.5%. I tested several samples from top, bottom, middle, all mixed up and it was all over 19%. I tested a section of capped comb I kept for eating and it was 18.5%.

I live in Hawaii where it if contantly very humid in the 55-65% relative humidity. During out wet wintertime or after a rain shower 70+% humidity is the norm.

How can I dry out my honey with such humidity? I was thinking of putting a jar of that damp rid desiccant (calcium chloride) in the closet with a fan and shut the door, but wanted to get others opinions before I ruin my first batch of honey. If I do this would I need to pour the honey into a pan for more surface area? or is the 5 gallon bucket okay aslong as I stir it occasionally?

I'm on day 5 of my honey being uncapped when will it start going bad and fermenting? I know this is a LA based forum, but hopefully someone from other humid places like Florida, Louisiana or Washington can tell me how they deal with the humidity and keeping your honey under 18% water. Once I get the honey below 18% and bottle and cap it do I still need to worry about it reabsorbing water?

Thanks for helping me save my very first harvest of honey. I want it to be a sweet memorable harvest I can remember, not a sour fermented mess that gets wasted.

Aloha,
Cory