Selling last Season's Honey
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  1. #1

    Default Selling last Season's Honey

    I have some honey left from last season. Some in jars and some not. I noticed that when I warmed the jars the honey recrystalized pretty quickly. What is the ethics of selling this honey this year? What do other people do?
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Decorah, Iowa USA
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    272

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    A lot of beekeepers promote their crystalized honey as their " Premium Honey " . Once your customers get used to it that's all they want. Long term promo- but worth it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    St. Stephen, N.B. Canada
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    269

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    Most of the time I can't sell it because my wife hides it. It's her fav. We even have some you would swear is taffy. Have half a metal strainer full of it. She says it's hers bee legs and all. Not crossing that line.
    However, I believe the higher the sugar content the quicker to crystalize. think it has more sucrose than fructose. Have that written down home. Not home so not 100% sure but someone will help me if I'm off.
    Education is the key. To keep it natural I tell them to heat a pot of boiling water. Sit it in the sink and place the crystalized bottle in the water. Crystals clear up in short order. Heavily crystalized may take several try's but the heat it gets is just enough to clear it up with out robbing it of all it's natural goodness.
    On the border near 04619
    Zone 5B @ 29m

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Point Roberts, WA, USA
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    6

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    A yogurt maker or dough proofing box can warm a number of jars at a time. I set the temperature to 110 degrees F and let it warm overnight. All the crystals are gone

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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    374

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    No problem with last years honey. It is necessary to educate customers that honey is not spoiled when it crystallizes, that its a normal process. I usually heat mine gently on a heating pad placed in a styrofoam conatainer. I set them in and let sit overnight or longer if needed.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    frederick, md
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    840

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    We stick the buckets in our hot tub, 104, works great. Over winter any left over honey is in a chest freeze, we pull it out and hot tub it as needed. Warming some up right now.
    We keep bottled honey in the chest freezer also.
    Zone 6b: 27 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Cincinnati, OH
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    333

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    Its probably recrystalizing because there were still tiny seed crystals that didn't re-liquefy all the way. If you can hold it at your preferred warm temperature for longer, even several days, it should help. I've done smaller batches in the oven with just the light on. A convenient hot box.
    Mistakes are the best taechers

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Humboldt Co., California
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    568

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    On a similar thread, someone suggested running jars of crystallized honey thru the dishwasher, so I tried it and it worked. I didn’t sell it, just wanted to see if it would work. Stayed in liquid for for over a year probably because it was pasteurized. Tasted the same to me.

    As far as re-liquifying ... I put it in the oven with the light on, takes a couple of days with low heat.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    1,634

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    I made this http://www.michiganbees.org/wp-conte...r_20100726.pdf and it works great. I can place two metal queen excluders and use them as racks to hold about 20 pint jars, or I can remove the racks and heat up a 5 gallon bucket. I keep an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer with the probe inside and the digital read out on the box so I can monitor the temp inside. It is a cheap and easy build. The only negative is the footprint it takes up. A little larger than a mini-fridge.

    I did a cut out last weekend and found about 20 capped queen cells. I have the dimmer switch dialed in to a pretty constant 92 degrees and I am trying to incubate the queen cells in it right now. I doubt it will work, but I could not use or give away all of the queen cells I found.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    1,634

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Margot1d View Post
    I have some honey left from last season. Some in jars and some not. I noticed that when I warmed the jars the honey recrystalized pretty quickly. What is the ethics of selling this honey this year? What do other people do?
    Sorry Margot, I did not answer your question. I find absolutely no ethical problem with selling last year's honey. I wish I had some more of last year's honey to sell. We all know that the product is still good, even if crystallized. If I have honey in jars or bottles that has crystallized, I heat it up in the honey heater I linked above. If I want to bottle more honey from my 5 gallon buckets I have stored, I place the bucket in for about a week at around 105 degrees. The temp does not harm the honey.

    People will ask me if my honey has been "heated." That is where, as frogpondwarrior was saying, some education needs to come in if they will take the time to listen to you. Heating honey to low temps is in no way harmful to the honey, just like letting a glass of ice melt at room temperature is not harmful to the water. Heating honey to higher temps (I am not sure what they are because I don't do it, but maybe around 140 - 160?) will actually pasteurize the honey to the point that I do not think we can ethically sell it as "raw" or "natural" even though those 2 words don't have legal significance.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    Excellent construction plans PSM, Thank You! J

  13. #12

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    Thanks everyone. I put some in the oven after I heated it to 250 and then turned it off. I left it till it cooled and it came out beautifully clear but like Beebeard said I probably did not get all the crystals because it is recrystalized now. I guess I am wondering how raw it is if you warm it. I will try some of the suggestions of less heat for a longer time. Thanks!
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
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    358

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    Hello All,

    Margot, I always sell last years honey because I have no new honey from September to June and need some product that I can offer year-round.

    I fill all my honey into one pound glass jars with metal lids. For my own use, I remove the lid if the honey is to crystallized and stick it in the microwave. I hope I am not removed from the beesource member list now after I committed to this low-class action, but it works just fine. I also tell my buyers to use this process, because it is very easy to find the right consistency, 10 seconds, 20 seconds or 30, however one likes it.

    BTW, I have several jars still from my first extraction in 2016 that is still creamy without any change in consistency since it was extracted. No clue why, but it is my most favored honey for creaminess and taste.

    Joerg
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    To the ethics question, sell it but ensure the honey has been held at 105 degrees for a couple of days, or more depending on the degree of crystallization, for complete "decrystallization." To help with the education part, Better Bee and some of the other suppliers sell tamper seals with a short "granulation" message.

    20170829_191643_resized.jpg
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  16. #15
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    Jan 2015
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    Hubert, North Carolina
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    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    I ensure that my honey is sold prior to next years sales.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    John Day River, OR
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    280

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    All of our honey crystalizes pretty quickly so we accept it and work with it.
    1. We don't sell any honey in plastic squeeze containers. All of our containers have good wide openings so you can reach the bottom of the jar with a spoon or knife.
    2. Make sure people understand that our honey is RAW. Raw honey crystalizes faster than honey that has been heated.
    3. Educate people how to re-liquify it if thats what they want.
    4. Crystalized honey is "drip-free." A lot of people use it in coffee or tea. It will melt and disolve just fine.
    5. Sometimes I will re-liquify some of it, but offer a selection of both states. Some customers prefer one or the other.

    If you can educate your customers and develop a market for crystalized honey, you will save yourself a lot of hassle in the long run.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Bunker Hill, IL
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    892

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    no issue with selling last seasons honey. I have had a couple of people ask how long it keeps due to marketing convicting everyone that everything has a best buy date in order to get people toss out perfectly good stuff and buy more.

    I generally have to give the raw, not filtered honey speach... as well as the if its sugared what to do ...

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,291

    Default

    I tell them it's from last season. People oddly think honey is made year round, I guess from grocery stores. They have no idea it's only made 2 or 3 months out of year and usually harvested all at 1 time per year, maybe 2 times then stored for an entire year.

    Sell both see what people want. Or reheat it. Tell folks you reheated to dissolve crystals back into solution.

    If your selling squeeze bottles the honey really needs to be liquid. If selling in wider mouth jars, crystals are fine if people don't care. Usually if people want liquid for dispensing easily without spoonds they'd prefer you reheat rather than them.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
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    119

    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    Here in New Zealand our manuka honey producers keep their honey crop in drums for at least 12 months before bottling and selling as the UMF (unique manuka factor) in honey increases over time and they can sell it for a premium price.
    Of course, if you remember your high school chemistry, a super saturated sugar solution, like honey, that has any impurities it it, tiny bits of wax, pollen or propolis, and the odd bee legs, will crystalize around those bits. Creamed honey is just crystalized honey using a very fine starter and then allowed to crystalize slowly in a cool enviorment.

  21. #20
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    Mar 2012
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    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Selling last Season's Honey

    Ideally, honey should not be heated above hive temperatures (so it doesn’t degrade the good stuff in it) then I can say that my honey is truly raw. I have had people ask me if I have “raw raw” honey, meaning do I heat it at all. I can assure them that it is “kept warm” at hive temps to keep it clear, but that it will crystallize because that is what raw honey does.
    Proverbs 16:24

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