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Author Topic: Honey Crystallising in Frames  (Read 2613 times)

Offline Nico

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Honey Crystallising in Frames
« on: August 26, 2012, 07:13:08 PM »
Hi All,
On my last two inspections,I have noticed some of the honey in the frames crystallised.
I have a bottom  brood with two supers,both supers have some  honey crystallised in the frames.
We have had a couple of frosts in the area,could this have caused it?
The bees have worked Chinee Apple(Ziziphus Mauritiana) ,Bloodwood,(both finished and capped)Then they worked Paper Bark Melaleuca and some iron bark.Most of the crystallised honey is uncapped.
I spoke to a neighbour who has no crystallising in her hives,any suggestions?
Regards,
Nico 

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 07:16:37 AM »
Any canola around you?

Offline bernsad

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 07:38:06 AM »
Or tea tree? I believe that will set in the frame; thixotropic is the term they use.

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 07:56:51 AM »
Could it be pollen ???



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
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Offline Nico

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2012, 06:23:46 PM »
Thanks for the answers,
Ozbuzz, no. no canola in this area to my knowlege.

Bernsad, Yes, they have been working a lot of the paper bark tee tree last month,one could actually smell the tee tree fragrance in the hive when they were working it.

Jim no it's not pollen.there does not appear to be pollen in the top two supers,there is pollen in the brood box.

Any thoughts when I have to extract,should I uncap the crystallised cells or leave them?
Regards,
Nico.


Offline bernsad

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 04:40:46 AM »
G'day Nico,

This is the passage from Beekeeping in Victoria put out by the former Dept. of Ag. This is from the 1981 ed.

Tea tree honey

At least one kind of honey cannot be extracted from the combs in the normal way. It is gathered from some species of tea tree (Leptospermum sp) found near the coast, in the desert country of western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia, and in wet places elsewhere. It is known as Wild May in some localities.

The honey from this plant is very low-grade and is suitable only for manufacture. It seems dense but actually contains a high percentage of water. It sets like jelly after being stored in the cells, so that it can be removed in one piece with a pin. This type of honey, correctly known as "thixotropic", is commonly referred to by apiarists as "glue".

Some apiarists uncap and soak tea tree honey combs in a running stream for a few hours. The honey can then be shaken out of the combs by hand. Although crude, this is the only known method of quickly removing this honey when the combs are needed for a rush flow of first-grade honey. It is good bee food, and there are times when the bees can be encouraged to use it up by turning it into brood. However, avoid areas of tea tree during the flowering period.


So this is more of a gel than crystallised. It also comes from the Tea trees (Leptospermum) rather than the (Melaleucas) which I know as Paper Barks. Is that any help?

Offline Nico

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 08:13:20 AM »
Hi Bernsad,
The paper-bark here is the melaleuca leucadendra flowering from april untill june.
I think I will have to play it by ear unless I can get more info.
Thanks for your reply,I have heard that the tree can cause candied honey,I was surprised to be the only one in the area to my knowledge to be affected,That tree is common along the creeks in this area but I did have a fair frost compared to neighbours.I don't know if this would contribute to the problem.
Regards,
Nico.
 

Offline bernsad

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2012, 08:42:51 AM »
Was Lone suggesting that she might get you to build a warming unit for her? Perhaps you could build one of a size and shape that could take a full super, you might be able to warm the honey sufficiently to reverse the crystalization.

Offline Nico

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 08:49:32 AM »
Yes,I think that should be no problem to fit a box and frames into a warmer.The temp is climbing up here during the day now,I'll see how the hive looks next week.

Offline Lone

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2012, 09:56:22 AM »
I've never had the "white tea tree" honey crystallize. In fact, it should be on its way to you Berny. The black tea tree isn't flowering yet, and I've not had that issue with it either.  I saw Nico's frames and maybe 5-10% is crystallized.  We were going to put affected frames in the brood super but then found it was an issue with most frames. It certainly wasn't "gelled" honey.  There is a lot of tea tree honey that is quite normal and sold at exorbitant prices in NZ.  I was thinking the chinee apple might be more to blame, and even though it stopped flowering a couple of months ago, may have been left uncapped in some cells.  There are thermostats that are made specifically for the ceramic reptile heaters we have, and our pet shop is going to order them, so we won't need any fancy electrical engineering, thank goodness (besides, Nico still hasn't been paid for piecing together the new lathe today although I offered him a banana).  Anyway, back to the point...I am thinking the only thing to do will be to extract normally and warm the honey if it is too crystallized.  I don't think it would be easy to liquify the honey without melting the wax if the whole super is warmed.  Or take advantage of it and learn how to cream honey.  I am thinking the thick stuff might not spin out fully anyway. Maybe then it can be cut out of the frames before "contaminating" any new batches. 

Lone



Offline Nico

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2012, 06:11:50 PM »
I've never tied to reduce crystallised honey back to liquid.What temp is required and what temp does wax melt?
Nico.

Offline the-ecohouse.com

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2012, 08:41:24 PM »
Paper Bark Melaleuca this one will create crystallized honey very quickly

Offline Nico

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2012, 11:13:48 PM »
Thanks Ecohouse this confirms what I have been told and after some homework,I found not to heat it more than 40c

Wax will melt 63-65c. and solidify at 60c.

I have some work to do.

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2012, 06:13:32 PM »
Why not let the bees use it ???




      BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Offline Nico

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Re: Honey Crystallising in Frames
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2012, 06:33:38 PM »
Jim
I will let the bees have it if I cannot warm and extract it successfully.There is only about 5-10% crystallised in the frames,but there are several frames in the super with crystallised honey in the cells.
Nico

 

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