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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We had several supers that the bees just didn’t want to cap and I was worried they would start consuming it, as we are now well into a dearth. I pulled them and sure enough, the refractometer says the moisture content is high. I rigged up a fan dryer contraption (see pic) that appears to have already lowered the MC by several tenths of a percent in a couple days. I’m going to give it a week of drying and stirring each day and see what the moisture content ends up being in the end. I will report back with my findings.

Happy extracting!

Ryan
 

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Very interesting contraption.I had about 5 buckets last year with same problem. Put them in an enclosed room, turner on the fan, partially covered them to avoid dust, and used a dehumidifier. I stirred several times a day and it took about a week. I then dumped them into the Maxant bottling tank and the heat help further. What a pain. If it happens this year I am going to try and dry them while the frames are still the supers.
Goof Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very interesting contraption.I had about 5 buckets last year with same problem. Put them in an enclosed room, turner on the fan, partially covered them to avoid dust, and used a dehumidifier. I stirred several times a day and it took about a week. I then dumped them into the Maxant bottling tank and the heat help further. What a pain. If it happens this year I am going to try and dry them while the frames are still the supers.
Goof Luck
I was going to do that but was concerned about SHB eggs that might be in the supers hatching and sliming without the bees there to protect. Reading up on it more, that may not have been an issue.
 

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I stack all my supers on top of a couple 2x4's and put a box fan on top blowing down through them.It dries them out in a days time.
 

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I pull supers when I need to and don't worry about capping anymore. I put them in the back porch with a dehumidifier running and a small box fan blowing through the supers stacked up and blocked off the floor. I always get them down below 17% in 2 days. I need to balance the dehumidifier with the room temp so it doesn't get too hot in there. Runs about 100 degrees, so extracting is fast and easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Snapper and Daniel - do you have SHB in your area, and have they ever been a problem when drying honey in the supers? If not, that’s the ticket....I just want to be sure.
 

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Do I have SHB in my area? I am in south Arkansas.Yes we have SHB but I have never had problems with them when drying honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So Planner, you are correct. What a pain. Spent the first two days dehumidifying the buckets in a closet and stirring occasionally. MC went down from 18.5% to about 18.1% in two days.

I’m admittedly impatient and a tinkerer. I tried to come up with ways to increase the surface area and speed up the process without using shallow pans, etc. Using this method, the moisture came down to about 16.5% after the upper bucket drained overnight. Perfect.
 

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Very clever.
So Planner, you are correct. What a pain. Spent the first two days dehumidifying the buckets in a closet and stirring occasionally. MC went down from 18.5% to about 18.1% in two days.

I’m admittedly impatient and a tinkerer. I tried to come up with ways to increase the surface area and speed up the process without using shallow pans, etc. Using this method, the moisture came down to about 16.5% after the upper bucket drained overnight. Perfect.
 

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One of the recommendations for honey houses in SHB areas is to lower the humidity.

Quote:
"Practices such as removing honey, bits of comb and cappings from around the honey house will minimize foodstuffs to which small hive beetles may be attracted. ... Reducing the relative humidity to 50% in honey houses and other places where honey is stored inhibits small hive beetle eggs from hatching."
UFL.edu › entnemdept › misc › bees
small hive beetle - Aethina tumida - Entomology and Nematology Department - University of Florida
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One of the recommendations for honey houses in SHB areas is to lower the humidity.

Quote:
"Practices such as removing honey, bits of comb and cappings from around the honey house will minimize foodstuffs to which small hive beetles may be attracted. ... Reducing the relative humidity to 50% in honey houses and other places where honey is stored inhibits small hive beetle eggs from hatching."
UFL.edu › entnemdept › misc › bees
small hive beetle - Aethina tumida - Entomology and Nematology Department - University of Florida
Great information. Thanks for sharing. My last two supers are currently in our utility room with dehumidifier going and box fan blowing though them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So this may be a stupid question, but how does air humidity of 40% reduce honey moisture content below that.
Great question....moisture content and relative humidity aren’t the same measurement. Moisture content is the amount of water in a mixture (such as honey) by weight. Relative humidity is the amount of vapor in the air as a percentage of the total vapor that the air has the capability of holding. Since the total amount it can hold varies based on the dew point, that is a moving target. So, relative humidity isn’t the moisture content of the air.

As the outside temp approaches the dew point temp, the relative humidity approaches 100%. Doesn’t mean that the moisture content of the air is approaching 100%, just means that it is going to be really foggy and likely rainy.

Ryan
 

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Higher temperatures increases the ability of the air to hold water - sponge effect. Leave an opening some where, small one - crack a window - so humidity escapes to the environment or your house.
 
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