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Author Topic: Argh Thin Honey  (Read 2077 times)
Understudy
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« on: September 17, 2007, 05:16:25 PM »

I find myself a bit frustrated. And am taking a course of action I hope will correct an issue.

I have a honey super that I pulled at dusk in order to see if the bees would leave it if I left it tilted near the hive. They didn't. They just hung out on it. At 9:00 pm there were still bees there. So my opinion on the dusk method isn't very high already. However one time does not cause to to not at least try again sometime in the way distant future. There was an additional complication. It rained that night. A lot. When I got up in the moring I had a bunch of mad wet bees. I got them off the frames and brought the box in the house to dry off for a few days now most of the cells were capped but I am see that even 10% uncapped holds a lot of water. You can see how much I am loving this dusk method. 

Well the honey has been extracted and it is darn thin. I am not surprised just a bit miffed. I have the honey in a large pot on the oven on a medium heat. Hoping this will help remove some of the moisture content. Will this method work? I know the honey will thin due to the heat but I am hoping it will thicken upon cooling.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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fcderosa
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2007, 06:28:26 PM »

Sounds like it's time to make some mead.

Put it in a dehydrator, or a box with a dehumidifier in it.  I did that one year and it actually worked.
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2007, 08:55:20 PM »

Heating honey to 145 F for 30 minutes or equivalent, will destroy honey yeasts and thus prevent fermentation                         source- the hive and the honey bee  cool RDY-B
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2007, 09:28:03 PM »

Is the dusk method something use in the warm temps of Florida this time of year? I thought it was used in cooler climates.
Sorry you are having a rough time  Sad.
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 09:39:45 PM »

Both fcderosa and rdy-b have good points... the dehydrator works best if the honey is still in the comb (more surface area)
and heating the honey to 140 degees F works but then the honey is no longer concidered raw and it looses it's unique taste and goodness.
   On the other hand the mead idea sounds great.......
                                                          Steve 
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 09:40:42 PM »

Is the dusk method something use in the warm temps of Florida this time of year? I thought it was used in cooler climates.
Sorry you are having a rough time  Sad.

I hadn't used it before. I figured I would try. The first attempt was not succesful. I will try again in the future but the first try was a failure. This is not the normal way of getting bees off in South Florida that I am aware of. But than again neither were top entrances. Now I use nothing else.

It looks like heating the honey has helped remove the water content. It is definitly much thicker. I am not sure I will bottle it but I at least learned something.


Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 09:41:58 PM »

Both fcderosa and rdy-b have good points... the dehydrator works best if the honey is still in the comb (more surface area)
and heating the honey to 140 degees F works but then the honey is no longer concidered raw and it looses it's unique taste and goodness.
   On the other hand the mead idea sounds great.......
                                                          Steve 

Sounds like a good idea. I will try it again if I have to. Hopefully that won't happen again but it's nice to know I have options.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 11:56:44 PM »

I would have just put it back on the hive for a few days to a week and let the bee's cure it, I dont use this dusk method, triangle escape boards is what I use to get bee's out.
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2007, 12:12:34 AM »

Brendhan.  That is a total bummer.  I think that the dusk thing relates to cooler temperatures, and if I am not mistken Florida night temps are pretty warm.

When I extracted alot of my honey last year, I had the moisture content checked, it was not sufficient for proper storage of honey.  We were taught by our instructor in our bee course that if the moisture content was too high, bad news bears, it will ferment.

One way that he taught us and it is a sure-fired and safe method of reducing moisture content.

Ever heard of something called Dri-Z-Air?  It is a product that is sold in Canada, I am not sure if in the U.S., but I am sure there is something similar.  Dri-Z-Air is used in motor homes to keep the moisture content to a minimal.  We, in our southwestern British Columbia climate have extreme moistured.  Not so much humidity because our climate is cool, but it is definitely a rainforest.

This product is identical to that which is used to dehydrate flowers, and many other items.  Silica may be what it is commonly known as.

Our instructor taught us that if the moisture content is too high, to place the honey in a container that has quite a large surface area, ensuring that no foreign matter could fall into it, such as using a fine mesh.  Placing the dehydrant material in a small room with the honey that requires reduction, possibly stirring the solution to allow the moisture to be withdrawn.  A fan could also be placed in this small room to move the air around.

This worked for me.  After a few days, this honey that had a too high moisture content was reduced to a 100% acceptable 17.8% moisture content.  I know, I tested it again.  Tried and true.  This may seem like alot of work, but then, it is a lot of work to ensure healthy girls to bring us this beautiful substance we know as honey.

Brendan, good luck, I feel your frustration, but still....have a wonderful day and the best of our beautiful life we're all livin'.  Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2007, 07:42:08 AM »

Is the dusk method something use in the warm temps of Florida this time of year? I thought it was used in cooler climates.

It is getting down to 40F at night here and it works about as equally well for me as for Brendhan.  Leaf blower and/or triangle escape boards for me.

Brendhan,  a good rule of thumb that has always worked for me, is if you can shake the honey out of the frame by hand,  don't extract it.   If it is uncapped and you give it a good jerk shake and no honey comes out,  go ahead and extract it.   I had a few supers this year that where less than 10% capped but passed the shake test so I extracted them without issues.

Bee Culture had a plan a few years ago for a 5 gallon bucket honey drier.   I believe it used an aquariums air pump to bubble the honey up to the lid and then it would run back down into the bucket.  I guess the principle was to provide more surface area to allow for evaporation.

 
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2007, 07:46:42 AM »

well he did say some cells was open and it rained most of the night, I still say should have use the Bee-dehydrator (HIVE)  tongue Wink
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2007, 08:47:25 AM »

To add to Cindi's post, they also make a product called "damp rid" from home depot that absorbs moisture from the air. People down here in the south use it in their bathrooms, behind the tub to keep mildew down. Usually happens on houses that have extreme soil subsidence issues.
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2007, 08:58:29 AM »

I would prefer to keep chemicals like Damp Rid and Dri Z and even Silca Gel away from the hives. I don't know what if any effects they have on food grade products like honey.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2007, 10:06:53 AM »

Ooops, Brendhan.  Maybe I wasn't clear in my post.  I did not mean to use the Dri Z around the bees.  I only meant that it could be used inside a room to withdraw the moisture from the air, and also from the honey, no where near the bees.  There is no harm with the chemical, in my opinion, it stays inside a small container, does not emit any chemicals in the air, only sucks moisture out of the air.

Rob, I wonder about the pail that you were speaking about.  I am of the impression that if too much air gets into honey that it crystalizes very quickly.  Wrong, right?  Do you know?  I would be curious out this. 

Brendhan, good luck, wishing you well.  Have a great day of this fabulous thing we call life.  Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2007, 01:21:31 PM »

Rob, I wonder about the pail that you were speaking about.  I am of the impression that if too much air gets into honey that it crystalizes very quickly.  Wrong, right?  Do you know?  I would be curious out this. 

Don't know the answer Cindi,  I just say the contraption in the mag.  Too labor intensive for me,  if honey is too thin, I don't bother extracting it.   But for what it is worth, I know when making creamed honey, you don't want to get too much air in it.
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« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2007, 01:33:22 PM »

that drying out stuff is remarkable.  i use it in my camper over the winter.  i think if you were going to use it for the honey you'd have to use it in a very small space and leave the frames in the supers.  something like a small, portable greenhouse (out of the sun) or a very small room that was not being used.

maybe you can use the honey for cooking.  get your wife a honey cookbook.  it will give her a project while you are gone  evil

hint:  leave the cookbook where she will find it.  DO NOT hand it to her.
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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2007, 08:52:38 PM »

Interesting side note sue bee heats there honey to 165  shocked your honey is still good - RDY-B
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2007, 12:29:02 PM »

mead.
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2007, 12:58:59 PM »

Have you actualy measured the water concentration in your honey? You would be surprised how beeg a difference in the appearance one % of water can make. Even it looks thin it may be 20% of water and will be fine without doing anything. Otherwise mead is the best idea.
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