Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The first time I have been able to keep my hive viable over winter in NW PA. I did a brief inspection today and the honey in the super looks....odd, almost moldy, or solidified sugar. not sure what is going on here please let me know if this is something i need to be worried about

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,377 Posts
That is honey that is on its way to totally crystallizing. You will not be able to extract it and it would be risky of spoiling if you did because much of the sugar content would be left behind. It might work if you warmed it up thoroughly for a few days but there is potential problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That is honey that is on its way to totally crystallizing. You will not be able to extract it and it would be risky of spoiling if you did because much of the sugar content would be left behind. It might work if you warmed it up thoroughly for a few days but there is potential problems.
What should i do? Harvest now?

It is a flow hive if that wasnt obvious

Also i was concerned in sept that they didnt have enough stores so i did fee sugar water. Not sure if any of that matters
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,377 Posts
Yes it should have been obvious but it didn't register. I think you have a problem and in the case of the flow hive, I don't know if the bees will be able to help you with it; usually the bees can fix most of our mistakes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
I would try to warm up the frame enough so the honey becomes liquid (having taken off any cappings), then put it a distance from your hives, so the bees will rob it out. If it sugar water honey, you don't want it for yourself. If it is honey that has crystalized in a very short time, you might want to figure out what the nectar was, so you will know next year. Some nectars crystalize very quickly, e.g. ivy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Since it is in a flow hive try cracking (extracting) one of the frames. See what happens. I bet you will get 80% of the honey and the bees will pull out the crystallized stuff.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
155 Posts
I agree with Alex. You should be able to extract and then consume it or feed it back to the bees as you see fit. They'll clean up any granulated sugar left behind, and any granulated sugar that comes out can be redissolved by heating.

If you can't turn the key to extract, you might try placing the super above an inner cover and see if they'll move the honey down on their own. They don't seem to like having a lot of barriers between the brood nest and their stores.

If that doesn't work, then maybe try what Vicky suggested and leave them out to be robbed, maybe scraping a few cappings off first to get them interested. Just put the frames several yards from the hives to reduce the chance of setting off a robbing frenzy.

As to why the honey granulated, the flower type probably played a role as Vicky said, but also it may have gotten cold over winter and honey granulates faster in the fridge than at room temperature.

Regardless, honey crystallizes sometimes, in the jar or in the comb, nothing to worry about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I didn't know bees would eat or somehow use or clean out crystalized honey.

If your flow frames get all crystalized and the bees don't clear it all out, maybe you can place the flow frames under an aquarium tank and try to liquefy the crystal honey? I use an old fish tank as a solar beeswax melter. It might be able to heat the crystalized honey enough to re-liquefy it and allow you to harvest it.

If not that, maybe get a large crawfish kettle and heat some water, place the frames in that and melt the crystal honey out that way...but you will lose the honey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,054 Posts
>the bees will pull out the crystallized stuff
The Flow frames remain capped. The bees might just leave it in to seed the next crop. I would scratch the cappings, warm the frames and put them in a normal honey extractor. We have extracted Flow Frames several time because it is much faster than draining them.
This is the biggest problem with Flow Frames, the owners do not drain them in an expedite manner and leave them on the hives over winter to granulate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
You could just put the frame(s) into a solar wax melter. You will end up with wax/honey separated. Don't know the quality of the honey since it would be heated above recommended temps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,054 Posts
You could just put the frame(s) into a solar wax melter. You will end up with wax/honey separated. Don't know the quality of the honey since it would be heated above recommended temps.
That is the worst advice that I have read on my 15 years as Beesource member. You have NO experience doing what you recommend. Each frame costs about $50 each and would be TOTALLY RUINED in a solar wax melter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
915 Posts
That is the worst advice that I have read on my 15 years as Beesource member. You have NO experience doing what you recommend. Each frame costs about $50 each and would be TOTALLY RUINED in a solar wax melter.
That is interesting, I would have thought they would be sturdier than that. Thanks for letting us know Frank..... Well, and the part about extracting flow frames.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
I built a solar drying kiln for lumber. If you close the vents and turn off the fans, it will melt the blade on the fans.

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,054 Posts
Michael....didn't you get free Flow frames from flow? As one of the most respected posters on this board and with no investment involved, aren't you the perfect candidate to do research on the effects of placing Flow frames in a solar melter? I am sure your friends at Flow would appreciate it. In fact, they should have already done it and maybe you know their results?
I don't own any, just manage them for my clients, or I would gladly volunteer.

I don't know how hot it gets in a solar wax melter, but the Flow Frames will survive 220 F. Anything over that and they will melt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,054 Posts
Mail me nine and I will do a thorough research project on the ability of Flow Frames to ensure Solar Melting.
Nine will give me three to test for melting endurance and six to collect a honey crop at no expense.
If I had a solar wax melter I would try it once just to find out. Alas, I've never found the time to build one.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top