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Author Topic: Saving Honey  (Read 1807 times)
buzz
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« on: September 16, 2004, 03:57:01 PM »

My bees haven't filled up the super yet, and it's starting to get colder and the bees aren't working as hard during the day. The super has some capped honey, and some that isn't capped or are  empty cells. Can I take off the super, and keep the frames in the house over winter and put them back on next year? I am wondering about the uncapped honey and how it would be next spring. What temperature does honey crystalize at?


Scott
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Scott
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2004, 05:21:20 PM »

I guess it's going to depend on your winter strategy, your hives configuration, and how much, if any, that you are planing to leave for them.  Honey granulates based on several factors.  The amount of solids or particulates suspended in it play a part, which is also influenced by the source, and at certain temps, it is accelerated.

Some members of the forum take almost all of it, and feed sugar.  Others plan on leaving quite a bit, depending on the harshness of their winter.  I took off the honey a few weeks ago, then fed syrup to top off their stores.  I also made fondant (candy) to feed them in the early spring because our weather varies wildly and I wanted to be prepared if brood rearing outpaces nectar gathering.  You have to evaluate what you have, and what you want to end up with, but I don't think you want to bring a bunch of uncapped honey into the house for the winter.  A real mess if it started leaking, it would draw bugs, the odd rodent or 2, lots of negatives.  If your determined to do it,  I think you should freeze the combs to kill any wax moth larvae that may be in there.  Then you could thaw it next spring and put it back on.  I would think of it more as feed than as adding to your harvestable crop next year if you do that.  Or....you can always put the inner cover below the super, and let them drag the honey back down into the hive.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2004, 10:40:43 PM »

Buzz,

Since you say that some of the honey is uncapped that basically says that it is as yet unripe honey. Unripe honey has a higher water content than ripe honey. This may present a problem if you freeze it. As you know, water expands as it freezes, it just might make a royal mess of the combs as it does so leaving it totally useless for next year.

My suggestion is to harvest any honey that is capped and feed the rest back to the bees for the winter. You can do this by putting the inner cover on the hive and then putting the uncapped stuff above this for the bees to reclaim.

Think of it this way. The more they have available for the winter, the more they'll have to make a bang up start in the spring , thus providing you with a great crop next year. A hive with 40,000 bees may give you 40 lbs of honey next year whereas a hive with 60,000 bees in it could give you well over 100 lbs of honey.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2004, 11:48:35 PM »

I doubt freezing it will blow out the comb.  It's an interesting point though.  As far as sealed honey, it's routine to freeze section honey to kill wax moth larvae.  Presentation is everything, and someone buying comb honey would not appreciate opening the cupboard to find a container full of wax worms. Not under pressure in a sealed container so I would think it can easily expand in the open cell.   If you were going to freeze it long term, I think baging it to keep condensation from the honey iteslf while the freezer cycles might be warranted.

But I think taking the frames that are 90% sealed and harvesting them is the best idea.  Give the rest back to the bees over the inner cover and breath a little easier this winter.
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Finman
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2004, 01:33:53 PM »

Quote from: buzz
My bees haven't filled up the super yet, and it's starting to get colder and the bees aren't working as hard during the day. The super has some capped honey, .....What temperature does honey crystalize at?


Scott


You can let the bees rob honey to hive or just put the box in the store. If it is moist,  and  about +10C, honey starts to ferment.

Like golfpsycho says, do not take it as a problem.

But if you exract honey from combs, 20% of honey yield will stay in comb walls. There is no difference with that case.
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