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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    It has been a rainy and humid season, no doubt, here in North Florida. I just checked the moisture content of my honey and was sad to see it register at 18.7 per cent on my refractometer. I have read that I can dry it out somewhat with a dehumidifier and will give it a try. Didn't find one in my bee equipment catalog - and wonder if all dehumidifiers are equal or are some better than others for this purpose. Any suggestions will be appreciated since I will head out tomorrow to purchase one somewhere. Thanks for advice.

    beecuz

    "...for breath is sweeter taken even as the last in places dear...with gardens, fields and dogwood trees...in forest stands of bamboo shoots and ginger root...and honey bees."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,768

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    There are a couple things you can do that would be way cheaper than buying a dehumidifier. You can just bring the supers in the house in the air conditioning for a couple days, or blow dry warm air through the supers with a fan, either method will bring down the moisture content quickly in a couple days I would say. John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,143

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    I used a dehumidifier I have from a house I used to live in, and posted this on a club forum I participate in last year it may be useful to you:

    I have a dehumidifier in a room thats about 8x8, we normally just keep the freezer in there. On the 16th I pulled 12 supers and put them in two stacks in the room. In between the supers I put some 3/4 scraps of wood to allow air to circulate. We are towards the end of our season, and only about half of the frames were capped. I picked the deepest open frame as a reference point and tested honey from the same frame every day. I stacked the frames that were the most capped on the bottom of the stack and the least capped on the top. I did not close the door, I propped it about 6 inches open because a couple of years ago I closed it and had a melt down; Luckily I have a tolerant wife.

    Here is the data. After the date the first number is % moisture according to my Atago refractometer, and the second number is the temperature in degrees C.
    8/16 21.9@26.5
    8/17 20.6@25.2
    8/18 20.2@27.2
    8/19 18.9@29.4
    8/20 18.3@28.7
    8/21 no data
    8/22 17.2@28
    on the 22nd I also opened up some capped cells on a different frame these were 15.9@28.3

    That was good enough for me, on the 23rd I extracted. I took 4 sample tubes of honey as I extracted these then sat inside, and when I tested them they were as follows:
    17.3, 16.4, 16.4, 16.3.

    Every day I had to empty the dehumidifier, or it would cut out when full.

    I thought these data points might be useful to others to gauge how long to run a dehumidifier. Someone on Beesource pointed out that the dehumidifier is also taking off moisture from the automatic defrost cycle of the freezer - it's not energy efficient but you work with what you have.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by beecuz View Post
    It has been a rainy and humid season, no doubt, here in North Florida. I just checked the moisture content of my honey and was sad to see it register at 18.7 per cent on my refractometer. I have read that I can dry it out somewhat with a dehumidifier and will give it a try. Didn't find one in my bee equipment catalog - and wonder if all dehumidifiers are equal or are some better than others for this purpose. Any suggestions will be appreciated since I will head out tomorrow to purchase one somewhere. Thanks for advice.

    beecuz

    "...for breath is sweeter taken even as the last in places dear...with gardens, fields and dogwood trees...in forest stands of bamboo shoots and ginger root...and honey bees."
    Why do you feel the need to dry it lower than 18.7? That should bee good enough for govt work. I extract the same day it comes off of the hive, but I do run a/c and a dehumidifier before during and after until the honey is all in sealed jars. my dehum is just your garden variety I bought at Lowes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    rweakley - I had read that anything over 18 percent would cause fermentation. Is less than one percent over 18 still acceptable or am I pushing the risk?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    I checked the comb honey that I have in plastic boxes, and the moisture content for it is at 16.8 percent, so it is fine. But, the liquid honey that I have now stored in 4 plastic gallon jars, tightly lidded, is the honey that registers 18.7 percent. So, I am a bit confused...since that honey has already been spun out and stored in plastic gallon jars am I still able to dry it out? If so, should I just take the lids off and put near a/c and dehumidifier? Or do I need to pour into shallow pans? Or have I just screwed up by not testing the moisture content and drying BEFORE I extracted it? Any further suggestions will be appreciated!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by beecuz View Post
    rweakley - I had read that anything over 18 percent would cause fermentation. Is less than one percent over 18 still acceptable or am I pushing the risk?
    From what I understand 18.6 is considered Grade A honey in the US so you are .1% over that. Honey in that range is supposed to be good from fermentation for atleast a year. If stored under 50 degrees F or over 80 degrees F it extends that time frame. Most people who buy my honey have it used up in a month or so.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,252

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    Just throw fan on the stack of supers for a few days.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,086

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    I didn't know they made dehumidifiers small enough to fit in a hive.... lol

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    Thanks for the advice, EastsideBuzz...I will do that when I next pull supers...but right now the suspect honey is already in gallon jars. At 18.7 percent moisture should I still try to dry it and if so by what method? Or as already advised, just leave it be since it is only a little bit over recommended percent? What are your thoughts?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    As an update...I purchased a dehumidifier and it worked great. Brought the moisture content down from between 18 - 19 per cent to a low of 16 - 17 percent. I let the dehumidifier run for about 24 hours to get the room humidity established where I wanted it, then left my jars of honey uncapped overnight with just cheesecloth over them. Moisture content was reduced significantly. Hooray! Peace of mind is a wonderful thing. : )

  12. #12

    Default Re: Dehumidifier to reduce moisture in honey?

    I've had one running in my honey house for the past three months...for the same reason....peace of mind.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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