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An old beekeeper out the street has 3 gallon jars of old honey. It is very dark but was still sealed, It is probably at least 10 yrs. old or older. I opened one and it just tastes kinda strong. Would it be alright to feed to the bees and when, and how. I am probably thru robbing. Thanks
 

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I wouldn't be afraid to feed it to my bees if it's been stored safely.
 

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I read somewhere that honey changes and becomes detrimental to bees after 3 or 4 years. They recommended not feeding old honey. Wish I could remember the source, but I recall it was a study and not some beekeepers opinion.
 

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There is the issue that you don't know that the honey has AFB.

Old honey doesn't taste any stronger than new honey, in fact fresh honey has more nuances of flavors to it.

That we know of, honey, if kept from getting too humid etc. will keep for 3,000 years. I'd eat it myself. The honey in King Tut's tombe was still edible.
 

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>The honey in King Tut's tombe was still edible.

We often hear that. I asked an egyptologist about that assessment, and he told me that was just a myth. No honey was ever found "intact" in pharaonic tombs.

Just a precision...

Hugo
 

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This is the best reference I can find.....

"From the neck of one of the vases hung shreds of mummy-cloth which had originally covered the mouth of the vase. Evidently the robber, expecting the contents to be valuable, tore off the cloth. Three thousand years thereafter I looked into the vase with like expectation; both of us were disappointed, for it contained only a liquid which was first thought to be honey, but which subsequently proved to be natron."

From:
The Finding of the Tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou
by Theodore M. Davis
From The Tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou (London, 1907,) pp. xxv-xxx.
 

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The point is that honey does not spoil. It will crystlize. I will get eaten by ants, moths, mice, people, bears etc., it will ferment if it absorbs too much water, but if protected from these it will keep virtually forever.
 

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Although honey does not need preservatives or refrigeration for storage, it doesn't last forever. Over time it changes, darkening and losing flavor and aroma. The shelf life for the delicate flavors and other nuances in honey is about two years. Edith Crane mentions keeping a supply of heather honey for about, I think, 20 years, but she also said it was obvious that it had lost a great deal of its flavor and aroma. By then she was using it for cooking purposes. Ancient artifacts showing the use of honey are little more than residues left on pottery shards. Archaeologists are able to identify the residues as the remains of honey by studying the pollen grains left in the residue.

A lot of the stories about edible honey surviving in Egyptian tombs for thousands of years may have come from E.A. Wallis Budge (1857 - 1934). Although he wrote a great deal, his works are widely regarded by serious Egyptologists as terribly inaccurate and misleading. The books are still popular -- you can find Budge books on the shelves of major book stores or in mail order catalogues.


[This message has been edited by ewetmill (edited August 25, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by ewetmill (edited August 25, 2004).]
 

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I did see a honey jar from ancient Greece (c.2-400 BC) displayed in the Cleveland Museum of Art that had an ounce or so of substance that the id card said was honey. I wouldn't have put it on my toast, let's put it that way. It looked more like dark mumified wax with some crusty dark crystals.
 

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Brought this thread up because I found something interesting in the news today.

The story is about an expedition on the Black Sea thst have been put up to find evidences of a great flooding that might have inspired the Great flooding of the Bible.

While searching underwater with a robot, they found an ancient shipwreck in wich there were amphoras. The ship apeared coated with wax and the scientists speculate that it was carrying honey.

" Hercules [the robot] brought up six amphoras — slender, carrot-shaped shipping jars — from which the sediment will be analyzed for traces of pollen that would solidify the honey theory."

Hugo
 

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>honey changes and becomes detrimental to bees after 3 or 4 years

Honey is not completely stable in storage. Enzymes continue to act on it and the sugars do change.

Bailey writes in ‘Honey Bee Pathology’: “Hydrolysed sucrose is commonly, but mistakenly, believed to be nutritionally better for bees than sucrose because of its similarity to honey, and is is also favoured because it can be used to make a candy that stays soft and suitable for feeding to bees. However, unless hydrolysed with enzymes, it quickly causes dysentery and kills bees. Honey that has been heated is similarly toxic for bees, because of the action of its natural acids on the glucose and fructose. **Even honey that has been stored at ambient temperatures for several years causes dysentery and shortens the lives of bees compared with those fed on sucrose.** Sucrose partially hydrolysed by boiling with cream of tartar or vinegar, recommended by many beekeeping manuals as the basis of a solid candy for feeding he bees, is also toxic for bees when compared with plain sucrose.”
 

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Was it on BeeSource or another discussion group a short time back that a post mentioned a vase of granulated honey being found during an archaeological dig? The archeologists reportedly heated the honey to liquify it and then they all ate some of it. It was described as still good.

....well, I’m sure an archeologist is going to do something like that....

Eva Crane’s book ‘Honey: A Comprehensive Survey’ (1975) mentions this: “There are pitfalls for those searching contemporary written records and their translations, in that the word rendered as ‘honey’ may have various meanings; honey from bees; honeydew or its crystallized form known as manna (but ‘manna’ also has other meanings); a concoction made from dates, or some other fruit syrup; or in fact anything sweet--and nectar similarly. Unless the context makes clear a connection with hives, bees, or honeycomb, caution is warranted.”

She makes no mention at all, that I could see, about any honey ever being discovered in ancient burial places, EXCEPT this: “Recent excavations at the Greek city of Paestum, south of Naples in Italy, uncovered a small building without doors and windows, which contained eight ornate bronze vessels filled with a softer yellow substance said to be honey ‘at least 2500 years old’. (A sample sent to me contained clover pollen grains, and was probably residue from straining a honey-wax mixture, after the application of heat.)”
 

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when I bought out old bee keeper to start bee keeping he gave me some of his old stock which had been jared long enough to turn black he and his wife could not remember how old it was.We used it instead of dark karo in holiday cooking .Made best pecan pie ever.Won 1st at state fair pie contest.wish I had more.
 
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