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Author Topic: Honey Crystallized in the Comb  (Read 2772 times)
tillie
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« on: July 18, 2012, 08:37:41 AM »

I harvested some honey over the weekend that had some of the honey crystallized in the comb.  It was so thick and granulated that it wouldn't go through my crush and strain filter system.  I ended up crushing it and filtering it through the 600 micron (coarsest) filter.  Finally some of it is going through. 

The honey tastes good - sort of apricot flavored with a sharp finish.  It's been so hot in Atlanta over the last few weeks - temps over 100 for about a week in that period - that I can't imagine honey crystallized in the hive and in the comb.

In addition the cappings on the honey looked funny.  It was wavy like stained glass and not capped over each cell as happens in most honey frames.

Any ideas about why this would happen or what kind of nectar would crystallize in the hive in the honeycomb?

Here are some pictures of it:
http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2012/07/ugli-honey.html

Linda T in Atlanta
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2012, 01:56:57 PM »

I have heard of honey crystallizing in the comb.  Never seen it down here.  You might could heat the comb to liquidfly the honey without melting the wax.  If it was mine, I would use it to open feed late in the fall.   
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G3farms
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2012, 02:52:24 PM »

Not sure what it comes from but have had it happen quite often here. The bees will rob out the liquid honey and all that will be left is little white sugar crystals.
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 04:57:19 PM »

I'm also wondering, with the temperatures in Atlanta over 100 degrees every day for about a week a few weeks ago, if the honey in the cells sort of cooked - like making caramel.  After all, it would have taken great effort for the bees to keep the temperature down to their normal 95 degrees F.  Maybe they worked in the brood area and ignored this honey super up at the top of a six box hive.  The honey that has filtered out of this comb is the darkest honey I've ever gotten from a beehive - deep, dark brown, almost black.

Linda T in Atlanta
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asprince
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 07:45:49 PM »

I don't think it was heat related. Something they foraged on crystallized. Some honey crystallize quicker than others. Canola is one that will crystallize in the comb. If you warm it a little it will re-liquify.


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Joe D
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 07:51:08 PM »

I had 2 or 3 frames this year that had crystallized.  I just put those frames out with the extracted frames and let the bees clean them.



Joe
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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 07:55:56 PM »

I hadn't thought about the cleaning aspect - I put these frames out with the other harvested frames - so that means that bees from my home apiary will have taken these crystals home to their hives and may cause crystallization in these hives.  I took these frames from my hives in N Atlanta and put them out for cleaning by my hives at my home in Va Highlands, so I hope I won't cause further crystallized honey.  Although I won't harvest from the hives here at home because this is the first year for all of them.

Linda T in Atlanta
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kdm
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 08:18:51 PM »

 THE  cappings that are white have air between the cap and the honey and the darker one is touching the honey. the odd comb could have been made from off and on honey flows. The very dark honey is probably honey dew. i got some at the end of the honey flow. it don't take much to darken white honey. I don't know about the granulation every area is different as you know.
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tillie
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 09:02:27 PM »

I do know wet cappings from dry ones but these are what we'd call in Mississippi all catty-whumpus.  They are like stained glass with curvy edges and aren't capping just one cell as the bees usually do. 

I've enjoyed making up reasons for the odd cappings:

It's the bees' way of saying to each:  "Hey, sis, here's the weird honey"

It was too hot so the wax sloughed all around and wouldn't stay in place while the capping was going on.

One group of sister bees wished they could take art class instead of cap honey so they took advantage of the moment

And on, and on, and on....

I have never seen cappings like this that aren't each capping an individual cell.

Linda T in Atlanta
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Sparky
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 09:31:26 PM »

Linda, do you have golden rod in hotlanta ? I have heard others say that it starts to crystallize in the comb if it is not harvested soon after capped. ?
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tillie
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 10:01:58 PM »

We do have goldenrod but it isn't blooming yet.  I'd guess that this was put up by the bees at least three weeks ago in early July or late June.

Linda T in Atlanta
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JP
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 10:21:56 PM »

Could this be honey from last season that was left in the hive that you are now harvesting? The stuff you are bottling will most likely re crystalize I hate to tell you rather rapidly. I would feed it back to the bees or use it as it is in hot tea, etc... I have one of those vitamixers and I can place crystalized honey in it for smoothies, etc... The thing is an animal that has a 2HP motor. Up to 27,000 rpms it can do it all. Anyhoo...


...JP
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tillie
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 10:51:19 PM »

No, I know for sure that it isn't from last year - we put the box on about a month ago with empty frames.  But I thought since I'd already crushed it before I found this out - or at least found it out as I crushed it - that I would make creamed honey out of it. 

Linda T in Atlanta
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JP
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2012, 08:58:18 AM »

There you go Linda. I have a jar of creamed honey I dip into now and then. Its a real treat. You likely heard M.B. mention this but if you haven't he has said on more than one occasion that all he carries/sells is creamed honey.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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tillie
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 09:08:29 AM »

My son-in-law (also a Jeff) and I are getting rather good at making creamed honey.  My creamed honey won a blue ribbon at EAS a couple of years ago (last time I went), but this would be dark creamed honey, so we'll see!

Linda T
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beewitch
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2012, 01:18:17 PM »

Linda - I pulled a second harvest this past weekend and my honey, too, was the darkest I've ever seen.  It looks like molasses and tastes wonderful - very nutty and sweet.  We have a lot of mature magnolias in my area of north Atlanta and my bees were all over them.  I've heard that it is a dark pollen.  My first harvest in May was a lovely golden color - clear, floral and citrusy.  What a difference between these two 2012 honeys!
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BrentX
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2012, 06:25:12 PM »

I too have a couple frames that look like that.  Mine are residual from last fall.  After reading this I think I will separate them from my other honey and compare flavor, tecture, etc.
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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2012, 01:15:40 AM »

.
Scrab the cappings an put 3 frames in the brood box
.
Bees clean the combs and then give again 3 combs.

In open air bees rob the combs but they will tear down the combs.
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