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All of the major beekeeping supply companies sell heated bottling tanks. I have always just used a 5 gallon bucket with a honey gate on it. What would be the purpose of heating the honey when bottling? Is it for when the honey crystallizes when being stored? and if so, wouldn't it just re-crystallize shortly after being bottled?

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Heating honey to 120 degrees will increase the shelf life dramatically, more than 6 months with most honey. If honey has crystallized, this is the only way to accurately warm it to until it is once again liquid. A third reason is because warm honey is a lot easier to bottle.
 

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doesn't heating honey actually shorten the shelf life of honey? It's my understanding it simply removes all crystalization to help keep it from crystaling quickly again.

Mantra some beeks blend honey. If you look closely enough to those bottling tanks you will find some with blending paddles on them. Warm honey blends alot better than cold honey. As for bottling we have never bought a bottling tank and generally bottle 2 drums a month. We do have a custom built warming box for the drums but once its out of the drums we use your 5 gallon bucket with I believe 2" honey gate to bottle.
 

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The paddles you see on some jacketed tanks can be used for blending honey, true. But as was explained to me by a vendor, they are used to stir the granulating honey to speed liquification, and reduce heating time. Also to mix the honey so it warms more evenly and thoroughly.
Regards,
Steven
 

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A heated tank allows honey to flow easier and faster. Heating honey to the right temperature clears crystals which may have formed in the previous container, bucket or barrel. No, the honey won't just crystalize once it is put into the jars.
 
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