Honey storage
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Thread: Honey storage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
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    404

    Default Honey storage

    It's tough to find hard science on this topic and I know it's because honey varies so much in composition one batch to the next. Virtually everything I've found is anecdotal which is appreciated but harkens back to that phrase, 'All beekeeping is local.'
    I have the means to store honey at just about any temperature i choose, I'm using 80 f right now but have some thoughts rolling around in my head I'd like some reaction to.
    104 f is the magic number for putting sugar crystals back into solution. If honey has crystallized, then warmed to 104, will it crystallize more quickly than it did the first time once brought back to room temperature?
    If I stored all my fresh honey at 104 would the crystallizing process begin when it's removed from those conditions? I currently get about 3-4 months before my honey starts crystallizing so would that clock start ticking after it was removed from 104? Or does the clock start ticking when the bees make the honey?
    If I de-crystallize my honey how long would the sugars stay in solution?
    I'm sold out this year so this year it's mostly about how best to store our own honey but in years to come I'd like to have some to sell for a longer season.

    Thanks for your help,
    Lee
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,331

    Default Re: Honey storage

    I store honey in 5 gal buckets, heat and package as needed. We no longer buy quantities of beef and pork, so I put the packaged honey in the deep freezer. I’ve had no problems with the honey crystallizing.
    Rod

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,035

    Default Re: Honey storage

    I would never store honey at 104, as I believe it will darken over time. Why not heat it to 130 whennextracting, and then store st 70. Should stay liquid all winter

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Park County, Montana, USA
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    Default Re: Honey storage

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    I store honey in 5 gal buckets, heat and package as needed. We no longer buy quantities of beef and pork, so I put the packaged honey in the deep freezer. I’ve had no problems with the honey crystallizing.
    Hmm, a second deep freeze might be in order, thanks.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Park County, Montana, USA
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    Default Re: Honey storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I would never store honey at 104, as I believe it will darken over time. Why not heat it to 130 whennextracting, and then store st 70. Should stay liquid all winter
    Thanks Michael, didn't know about the darkening issue. The people that buy my honey are drawn to raw honey so I can't heat it, no biggie for me, keeps things simpler.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,204

    Default Re: Honey storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Grins View Post
    I'm sold out this year
    How much honey are you managing per year? I just let mine crystallize then gently warm it back up to bottle. Our summer honey (mostly cotton) crystallizes very quickly, so I know the hassle dealing with it. My system is very simple. All honey goes into 5 gal pails, and gets stored at room temperature of our attached garage (which also serves as our bottling area). When we need to load the bottler, we simply put a heater band on the pail and dump it into the bottler.

    I'm quite sure keeping honey for extended periods at or above 104 will slowly degrade it's quality (flavor and color), not to mention the lost profits for prolonged heating or cooling.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
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    404

    Default Re: Honey storage

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    How much honey are you managing per year? I just let mine crystallize then gently warm it back up to bottle. Our summer honey (mostly cotton) crystallizes very quickly, so I know the hassle dealing with it. My system is very simple. All honey goes into 5 gal pails, and gets stored at room temperature of our attached garage (which also serves as our bottling area). When we need to load the bottler, we simply put a heater band on the pail and dump it into the bottler.

    I'm quite sure keeping honey for extended periods at or above 104 will slowly degrade it's quality (flavor and color), not to mention the lost profits for prolonged heating or cooling.
    Not a lot at this point, we got 225 lbs this year, it's our 3rd year. We were still making bees this year but next year we should be going into the season with our 5 production colonies so it will be more than what we got this year. We keep about 40 lbs. for our own use that lasts until first harvest.
    Based on the info I've gotten storing it at 104 is off the table.
    80 f seems like a good temp, it costs me almost nothing to keep it there, and I'll warm it if we want liquid honey.

    Lee
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,725

    Default Re: Honey storage

    The honey I was buying in prior years from a beekeeper was crystalizing faster than I could use it and I didn't want to lose any enzymes by constantly reheating it, so I started to freeze the jars. This year, I finally had my own harvest of honey, so all of that is currently in the deep freeze. Will continue to do that from now on out as my teenage boys no longer eat supper with us, so apart from a box of hot pockets in the deep freeze for them, that freezer is now full of jar honey and frozen combs.

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