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Thread: water in honey

  1. #21
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Look, I had no intention of insulting anyone and I am truly sorry if I hurt anyone's little feelings.
    I am not saying that wild honey is garbage, never even implied it. what I am saying is that honey containing water, nectar, fruit juice, or ANY other substance is not "honey as all the above ingredients will result in fermentation of the honey. If not below 18.5% moisture honey is not honey. it is something else. In Pennsylvania it is against the law to label such a product as honey. even if the processer evaporates the substance to 18.5% it is not honey. It clearly states that it must be done by the BEES! As one believes in calling a spade a spade I do not feel that any artificial manipulation of the product by the beekeeper, processer, or anyone else can possibly be honey, and in my Opinion is garbage, because it has been contaminated, and I would not eat it, any more that I would eat sugar water with imitation maple flavoring in it. even it were 50 to 90%real maple syrup. people eat out of the trash at McDonald's. and some have said it taste fine. but in My Opinion it is garbage. I guess we are all entitled to express our opinions as long as someone does not bother someone else. I do not care what anyone else says. honey is the great Chief's purest gift, it does not spoil, it does not ferment, it provides energy, and taste great. if the girls did not do it, it ain't right.

    If I am the old fart that is fine too, I will even allow wilmoris to have his opinion. and wish him luck in all his endeavors. I shall think of him kindly while he eats his home made honey and curses us who have a difference of opinion.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: water in honey

    According to USDA standards, here:
    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getf...STELDEV3011895

    US Grade A honey can have up to 18.6% moisture.
    US Grade B honey can have up to 18.6% moisture.
    US Grade C honey can have up to 20.0% moisture.

    Note that there are other factors besides moisture that affect honey grades, but all of the above are still legally defined as honey by the US Department of Agriculture.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #23
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Consume your free honey/nectar substance yourself...it can't be much worse than some imported store bought 'honey'... hope this answers your question.... :-)

  4. #24
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Tenbears, according to your last post, honey containing water will ferment and is not honey? I'm sure you didn't mean that. Anyway, you are also saying that anyone (in Pennsylvania or anywhere else I assume) who artificially removes any amount of moisture from their honey/nectar to get it down to 18.5% or less, and then extracts it, bottles it, and labels it as honey is being deceptive to the consumer in your mind, and in reality as far as you are concerned is garbage. You have created your own personal definition of what honey should be, and like you said, you are entitled to your opinion. I'm sure that you have insulted a good number of beekeepers with this philosopy of yours, but as you said, you don't care what they think or say. And as far as being "truly sorry for hurting anyone's little feelings", I don't get that impression at all, sorry if that offends you. John

  5. #25
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    Default Re: water in honey

    It is not what I am saying. it is the law. Notice it says transformed BY and is the natural product OF the honey be.

    "HONEY SALE AND LABELING ACT
    Act of Jul. 20, 1974, P.L. 537, No. 184 Cl. 31
    AN ACT
    Defining honey and regulating its sale and the labeling and sale
    of imitations of honey; and providing penalties for violation.
    The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    hereby enacts as follows:
    ● Section 1. The terms "honey," "liquid or extracted honey" "strained honey" or "pure
    honey" as used in this act, shall mean the nectar of flowers that has been transformed
    by, and is the natural product of the honey-bee, taken from the honeycomb and
    marketed in a liquid, candied or granulated condition.
    ● Section 2. (a) No person shall sell, keep for sale, expose or offer for sale, any article
    or product in imitation or semblance of honey branded as "honey," "liquid or extracted
    honey," "strained honey" or "pure honey" which is not pure Honey.
    ● (b) No person, firm, association, company or corporation, shall manufacture, sell,
    expose or offer for sale, any compound or mixture branded or labeled as and for
    honey which shall be made up of honey mixed with any other substance or ingredient.
    ● (c) Whenever honey is mixed with any other substance or ingredient and the
    commodity is to be marketed, there shall be printed on the package containing
    such compound or mixture a statement giving the ingredients of which it is made;
    if honey is one of such ingredients it shall be so stated in the same size type as are
    the other ingredients, but it shall not be sold, exposed for sale, or offered for sale
    as honey; nor shall such compound or mixture be branded or labeled with the word
    "honey" in any form other than as herein provided; nor shall any product in
    semblance of honey, whether a mixture or not, be sold, exposed or offered for sale
    as honey, or branded or labeled with the word "honey," unless such article is pure
    honey.
    ● Section 3. Any person violating the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a summary
    offense and on conviction thereof shall be punished as provided by the "Crimes Code"
    ● Section 4. Nothing in this act shall be interpreted as preempting, usurping or replacing
    the jurisdiction or activities of the Federal Government in connection with the labeling
    or mislabeling of honey or imitations thereof.

    Honey is not Honey until it is capped. bees do not cap honey until it reaches 18.5% or less. so call it what you like adding nectar, dehydrating nectar and calling it honey according to the state of Pennsylvania is not honey. and cannot even be labeled honey, and sold. , It is not my philosophy although I do agree with it. allowing nectar into honey, and calling it honey is simply a way to extend the volume of the product and sell it as something that it is not. " Pure Honey. that would equate to gathering 100 gallons of 15% moisture honey and adding 3.5% water. are you proposing that that is an acceptable practice. I have not intended to insult anyone. if someone is so thin skinned as to take offence to someone who takes a purest attitude, then they need to find another planet to live on.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Tenbears, I'm fairly certain that it has been done, that is, adding water to low moisture content honey to bring it up to 18% so that it goes further, not something that I have ever thought of doing, but as the saying goes, money is the root of all evil, so yes its probably been done.

    Section 1 of the Pennsylvania honey law is totally correct, it's made by honey bees. YOU have added your own personal feelings to the rest of the law (going beyond what is written) based on your "purest attitude". The state of Pennsylvania always has been nit-pickers about most everything that goes on within their boundaries, JMO. John

  7. #27
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    Default Re: water in honey

    The section quoted below clearly states that regardless of what PA law says, as long as you follow the USDA rules, you can market honey in Pennsylvania graded and labeled to USDA standards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    ● Section 4. Nothing in this act shall be interpreted as preempting, usurping or replacing the jurisdiction or activities of the Federal Government in connection with the labeling or mislabeling of honey or imitations thereof.
    Also, the PA law quote in post #26 above says nothing about dehydrating honey to meet a particular moisture content.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #28
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    Default Re: water in honey

    No it does not as long as it is TRANSFOEMED BY the BEES. as clearly stated in line 3 section 1.
    section 4 only deals with the federal "Jurisdiction" or "activities" it does not yield total authority to the federal laws but simply does not preempt their Jurisdiction. To make it easier to understand it means that if a labeling violation, violates both Pennsylvania and federal law, punishment under Pennsylvania law would not constitute appeasement of any federal law violations, thus the federal government would also be able to prosecute.
    But Hay, it does not matter to me one bit what someone shoves in their mouth. I suppose you would take a bottle of chateau de Rothchild 1941 and mix it up with some grape juice and call it wine too. sorry I think that is garbage too. I guess it all comes down to interpretation, The law, what constitutes honey, liberals interpreted things liberally, conservatives interpreted them conservatively, everyone thinks they are right and those who do not agree with them are wrong.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Tenbears, I'm fairly certain that it has been done, that is, adding water to low moisture content honey to bring it up to 18% so that it goes further, not something that I have ever thought of doing, but as the saying goes, money is the root of all evil, so yes its probably been done.

    Section 1 of the Pennsylvania honey law is totally correct, it's made by honey bees. YOU have added your own personal feelings to the rest of the law (going beyond what is written) based on your "purest attitude". The state of Pennsylvania always has been nit-pickers about most everything that goes on within their boundaries, JMO. John
    LOOK, Nectar is not made by the bees it is made by flowers, and it is not honey until processed by the bees to a moisture content of below 18.5% it is just that simple. interpret it how you like the fact is if it is not 18.5%moisture it is not honey yet. USDA B and C grading is because they have caved into pressure put on by lobbyists who represent the guys who want to cheat. you said it yourself. MONEY is the root of all evil. Not to mention the USDA grading system is total bunk with no uniformity, and no inspection system.
    Last edited by Tenbears; 06-17-2013 at 11:14 PM.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: water in honey

    WilMorris, my suggestion is to take what you have, and use it, store it for a while like you would cured honey, and then see where it goes after you try it again. Im thinking you will eventually agree with Mark, that the best solution is not throw it in the garbage but rather make proper use of it and feed it back to the bees
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #31
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Tenbears, thanks for correcting me that bees don't make nectar, flowers do.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    As one believes in calling a spade a spade I do not feel that any artificial manipulation of the product by the beekeeper, processer, or anyone else can possibly be honey, and in my Opinion is garbage, because it has been contaminated, and I would not eat it, any more that I would eat sugar water with imitation maple flavoring in it.
    This is quite amusing. Here you are telling us that any action by the beekeeper to reduce moisture content results in "garbage", while today, in another thread you advocate treating hives with honey supers with powdered sugar!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    You have to decide which is most important to you. The honey or the bees. I would dose the hive down well with powdered sugar about three times over the next 9 days, then do a mite count.
    So apparently removing water from honey makes it garbage, but honey + sugar is fine!



    Note, I have no objections to treating with powdered sugar, I am simply pointing out the inconsistency displayed here.

    (click the blue arrow in the quote box to see the full post the quote came from)
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #33
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    No it does not as long as it is TRANSFOEMED BY the BEES. as clearly stated in line 3 section 1.
    section 4 only deals with the federal "Jurisdiction" or "activities" it does not yield total authority to the federal laws but simply does not preempt their Jurisdiction. To make it easier to understand it means that if a labeling violation, violates both Pennsylvania and federal law, punishment under Pennsylvania law would not constitute appeasement of any federal law violations, thus the federal government would also be able to prosecute.
    But Hay, it does not matter to me one bit what someone shoves in their mouth. I suppose you would take a bottle of chateau de Rothchild 1941 and mix it up with some grape juice and call it wine too. sorry I think that is garbage too. I guess it all comes down to interpretation, The law, what constitutes honey, liberals interpreted things liberally, conservatives interpreted them conservatively, everyone thinks they are right and those who do not agree with them are wrong.
    Reducing moisture content of high moisture content honey is a long held practice in the commercial beekeeping community. What would you have someone w/ 5 barrels of 20% moisture content honey do? Dump it or reduce moisture by artificial means?

    I may seem to be hypocritical here, but I recommended dumping a quart of honey (according to the OP's question) because it seemed to me more trouble than worth. Whereas, when one is making a living by honey production and sales, and that honey is not fully capped yet has to come off of hives, dehydration is the way to go.

    Many people have Hot Rooms w/ fans and dehumidifiers in them to help dry down the honey before extracting.

    TenBears is being literal, which is his privledge.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  14. #34
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    WilMorris, my suggestion is to take what you have, and use it, store it for a while like you would cured honey, and then see where it goes after you try it again. Im thinking you will eventually agree with Mark, that the best solution is not throw it in the garbage but rather make proper use of it and feed it back to the bees
    I had some further thoughts on this. It's only a quart or a quart and a half. Why not just keep it in the refrigerator and use it up as soon as possible. Refrigeration should keep the high moisture from going bad. Or slow it down I suspect.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  15. #35
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    Default Re: water in honey

    It disheartens me to see you revered regulars being offensive to each other. Many of us new people hold you in high regards for your wisdom and willingness to help us! Will just wanted to salvage something, he wasn't trying to sell it, so the USDA rules aren't applicable in his case. Haven't you ever wanted to make use of your honey crop even when something goes wrong? I had a bucket of honey with too high-water content which fermented. I didn't want to dump it in the garbage and it certainly can't be fed back to the bees, so I made MEAD with some of it. Thanks for the advice of dehydrating, I wish I had known back then...

  16. #36
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    Default Re: water in honey

    If the bees would take it it could be fed back to the bees. Did you give them a chance at it?

    Quantity was my first draw back. If he had a barrel I would have told him of my friend who elevated a barrel of honey so it was a little higher than his wood stove. He laid a piece of rain gutter across the burning stove and had another barrel at the other end of the gutter. He punched a hole in the honey barrel allowing the honey to drip onto the gutter and travel down into the other barrel, drying down as it went.

    I don't know if that is practical w/ 1 and 1/2 quarts of honey.

    As far as revered regulars being offensive, people have their passions and their strong held opinions. So, disagreements will occur. Ce' la vie.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  17. #37
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    This is quite amusing. Here you are telling us that any action by the beekeeper to reduce moisture content results in "garbage", while today, in another thread you advocate treating hives with honey supers with powdered sugar!



    So apparently removing water from honey makes it garbage, but honey + sugar is fine!



    Note, I have no objections to treating with powdered sugar, I am simply pointing out the inconsistency displayed here.

    (click the blue arrow in the quote box to see the full post the quote came from)
    Now, This is becoming ridiculous, We were not talking to a beekeeper who wanted to drop the moisture content of a volume of honey a few points. we were talking about someone who crushed up a bunch of wild comb with a undetermined amount of nectar, the post even stated "WATER in honey" the hive was only a few weeks old taking into account time to build come I doubt there was little actual honey.

    Although I do not believe in extracting nectar I understand that small percentages can be acceptable, Just not for me.

    Now you two are down to manipulating my words in an attempt to prove your opinion's. I never said that manipulating the hive, or treating the bees was unacceptable. I said the "product" meaning honey as that was what the discussion was about. I do know that when selling bees either as packages of nucs than the bees would be the product however since we were dissuasion honey. THAT was the product I was referring to and I believe you knew it. As far as sugar in the honey I was telling the individual how to work toward solving a problem with his bee. I do not consume his honey. and I maintain Mt hives in such a manner as to not require treatment for mites when the supers are on. I am sure you realize that keeping mites well below the threshold of infestation when supers are no allow for a treatment free period when they are.
    Yes I believe pure honey mad by the bees wit as little nectar in it is the best. when we Extract any frames with uncapped Nectar/honey are set aside. and extracted of the uncapped material before capping's are removed the resulting product is them fed back to the bees.
    THIS IS HOW WE DO IT! and I believe it is how the best possible natural honey should be done.

    I believe deep down inside you agree and are just looking for a fight. your continual manipulation of the post and posting partial guidelines from the USDA demonstrates that. For If you know the USDA moisture percentages you also know they allow honey to be labeled as pure honey, That contains corn syrup, and a host of other ingredient

  18. #38
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I may seem to be hypocritical here, but I recommended dumping a quart of honey (according to the OP's question) because it seemed to me more trouble than worth.
    If you had responded to the original post with a comment about the effort not being worth it, I would not have objected to your comment.

    But instead, you simply described the OP's honey as "garbage", and I am responding to that characterization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    honey is the great chief's purest gift. any contamination at all ruins it. why consume garbage,,, you would not dream of eating yogurt with clean pure chicken fat in it would you?
    Note that while I did post just a small part of the USDA honey standards in post #22, but I also provided a link to the full document.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  19. #39
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    Default Re: water in honey

    does everyone feel better now?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #40
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    Default Re: water in honey

    Actually I believe that as soon as the bees take the nectar into their honey stomach it has started the process of becoming honey and so therefore can no longer be considered nectar because the sugars have started inverting and changing, after that the bees put it into the cells and dry it. I doubt much additional inverting happens once the bees place it in the cells for drying.

    As for the Pennsylvanian law I didn't see anywhere in there where it mentioned that a beekeeper can't use dehumidifiers to lower the moisture content of their honey. The law appears to me to focus on no adding anything to the honey and still calling it honey.

    I don't personally have a refractometer and so there for don't know what the moisture percentage of my honey is. I do know this that bees will cap honey that ISN'T 18.??% moisture, and they will leave uncapped honey that is well below that. For me I do try to pull mostly capped honey, anything that isn't capped gets banged upside down on the hive, if nothing comes out it's done (I don't have the type of nectars around here that would be thick and still high moisture). This has been my practice for the last 10 years that I have been a beekeeper and I have NEVER had honey ferment on me, nor have I had a customer complain (every jar has my # on it). I do make sure to run the air conditioner and the dehumidifier before, during, and after extracting (until it's all bottled) to make sure that the honey I'm extracting doesn't absorb moisture from the 90% humidity Misery weather that we tend to have during extracting season.

    As for the OP's question. I'm baffled as to why he doesn't just feed it back to the bees (sure taste some) and get honey later (might be next year). BUT I WANT HONEY NOW, yeah and I WANT THE WINNING POWERBALL TICKET TOO!!!! LOL

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