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#### Durstlight

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I recently watch a lecture done by Micheal Palmer in which he said that 85 percent of Honey Is Carbohydrates and 85 percent of Nactar is water. So if we have say a gallon of unprocessed nectar would there be only 15 percent of that left as Honey after the Bees turned it to Honey and cured it? If this is not accurate, then how much nectar does it take to produce X amount of Honey? My wife says I come up with the strangest of questions, hopefully this is not one of them, lol!

#### Joseph Clemens

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That sounds like a typical, or average value, since I know that the percentage of solids (carbohydrates) in nectar varies considerably, depending on crop and growing conditions.

Though for a ball park figure, I'm sure it is just fine.

#### sqkcrk

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Well Durstlight, since you will never have a gallon of unprocessed nectar, what does it matter, other than intellectual knowledge? I think you can take Michael's statement to the bank. He doesn't say such things w/out being able to back them up. He may be off a little, maybe it's 16% left as honey.

You could compare the nectar into honey process to the maple sap into maple syrup process if you like. Mostly, I doubt that very many beekeepers think about this much and neither do the bees. Though I am not certain about that.

Oh, and listen to your wife. She sounds like an intelligent person.

#### sharpdog

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Assuming nectar is 85% water, and the finished honey has a moisture content of 15%.
This is how I think about it. Now I'm not sure if it works out the same in a volume balance, and in a mass balance, hence the use of "units".

100 units of nectar @ 85% water = 15 units of carbs.
15 units of carbs + 15% water = 2.25 units of water
15 units of carbs + 2.25 units of water = 17.25 units of Honey

Luke

#### Michael Palmer

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I mentioned this % thing to emphasize the importance of proper supering. The bees need almost double the storage room for nectar as they need for honey. While my % might be off a little, I think what I said makes the point. If you're waiting until that first super is 75% full or more, you're forcing the bees to store nectar in the broodnest…which can lead to swarm preparations and a reduced crop. During the flow, I like to stay one super ahead of the bees.

#### Joseph Clemens

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MP, I strongly agree. Here in the arid desert, moisture reduction from nectar can happen very quickly. Despite that, the bees need lots of open comb for "temporary" nectar storage, as they reduce its moisture content and cure it into honey. I'm sure that this issue is even more critical in more humid climates. So, for best honey crop, and less swarming, I'd give the bees plenty of additional comb area for nectar storage and curing.

It has been postulated that our mesquite flow is so strong, due to the hot, dry, air, partially drying the nectar in the nectaries, then the concentrated nectar helps to draw even more nectar from the plant tissues. This is quite likely true, since any rain that occurs during the flow, will delay the mesquite flow, it doesn't get going again, until several days of continuous hot, dry, weather.

#### JWChesnut

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By weight, cured honey is 17% water and "average" nectar is 75% water. The weight concentration in the production of honey is 4.5 times. This is roughly equivalent to volume as well.

Bees get rid of water in two ways, by evaporation of the open nectar, and by "inverting" sucrose to yield fructose-glucose. Each mole of inverted sucrose (12 carbon double ring split to constituent 6 carbon rings) consumes one mole of water.

Some nectars (especially Australian and New World flowers) and *not* designed for bees. ******** Euc is 14% concentration, and will fill up a hive with watery nectar very, very quickly (with the concomitant impulse to swarm). Salix is on the opposite end of the scale -- 50% concentration sucrose, will "self-cure" by inversion.

An interesting paper on nectar and its optimum concentration is: http://www.pnas.org/content/108/40/16618.full.pdf+html

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