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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Honey Crystallizing Very Quickly

    Last year was my first with bees, and I was able to harvest about 3 gallons of honey out of one super. I noticed that the honey crystallized much quicker than I anticipated, but decided that it was just my inexperience, and that maybe that was how quickly it does so. Then just last week, my mother-in-law told me she had spoken with another beek at a farmers market who mentioned that her honey had never crystallized in the 10+ years she had been harvesting, but it had this last year. I'm wondering if this could have something to do with the incredibly dry weather we had this year.

    By way of background on my honey, it was all capped, crush/strain, filtered with a 600 mic. filter, and not heated any more than the house was (75 on that day.)

    Anyone else notice differences in your honey crystallization from this last year's harvest?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kennesaw, Ga, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Honey Crystallizing Very Quickly

    Several factors could be in play, some types of honey are more prone to crystallizing so that is one factor. The others to look at would be moisture and storage temp. I have heard that as a rule of thumb, the farther away from 57 degress you go the better. Lower temps are good to slow the crystallization process (freezer) as are higher temps, but excessive high temps start to degrade the quality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: Honey Crystallizing Very Quickly

    Basically what OER said. Due to the dry conditions, nectar sources that were previously ingnored in better years may have been collected. These sources could be more prone to sugar. Some flowers like mustards and sunflowers crystalize in weeks or after the first time they get cool and are both drouth tolerant. That is just an example, not saying that was the specific source that changed things. The mix and flavor are a little different every year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Honey Crystallizing Very Quickly

    Well, good to know, thanks. Since starting this whole addiction, I can't believe how much I've learned, and how much more there is to learn. Everything about these critters is fascinating, and it's just been a ton of fun learning about it all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Honey Crystallizing Very Quickly

    There are basically five factors for granulation. First is the nectar source (as mentioned). Some flowers produce a nectar, that when made into honey, granulates faster.

    Second is the ambient humidity which will affect your moisture content. Higher moisture honey granulates faster. I put my supers in a very warm room (about 100 degrees) with a dehumidifier prior to extraction. You may want to invest in a refractometer to insure you are not too high.

    Third is storage temperature, as mentioned above.

    Fourth is pollen. Higher pollen content acts like a "seed" to faciliatate granulation. Kind of like in days of old when beekeepers used chees cloth to strain their honey. Unbeknownst to them, they seeded their honey with small strands of lint.

    Fifth, any combination of the above will hasten granulation.

    I'd like to hear from some of the larger commercial guys how they handle granulation on large orders that take longer to reach the consumer. Heat? High pressure filter?

    I had a bunch of pint jars granulate on me many years ago...like the week after I extracted and bottled them. Not having any way to warm it up and re-liquify it, I put a different label on it and called it "Spoon Honey: Honey you eat with a spoon." Every customer said, "Why, i never heard of this before!" Which is kind of funny as most of my customers loathe liquid honey that turns to sugar.

    Oh well. https://www.createspace.com/4044721

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    932

    Default Re: Honey Crystallizing Very Quickly

    There are several books that mention granulation tendencies of honeys from various nectar sources. One trick I use is to quickly make creamed honey out of the faster-granulating varieties. I would certainly do this with canola (rapeseed flower), asters, and goldenrod honeys if I had these in my area.

    Keep careful records of where your bees get their nectar. Mark some forager-aged workers with flourescent orange or chartreuse paint, and do your best to follow them, then got check out blooms in the direction they go. Check out to 5 miles if they keep showing up on blooms as you get farther from the bee yard. Photograph flowers you do not recognize, and bring your flower identification books.

    Now, note which nectar flows crystallize in your area. Make creamed honey out of the fast-crystallizing varieties. Good luck!

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