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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan ,Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default crystalized honey feeding

    I have got a couple of hives that are light. I have a quart and a half that has crystalized, not my favorite honey. I thougt about mixing it with sugar and feeding it back to them. Thinking about sort of honey balls or something of that consistancy. Anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan ,Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Don't do that. Too gooey. One large spoon full still runny after a pound of sugar. Two small paper plates full for when they can break cluster. Oh well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Crystallized honey is not good for winter feed - it can be hard on the bees when they cannot go on cleansing flights. This is usually the reason why beekeepers who have their bees on canola (it crystallizes very fast) try to replace the honey with syrup as soon as possible for winter.

    The heat and humidity from the cluster will also make any honey/sugar candy runnier than what you'd expect and will cause it to drip on the cluster.

    Wait until spring before you feed it back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,340

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Put it on a plate or something if you are going to put it in. Or wait is a better option.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan ,Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Thanks, already have them on three small plates. Just a little experiment on a snow day. I didn't know it would be hard on the bees. I have some sugar cakes baking since the youngest brought me some sugar on his return from buying heifer feed. I may put one of the small plates in with the bees and save the rest until spring.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Northern Kentucky
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Why would crystalized honey be any harder on bees than granulated sugar that is routinely fed to get them through the winter?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    I'm sure the honey in my hives is all crystallized by mid winter. What I put in jars is usually crystallized before then...

    If you get a fed ex cardbard envelope and dump the crystallized honey in it, cut a few slits in the cardboard and rest it on a top bar in the box below or the bottom bar, next to the cluster.

    Or, if you have a frame feeder, fill it and put it next to the cluster with a piece of a shingle shim cut and split to fit for a "float" for them to pull themselves out if they get stuck.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan ,Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Just a little update, I got to check the hives about four days after putting on sugar bricks and the plates with the honey gloop. The temperature had stayed in the 30-40's. I went back in to put in sugar bricks.

    The bees were eating the sugar bricks and had consumed all of the honey plates that weren't even over the cluster. I knew this hive was short of stores and had plenty of bees, but no idea of the amounts they could consume.

    The story of this hive has been interesting. Last spring they survived but not to the point of booming so I held off pulling a nuc from them. They started making honey all of the sudden compared to the others. They ended up making 10 mediums, on top of the two deeps they were in. Of course they were in the worst two deeps I have. I was afraid they would crush with the weight. I left them a full medium and plenty on the deeps in September. They quickly consumed the honey by October. I tried to feed them 2:1 but couldn't get them to take very much. I paint canned, frame fed bagged etc. I finally said forget it. I've had boomers before and they busted by the next year so I chalked them off as a loss. Well I had 3 stolen I had in great shape and left an extra suppers on. Now I really need all I can get taking extra efforts. I loved the booming aspects of this hive but they never shut down and a crazy amount of bees going into winter.

    Fast forward to now, I guess I will continue to feed to see if they can pull it with sugar cakes until it warms up and I can pull from any of the other weak ones that die due to cluster size. Trying different sugar combinations. Been taking 3 tbs of honey to 4 lbs of sugar and a drap of water and mixing and baking for 4 hrs on 180. Coming out hard but softer than straight sugar. I'll try that out in the next week or so.

    I have gotten accustomed to losses, and I am finding the genetics I like and plan to try grafting this summer. At the same time a hive that make 300lbs in my area may be worth saving but requires more or different management. My 40lb hives are more the norm and require less of my time, but everyone loves those hives that need a ladder in the summer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    882

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Don't think cooked/heated/baked honey is good for bees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    jackson co. al.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Bliss View Post
    Don't think cooked/heated/baked honey is good for bees.
    sound like you have a Cordovan queen she don't shut down, large amount of brood all the time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan ,Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    Well I guess I miss managed them, I should have left at least two full supers on. I tried feeding but to no avail. Looking back it was totally my fault. But I am trying to keep them alive due to the cost of replacements. I was dying to check them out this afternoon but weather and all.

    I guess they will be an experiment for the rest of the winter. Cordivan, maybe. A unique hive for sure. Paid for there sugar guess. Hot honey may end up being their demise but I'm short on fancy additives and something is better that nothing.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Columbia, Missouri, usa
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    My hives felt light this fal, so I put 10 pounds of sugar on top of each hive. Last sunday, temps were 65 degrees, so I pulled the tops to see what sugar usagge there was.
    two hives had eaten about 2 pounds of sugar
    three hives had eaten a small hole in the middle (maybe 1/2 a cup full)
    seven hives had not touched the sugar.

    I will check again in 30 days.
    Charlie
    14 hives - 5 years (also had 7 hives in early 1970's) T as needed - zone 6

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    jackson co. al.
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: crystalized honey feeding

    I think 2012 was a bad year girls didn't store much by nov. was out so I took med. boxes and put #8 hard wire on bottom, and laid news paper on the screen. I got 20lb sugar and dampen it just so it would stay togeather and girls wouldn't carrie it out put 20 lbs on each hive all17 of them.they all made it thru and had some left over.suprize me put it on left alone till mar. you never know about the girls.

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