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Hi...I've kept bees in the SF Bay Area for about 7 years, and about 4 of those years, my hives needed feeding in the fall. I've always used sugar water 1:2 and that seems to work ok.

Note: I'm a backyard beekeeper with 3 hives..not large-scale

This year, my hives produced a bunch of early season honey..so much that my supply exceeded demand and I ended up with about 1/2 gallon of filtered honey that I feel is to 'ugly' to sell...it's not fully crystallized..but has started to turn cloudy and you can see the crystals starting to form. I can't eat it all myself, so I was wondering if I could heat it up (like sugar water) and then let cool and feed back to the bees instead of the sugar water...or as a mixture.

Any experience with this or thoughts on this? I don't want to do anything that will mess them up...

Thanks!

Julie
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Congratulations on having more honey than you can use. You may do as you indicated but, have you considered making a small batch of mead? A little something to warm you up when it gets cold?
 

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Congratulations on having more honey than you can use. You may do as you indicated but, have you considered making a small batch of mead? A little something to warm you up when it gets cold?
Yeah, make mead!
 

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I extracted frames from deadouts last winter (because of sugar contamination), one of my buds is making mead with it
 

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Mead ? Life is full of these little coincidences - only today there was a write-up on the BBC website about a guy making mead in the Wye Valley (on the border between England and Wales) ... : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-50069145

No high-tech; no crowd-funding; no 'Save the Bees'; no dubious claims regarding anything at all - just an old-fashioned down-to-Earth idea targeted at the right market. :)

Gotta be worth making mead - maybe that could become a more successful enterprise than selling honey ?
LJ
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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All this talk of mead, including my own suggestion, prompted a quick trip to the local homebrew suppy store. $125 USD later and I now have a 6 gallon plastic primary fermenter, a 5 gallon glass secondary fermenter, plugs, airlocks, racking equipment, a hydrometer, yeast, nutrients, energizer, and bisulfite tablets. Did not forget the sanitizer to make sure all the equipment is clean either. Woohoo. Somebody is ready to start making 5 gallons of the world's oldest alcohic beverage.

Jewel1130, if this idea interests you, most of the cost was in the large carboys. You could use 1 gallon jugs for the honey you have. The actual ingredients, yeast, nutrients, and energizer are very inexpensive.
 

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I can't eat it all myself, so I was wondering if I could heat it up (like sugar water) and then let cool and feed back to the bees instead of the sugar water...or as a mixture.

Any experience with this or thoughts on this? I don't want to do anything that will mess them up...

Thanks!

Julie
Another feeding option:
- let it crystallize all way (so it is thick as in "thick paste").
- you can feed with the thick honey just the same (similar to the hard sugar feed)
- place the thick honey into a thin plastic beg (make few slits)
- of just make a honey patty directly onto a paper towel/parchment paper (if the honey will hold the shape)
- place the bag/patty directly onto the frames
- done.

Bees should take such feed the best during the cold season (similar to MC feeding).
Routinely used in Eastern Euro.

PS: may or may not work in a CA location (may not IF the winter is too warm).
PPS: a good thing - it the bees don't take it - just take the honey back for later use or many other uses (thick honey will not go bad).
 

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~~~~ I ended up with about 1/2 gallon of filtered honey ~~~~I can't eat it all myself
Julie -
1/2 gallon of honey really isn't all that much. It lasts forever.
I'm thinking you crush and strained some honey that was in some old brood comb or something (hense the hesitation to eat it as well as the "off" color)

What's the story on this honey?
 

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All you all are talking about making mead but didn't you notice that OP is in California? Mead contains substances known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects.

:lpf:
 

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...most of the cost was in the large carboys. You could use 1 gallon jugs for the honey you have.
You should buy bottled water to make the mead and you can use the same one gallon jug the water comes in to make the mead. Just don't get the milk jug kind of bottle, get it in the the more durable clear PET bottle.
 

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I try to never move honey between hives. Honey carries pathogens. I do no open feed "wet" frames to bee after extraction. I do move some honey with a frame of brood if it cannot be avoided. If a hive or nuc needs feed I feed 2:1 sugar to water by weight. It is clean, especially for wintering-over purposes. The USDA report shows a significant increased bee life versus honey and HFCS ( good) and Grape syrup( awful).
 
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