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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Washington, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Feeding honey back to bees

    I have a couple of buckets of older honey that has started crystallizing that I want to feed back to my hives. For any who have done this, how much do you dilute it? I'm assuming that I would want to keep it as thick as I could, but diluting a little would make filling feeders easier.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    you need not dilute it at all, or as much as you like, However the less you dilute the faster they will be able to store and cap. this will get the most moisture out of the hive faster, minimizing the possibility of condensation within hive during cold weather. But you should have ample time yet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    You do want to make sure they cannot get saturated (covered) with the honey and die.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    I would feed it straight. In this way it will not spoil and the bees will not have the added work of curing/evaporating the water before they cap.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    I'm saving my feedback honey for later in the year or next January when they can't use sugar mixture. Right now I'm using 1:1 and this month will change over to 2:1. More bang for the buck from sugar but the old honey can be put on in cold sub-50 degree weather.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    oops double post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Scott, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    How do you put in hive so bees won't drown in it?. I have seen them get stuck in it and can't get out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    Quart jar with small holes punched in lid. Place down on inner board with old towel or strip of housing insulation with hole cut out for jar. Place super body on inner board and then place telescopic top. That time of year the cluster will be in contact with honey supply in upper hive body (most of the time in Tn we will have some 50-60 degree days in Jan/Feb.) I have never had issues with honey leaking out of jars, but I guess it could happen if the lids are not tight.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    Put crystallized honey on a strong, deep paper plate. Cover surface of honey with a sheet of wax paper. Slash bottom of plate a few times with hive tool. Put plate on top of bars with shim or over inner cover hole. Bees will access the honey from the bottom. Wax paper keeps them from drowning.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    I usually put it in a jar with holes in the lid that I invert over the inner lid. I put an empty box around it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,673

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    It's a sacrelig. Why did yo take it from them in the first place?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    If you dilute it it will spoil quickly. I don't dilute it and I seldom feed it back. I try to leave it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    Wouldn't feeding straight honey this time of year open your hive up to robbing?

    If I had it, I'd probably keep it until spring and use it instead of syrup for comb building, if you use syrup.

    P.S. - Nothing wrong with eating crystallized honey.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Brenham, Texas
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    This is not my thread, but I do understand the need to feed old honey. I remove bees from houses and have about 5 gallons of honey that I took from under a trailer house. It was woven in amongst the insulation and I will not sell it or eat it myself. My state inspector said the bees would "clean it up" if I fed it back to them. I intend to use quart jars with holes in the lid inverted on the inner cover with a box covering the jar and then an outer cover. My thought is to do this in Jan/Feb when I want them to start a slow buildup.

    Fuzzybeekeeper

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    That's interesting, fuzzy. That brings up another issue: do you always want to feed that kind of honey back to bees, or might it be better to throw it out?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kinder, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    That's interesting, fuzzy. That brings up another issue: do you always want to feed that kind of honey back to bees, or might it be better to throw it out?
    Why not? The bees were storing that honey for their consumption anyway...all he did was move it from one place to another. Do bees normally store honey they don't intend to consume ?
    It's like people who say you can't feed honey from one hive to a different hive...??? Better tell that to the robber bees !

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,673

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    I would not say you can't. But, unless you know where that honey came from and whether it came from a hive not infected w/ AFB, it isn't a good idea because of the possibility that the honey in question did come from a colony infected w/ AFB.

    Liked a lot of things, one has to be smart about this. Don't buy honey from the store and then set the jar out to be robbed when you are through w/ it. I guess honey from a cutout is probably okay. Since one would have ample opportunity to see whether AFB was present or not.

    Other than the potential of AFB exposure, being a Commercial Beekeeper, I can't see feeding honey to bees. It is inconvenient and expensive, compared to other forms of feed.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kinder, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    I guess I make too many assumptions.... And you know what that leads to.
    I figured he already knew the source of the honey so it wasn't a problem.
    And no I don't expect commercial beeks feed back their profit. Lol

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Feeding honey back to bees

    > My state inspector said the bees would "clean it up" if I fed it back to them.

    The bees can filter down to microscopic pollen particles, so yes, they will "clean it up".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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