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Author Topic: Real thick honey  (Read 1772 times)
gaucho10
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« on: November 21, 2008, 07:54:58 PM »

Anyone have any idea why the last of my honey turned out to be really thick? It is so thick that although I have had it sitting on top of my boiler prior to extracting the stuff is as thick as molasses.  OK, I really don't know how thick molasses are but it is thick enough that I use my hive tool to push along the dripped honey on my frames and I actually have to push hard.  When extracting, I spin and see honey flowing out of the frames but it takes 3-4 days before the honey actually flows off the side of the tank.  The honey is light in color and most of it is probably still from July.  I started my two hives on June 1st. and did not extract any of their honey.  I left all their brood chamber alone and I have 3 med. suppers full of this thick honey.
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Greg Peck
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 10:17:32 PM »

My guess would be that the extractor is cold so when the honey is extracted it gets cold and does not want to run out. Maybe you have a lower then normal moisture content which would make it thicker. If you are getting it out of the frames with the extractor it seems to me that it should be "liquid" enough to flow out of the extractor. I have already put a spot light under my extractor to warm the bottom up to help the honey run a little. Just dont make it to hot as to "ruin" the honey. 3 days seems like a long time though. If you dont have a refractometer you could send me a sample and I will let you know what your moisture content is. Just PM me.

All the honey will not come off the sides of the take either, normally there is a film left. If that is what you are talking about. I normally set the extractor outside and let the bees clean it up then wash it out.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 07:11:43 AM »

I had not thought about "cold" honey last night when I first read the post. But what a good observation. There is a reason why honey houses have hot rooms...  Wink Big differences between honey at 60 and 95 degrees.
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gaucho10
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 09:11:07 AM »

No Greg Peck, temperature is not a factor in this case.  I am familiar with honey consistency in different temperatures and this does not seem to be the case.  I took the three honney suppers out of the hive last month and the temperatures were still warm.  A week later I extracted one supper and that is when I noticed that the honney appeared to be thicker that normal.  I then placed the remaining suppers on top of the boiler and this week I attempted to extract but I got the same results.  I looked down into the extractor and noticed approximately 1/2" of left-over honey from my previous extraction.  I tilted the extractor but the honey did not flow.  I took a long stick and tried to push the honey but it was very thick.  I then tried to hoze off the remainder of honey and it took a long time.  In this case I could see that the water was possibly cold.  Areas where one supper drips on top of another, I scrape off the honey residue and it is heavy.  Tastes good but very thick in consistency.  I will check with a local beekeeper for the refractometer.  Thanks anyway.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
Greg Peck
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 11:53:47 AM »

So is it the honey that was left over in the extractor that is the problem? If the extractor is in a heated area which has a very low humidity level a lot of the honeys natural moisture could have been drawn out. I forget what the big word is for it but honey can take on moisture in high humidity situations or give off moisture in low humidity situations. I have already had buckets which had a thin layer of honey on the bottoms in my basement with low humidity levels. The honey was very hard to clean out. I ended up soaking them for a day or two.

If they honey you are referring to is coming right out of the comb like this then I dont know what to tell you.
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doak
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 01:00:23 PM »

when I was growing up on the farm, we raised sorghum cane.
Molasses can be thick or thin. length of cooking time makes the difference.
 Some honey is thicker than others. Depends on the flower/plant it came from.
I know it sounds like rough working, but when working with thick honey you may want the room at about 80 to 90 degrees.
doak
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gaucho10
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 02:46:51 PM »

Greg Peck-It's both...the honey in the extractor and the honey in the frames.  But I have to agree with you because I am working the suppers in my cellar and I do have a dehumidifier.  The first frame I uncapped was thick when extracting but the leftover honey at the bottom of the extractor a week later was deffinitely twice as thick.  I had a real hard time cleaning the extractor.  My dehumidifier is set for 40% humidity.

doak-I think you might also have a good point which I already have thought about.  This is my first time beekeeping in this area and I am not familiar with what type of plants are growing in the area.  I am familiar with goldenrod, I have approximately 6 different types of goldenrod right in my back yard.  I am also familiar with the plants growing in my landscaped back yard.  BUT...I live right alongside wetlands and a marsh.  There are all sorts of plants flowering all spring, summer and fall and I am not familiar with all of them.  Perhaps there are flowers in the marsh area that the bees make into heavy honey???  I just think that it is kind of odd as to how thick this honey can get.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
Holycow
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 12:13:26 AM »

There are a few plants pollen which the bees will convert into more like a jell than a liquid honey. Grapefruit was one.. doubt there are any of those up there though. Ha! the others slip my mind now. if it comes back I'll repost.
--Jeff
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